04/30/2016 12:23PM

Galileo Gold scores upset in English 2000 Guineas


Galileo Gold, prominent from the start under Frankie Dettori, upset the Group 1 English 2000 Guineas on Saturday at Newmarket as the favored Air Force Blue failed to make any impression on the first classic race of the European flat season.

Galileo Gold, a Paco Boy colt owned by Al Shaqab racing, gave trainer Hugo Palmer his first  classic win in England, drawing clear to win by 1 1/2 lengths over Massat, as longshots dominated the straight-course mile. Ribchester finished third as the $1 trifecta paid $3,541.20 in North American parimutuel wagering.

Air Force Blue, 4/5 on the North American tote and heavily favored all winter in overseas antepost betting on the race, laid an egg. Racing in midpack under Ryan Moore, he went backward when the tempo quickened a couple of furlongs out and finished 12th, ahead only of Marcel, who in his own right was well backed Saturday. Galileo Gold was timed in 1:35.91 for the straight-course mile over a course rated good to soft.

Galileo Gold broke on top from post 1 and raced prominently in the smaller of two groups as the field broke apart in the early stages. The horses bunched a little more than halfway through, and as Galileo Gold quickened clear, Dettori edged toward the stand’s side rail, where Galileo Gold strode home nicely, doing some of his best work just before the finish while galloping out strongly. A Group 2 winner last year at 2, when he compiled a 3-1-1 record from five starts, Galileo Gold will be considered for the Epsom Derby next month.

Gailo Chop out of Prix Ganay

The Group 1 Prix Ganay on Sunday at Saint-Cloud in France will have at most a 10-horse field after Gailo Chop, who would’ve been among the favorites, was withdrawn Saturday after sustaining an injury.  Dariyan, Galingari, Air Pilot, and The Corsican are prominent contenders in the older-horse fixture over 10 1/2 furlongs.