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Buratino, Herald The Dawn & Ribchester Challenge For 2000 Guineas Honours

Godolphin launches a three-strong assault on the first British Classic of 2016, the G1 2000 Guineas, with Buratino, Herald The Dawn and Ribchester lining up over Newmarket's historic Rowley Mile on Saturday, April 30.

Time/Date - 15.45hrs local time/Saturday, April 30, 2016
Racecourse/Country - Newmarket/UK
Surface/Distance - Turf/1m 4f

Godolphin launches a three-strong assault on the first British Classic of 2016, the G1 2000 Guineas, with Buratino, Herald The Dawn and Ribchester lining up over Newmarket's historic Rowley Mile on Saturday, April 30.

All three colts scored at G2 level as two-year-olds last year, with Buratino (Mark Johnston/James Doyle - drawn 2), a son of Exceed And Excel, beating last year's European champion juvenile Air Force Blue by two lengths in the six-furlong Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot in June.

Buratino kept on to finish third to Air Force Blue in the G1 Phoenix Stakes over the same trip at the Curragh, Ireland, in August and was the staying-on runner-up, beaten half a length by Shalaa, in the G1 Middle Park Stakes, also over six furlongs, at Newmarket the following month.

Herald The Dawn (Jim Bolger/Kevin Manning - drawn 11) was the decisive winner over seven furlongs in the G2 Futurity Stakes at the Curragh in August, and also ran well behind Air Force Blue when taking second over the same course and distance in the G1 Goffs Vincent O'Brien National Stakes in September.

The New Approach colt, a full-brother to Godolphin's 2013 2000 Guineas winner Dawn Approach, finished seventh behind Ultra on his final start of 2015 in the G1 Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere over a mile at Longchamp, France, in October.

Ribchester (Richard Fahey/William Buick - drawn 3) was demoted to fifth for interference after finishing second on his seasonal return in the seven-furlong G3 Prix Djebel at Maisons-Laffitte, France, on April 7.

The son of Iffraaj quickened strongly to beat another Godolphin runner Log Out Island by a length and a quarter in the six-furlong G2 Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury in September and was second over the same distance in the G2 Marketing Gimcrack Stakes at York the previous month.

Mark Johnston said: "All is well with Buratino and he is spot on for the 2000 Guineas.

"We were very pleased with the two racecourse gallops he had at Haydock and Newmarket, especially as they were on soft ground, which we didn't think he would handle.

"I am very confident about him getting a mile and his second at Newmarket in the Middle Park Stakes was arguably his best run of last season."

Jim Bolger commented: "Herald The Dawn is fit and well. He needs to improve a bit on last year's form and we are hopeful that he can do that."

Richard Fahey reported: "It was a frustrating run from Ribchester in the Prix Djebel, when they didn't go very quick and he was just a bit keen. Hopefully, the experience will have done him some good.

"I am hoping that they go a decent gallop at Newmarket and he can relax. He needs to switch off in his races because he is an exuberant horse and, if he does everything right, staying the mile will be no problem."

A field of 13 for the QIPCO 2000 Guineas also includes Air Force Blue, G3 Craven Stakes winner Stormy Antarctic and G1 Dubai Dewhurst Stakes runner-up Massaat.

Buratino
Buratino © John Hoy