Cochrane selects Abbey and Duty

Ray Cochrane believes the favourite St Nicholas Abbey will land the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket.

The Classic-winning former jockey, who will once again join Course & Distance at Longchamp for the Arc, told www.cdhorseracingtours.com: "On all known form he is very much the one the field have to beat. All the reports from Ballydoyle suggest he is fit and ready and Aidan O'Brien is very happy with his preparations.

"If I was having a bet, he'd be the one for me. I wouldn't be worried about the going and I understand his work at the Curragh has been very encouraging.

"The main danger to the favourite is Canford Cliffs - I know various reports have knocked his run at Newbury (Greenham Stakes) but I felt he ran a cracking race and just got a little tired. I felt he perhaps ran a little free with the choke out early on. The faster the ground for him, the better.

"I think Elusive Pimpernel was weak as a two-year-old and there might even be more improvement to come from him even after the Guineas. Al Zir should finish in the first five or six, but I wouldn't expect much more from the Godolphin runner."

Turning his attention to Sunday's 1,000 Guineas, Cochrane feels that French raider Special Duty can come out on top.

He continued: "I believe Special Duty ran a cracking race in France last time out in the Prix Imprudence, she wasn't knocked about and needed the race - the faster the ground for her, the better.

"Seta is very smart and I think she can turn the tables on Pollenator (May Hill Stakes winner). I'm sure Luca Cumani's horse will be involved in the shake-up. I also think Pollenator's day will come later in the season.

"I like the look of Puff - she's a little tiger. I thought her win in the Fred Darling Stakes at Newbury was a better performance than the Nell Gwyn Stakes (won by Music Show). She picked up late on and the form is solid. All in all, it was for me a good performance.

"I don't see that Godolphin's Hibaayeb will be good enough and can't see her winning - Frankie (Dettori) has been too quiet about her!"


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