Almighty Effort From Hi Royal In The 2000 Guineas
There are certain times when running a career best feels like you won. The classics are the pinnacle of racing and you only get one crack at them. When Hi Royal lined up in the 2000 Guineas he was not seen as a danger but just 100 seconds later he had announced himself to the racing public.
Owned and bred by Mr Jaber Abdullah, the son of Kodiac had a light campaign last year as a 2yo. Beginning in the ultra competitive Convivial Maiden at York, Hi Royal flew home from off the pace to finish third on debut. He followed that by winning at Ayr with consummate ease, which signed him off for the winter.
Always highly regarded, Hi Royal held big entries in most of the classics. connections have always thought he could be horse to get further than the 1m he won over, so it was interesting to see where he would start off. It would at the Craven meeting, tackling the 7f conditions race. Wary of not giving him a very hard race in one of the bigger trials, Hi Royal ran well for a long way before finding the dead ground and trip against him. Although many wrote him off, Hi Royal was given the green light to line up in the season’s first classic.
Oisin Murphy was booked for the ride as the pair lined up against 13 of the best 3yo colts around. It’s very hard to set out tactics in a race of this nature but it was important for Oisin to use his mounts stride. So jumping well from the stalls, Hi Royal was allowed to move forward and quickly headed the classic field.
Early on the race got quite messy with a few racing keen. Hi Royal was in the perfect spot in front, striding out on the rain softened ground. Tracked along by Chaldean, the second fav, Hi Royal cut out a decent gallop and ensured that it would be a true run race despite conditions.
Racing down the centre of the track, the field charged through the first half of the race at a strong 38 mph. Oisin was happy to let his mount use himself. The race begun to develop around the 3f marker as there was an increase in the pace. This had a domino affect throughout the field as they had to match the leader’s pace.
With the field starting the race, Hi Royal suddenly had a few of them in trouble. Once they passed the 2f the cracks started to show and it was the fav who was first to fold. Hi Royal was travelling like a dream and once Oisin asked him, the colt quickened and set sail for home. Only Chaldean could go with him but this move quickly had him off the bridle too. Unfortunately Hi Royal hung left but did still hold the advantage as the leading pair pulled away.
Moving into the final furlong the field had been completely split apart and it looked as though the race was between the front two. Hi Royal surrendered his lead when he once again hung left, this time more severely. Chaldean inched the lead and kicked on. Once Oisin got his mount balanced he kept on again to chase home the winner and hold on to his runner up spot.
You cannot be anything than proud of Hi Royal and whilst many might claim it was a fluke, there was no surprise to connections., Hi Royal has always been a smart horse and whilst he didn’t the profile to do what he did, he has always shaped like a class horse. At the start of the season Kevin felt that Hi Royal could stay 10f so his next step will be discussed with connections. He holds entries in the Dante, Irish Guineas and the Prix Du Jockey Club. Whatever is decided, Hi Royal is a very exciting colt and the future looks very bright.