Galileo Gold: a second slice of Classic success for trainer Hugo PalmerPICTURE: Martin Lynch (racingpost.com/photos)
Sparkling Galileo Gold runs away with Guineas
Report: Newmarket Saturday
Qipco 2,000 Guineas Stakes (Group 1) 1m
GALILEO GOLD waltzed away with the 2,000 Guineas for Hugo Palmer and Frankie Dettori as hot favourite Air Force Blue failed to fire and finished well adrift.
Despite the trainer voicing concerns about quick ground in the build up, Palmer revealed earlier in the week that Dettori was full of confidence and his faith was not misplaced as Galileo Gold raced prominently before showing an exceptional turn of foot to seal Classic glory.
Highly progressive as a juvenile, winning the Group 2 Vintage Stakes and placing in the Group 1 Jean-Luc Lagardere, Galileo Gold took his form to another level, taking off from two furlongs out, then extending his lead all the way to the post for a decisive win.
From stall one, the winner nailed the start and was straight into stride, allowing Dettori to inch across to the more-favoured stands' rail.
The field initially raced in two groups but by the time Galileo Gold quickened at the two-furlong marker they had effectively merged and Dettori ended up on the stands' rail as his mount accelerated clear from plucky runner-up Massaat and third-home Ribchester.
'I've never believed in a horse like this one'
Dettori, winning a third 2,000 Guineas, said: "It was brilliant. I had a lot of faith in this horse and new he would be in the first three. We had a bad draw but he's a great horse. My main thought was he stays very well and I wanted to be the first to make my way home. He galloped out really strong and he's done it really well."
Galileo Gold and Frankie Dettori land the 2,000 GuineasPICTURE: Martin Lynch (racingpost.com/photos)
It was a second slice of Classic success for Palmer, who won last year's Irish Oaks with Covert Love, and he was full of praise for the rider.
He said: "Frankie was so alert to what was going to go on. He said nothing was coming from behind and if nothing was going to take him on he said he was going to do it himself and my god he did.
"There were no hard luck stories and it was a masterful ride with a very willing partner. I'm so lucky to have him. I've never believed in a horse like this one.
"He's beautiful and just gets better and better. He's quirky and you have to work with him and not against him and he's rewarded us."
Favourite a huge disappointment
Despite looking like he was travelling well within himself, when the tempo quickened Air Force Blue failed to pick up under Ryan Moore and at no stage looked likely to be competitive.
Eased in the final furlong, the favourite beat only Racing Post Trophy winner Marcel, who was another major disappointment.
Craven winner Stormy Antarctic was another who failed to run to his best, finishing one place in front of Air Force Blue, having also been eased in the final furlong.
The winner was cut to 12-1 (from 33) for the Investec Derby with Paddy Power, who make Galileo Gold 2-1 favourite for the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Discussing future plans, Harry Herbert, representing winning owners Al Shaqab Racing, said: "We definitely could not rule the Derby out at this stage. You always want the dust to settle but the Derby is the Derby, so we'll give it serious consideration."