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Latest news and features from theguardian.com, the world's leading liberal voice

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    • Newbury win sets up a John Magnier v Sheikh Mohammed head-to-head
    • Vicente boosts Paul Nicholls with Scottish Grand National victory

    Backers hoping to oppose the hot favourite Churchill in the 2,000 Guineas in two weeks’ time have another option to consider after Barney Roy’s impressive success in the Group Three Greenham Stakes here on Saturday. Richard Hannon’s colt found an impressive turn of foot to beat Dream Castle, who also runs in the royal blue silks of Godolphin, and now sits alongside Eminent, Thursday’s Craven Stakes winner, at around 8-1 for the season’s first Classic.

    Godolphin sent two once-raced maiden winners into the last of the recognised Guineas trials and with a furlong to run it was apparent they would fight out the finish. It was Dream Castle, though, that was travelling like a winner and apparently about to cruise into a clear lead.

    Related: Bookmaker Bet365 admits mistake in wrangle over £54,000 account

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    • Odds-on favourite for Punchestown’s Champion Chase pipped on run-in
    • Setback for Mullins in his attempt to finish top of the Irish trainers standings

    Colin Tizzard and Robbie Power rounded off a memorable season by landing Punchestown’s Champion Chase with Fox Norton, who powered past the long-time leader Un De Sceaux after the final fence on Tuesday. The result is a major setback for Willie Mullins in his attempt to claw his way back to the top of the Irish trainers standings before the season ends on Saturday.

    Mullins’s Un De Sceaux was sent off as the odds-on favourite to follow up his Ryanair victory at the Cheltenham Festival and he could still be called the most likely winner when edging clear on the run to the home turn.

    Related: Racing news and tips: Barney Roy a big 2,000 Guineas hope after Greenham romp

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    Plus best bets for Musselburgh and Lingfield as punters sift through five Thursday racecards

    When you invite a trainer to offer an excuse for a horse, they generally do so with alacrity. So it was interesting that Charlie Appleby turned down the opportunity at Ascot yesterday after Blue Point got back in the winner’s enclosure for the first time since the Gimcrack. 

    Related: Silvestre de Sousa plays down title chances despite treble at Ascot

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    • Dream Ahead colt can exact revenge for sire’s Dewhurst loss to Frankel
    • Twenty-six Grand National jockeys charged with breach of rules

    Connections are hoping for a more prominent showing from the French raider Al Wukair when he lines up in the 2,000 Guineas on Saturday as the likely third-favourite. The unbeaten colt gave his rivals plenty of rope before finishing strongly to win the Prix Djebel at Maisons-Laffitte last month, a feat that would be much harder to pull off in a high-quality Guineas, as this one is expected to be.

    “When you have André Fabre as your trainer and he’s being as bullish and as positive as he is, it’s very exciting,” said Harry Herbert, racing adviser to the owner, Al Shaqab. But Herbert accepts that Al Wukair’s unbeaten record will be in some peril if he trails Churchill by 10 lengths at halfway, which is how much ground he had to make up on the Djebel leaders in the final half-mile.

    Related: Racing news and tips: Frankel's son Eminent puts down 2,000 Guineas marker

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    If the racing champion could father a Guineas winner at the first attempt it would add yet another chapter to the tale of his achievements

    Is it really six years? Frankel’s 2,000 Guineas was a two-minute explosion of unassailable brilliance, and it scorched such an indelible image on the mind that it feels much closer at hand.

    Frankel walked on to the long, straight course at Newmarket as a potential champion, and back to the winner’s enclosure with his freakish ability established beyond all doubt. He had shown that even after three centuries of intermingling in thoroughbred bloodlines, it is still possible to shuffle the pack of racehorse genetics and draw an unbeatable hand. And on Saturday afternoon, in the sixth 2,000 Guineas since, it may start to become apparent whether the owners of his sons and daughters are also playing with a loaded deck.

    Related: Fabre changes tack and aims undefeated Al Wukair at 2,000 Guineas pay-off

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    • ‘He can go a lot of roads,’ says trainer Aidan O’Brien
    • Barney Roy may be aimed at rematch in St James’s Palace

    Two colts from Frankel’s first crop lined up for the 2,000 Guineas here on Saturday but the great champion’s own father, Galileo, showed that, when it comes to siring Classic winners, he is still the daddy. Churchill, last year’s champion two-year-old and the 6-4 favourite, found a clear path to the line against the stands rail to take the Guineas by a length from Barney Roy and establish a clear record for Aidan O’Brien, his trainer, as the most successful trainer in the race’s history.

    This was O’Brien’s eighth victory in the 2,000 Guineas, one more than the total recorded by John Scott between 1842 and 1862 and double the career total of his namesake Vincent, his predecessor at Ballydoyle in Co Tipperary. In the end it was a comfortable and well-executed success, as Lancaster Bomber, a stable companion of the winner, set a very steady pace through the early part of the race, which allowed Ryan Moore, on Churchill, to choose his moment to attack along the near side despite having been drawn in one of the wider stalls.

    Related: Frankel offspring may add next chapter to story of racing great in Guineas

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