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Home of The Brave - James Doyle wins

Home Of The Brave: European Free Handicap winner is 33-1 for Guineas

  PICTURE: Mark Cranham (  

Guineas hope Brave has 'serious each-way chance'

HUGO PALMER has warned punters not to dismiss Home Of The Brave lightly for Saturday's Qipco 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket.

The Starspangledbanner colt has already sprung one surprise after lowering the colours of 1-2 favourite and former Guineas second-favourite Faydhan in the European Free Handicap and his trainer believes the 33-1 shot is capable of causing another upset.

The trials for the season's opening Classic have muddied the waters but Home Of The Brave clearly has a liking for the Rowley Mile having got within 0.04sec of the track record last time.

"He'd been showing up well on the gallops before his win in the Free Handicap," said Palmer. "He‘d done well over the winter, so I was hopeful of a big show.

"He wasn't stopping at the line and I'm hopeful he can get the extra furlong in the 2,000 Guineas.

"He goes there in super form, he's very fit and he loves the course, which several won't. He's a serious each-way chance."

Having been supplemented for the 2,000 Guineas on Monday, impressive Newbury maiden winner Intilaaq was cut into 12-1 (from 16) by Ladbrokes, while both bet365 and William Hill offer the same price (from 14).

The bookies appear keen to take on ante-post favourite Gleneagles, who has been eased across the board and can be backed at 5-2 with Paddy Power.

Two stablemates of Gleneagles are going in opposite directions in Paddy Power's betting with Ol' Man River 11-1 (from 12) and Highland Reel a best-priced 16-1 (from 10).

With 7.2mm of rain over the weekend and a further 10mm forecast throughout the week Newmarket clerk of the course Michael Prosser was expecting the two-day Guineas meeting to take place on ground "on the fast side of good".

Prosser, who described the going as good to firm, said on Monday: "It is a lovely day - chilly but the sun is out. The forecast is for a chance of showers late this afternoon or early evening, Tuesday looks dry but then there's a more organised band of rain coming through on Wednesday morning. It is quite a narrow band, it should only be around 4mm or so.

"On Thursday we have more showers and they could be thundery in nature. Friday could see a shower or two, but there's a reduced chance, and Saturday looks dry.

"We're good to firm at the moment and if the forecast is accurate then we can expect around 10mm of rain and that would push the ground more towards good, but if we have a largely dry Friday and Saturday then we may well start the meeting on the fast side of good."

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