05/01/2006 11:00PM

O'Brien duo favored in Guineas


Aidan O'Brien announced on Tuesday that George Washington and Horatio Nelson, both owned by Coolmore, will run in Saturday's 2000 Guineas Stakes at Newmarket, but the performances of Coolmore's 3-year-olds this season have cast a shadow over their chances in the one-mile British classic.

O'Brien has saddled 19 3-year-old colts in England, Ireland, and France in 2006, yet not one of them has found his way to the winner's circle. His most recent failure came Monday at The Curragh when Hurricane Cat, a Storm Cat-Sky Beauty colt, could manage only third in the Group 3 Tetrarch Stakes. That same day, O'Brien's 4-year-old Breeders' Cup Turf runner-up Ace finished second in the Group 3 Mooresbridge Stakes.

O'Brien has won the 2000 Guineas three times, with King of Kings, Rock of Gibraltar, and last year with Footstepsinthesand. George Washington, whom Kieren Fallon has chosen to ride over Horatio Nelson on Saturday, is the 7-4 (1.75-1) favorite, according to Ladbrokes, while Horatio Nelson, the mount of Michael Kinane, is listed at 6-1 by the same firm. The undefeated Sir Percy remains second choice at 7-2.

O'Brien will have three or four runners in the Guineas, with Frost Giant and James Joyce also under consideration.

He will also saddle the favorite for Sunday's 1000 Guineas Stakes, Rumplestiltskin. Like George Washington and Horatio Nelson, she is by Danehill and she will be joined in the mile race for fillies by stablemate Race for the Stars.

Rumplestiltskin, the mount of Fallon, is Ladbrokes's 4-1 favorite, while Race for the Stars, who will be ridden by Johnny Murtagh, is co-second choice with Silca's Sister at 7-1. Kamarinskaya, who provided O'Brien with his lone stakes victory this season when she won the Group 3 Leopardstown 1000 Guineas Trial on April 15, has been rerouted to the Poule d'Essai des Pouliches, or French 1000 Guineas, at Longchamp on May 14.

While Sunday's 1000 Guineas will be the feature race on the Newmarket card, the Group 2 Jockey Club Stakes is shaping up as the race of the day. Tuesday's five-day entries revealed that BC Turf winner Shirocco, the O'Brien-trained St. Leger and Grand Prix de Paris winner Scorpion, and six-time group race winner Mubtaker are all set to line up for the 1 1/2-mile race.