Head bullish about Ride Like The Wind`s QIPCO 2000 Guineas prospects

Chantilly trainer Freddy Head has talked up his QIPCO 2000 Guineas contender, Ride Like The Wind, comparing him favourably with his three-time Group 1 winner of 2014, Charm Spirit.

Ride Like The Wind was one of 34 colts remaining in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas following yesterday’s scratching stage. This £450,000 one mile contest which takes place at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile Racecourse on Saturday, 2nd May will be both the first race of the 2015 QIPCO British Champions Series and the first Classic of the new season.

Ride Like The Wind won just one of his four starts last term but was back from his winter break as early as 6th March when second at Deauville and posted a career best on his most recent start when landing the Group 3 Prix Djebel by a head.

Both the runner-up that day, Make Believe, and the fifth home, Sinfonietta, could reoppose on 2nd May to make it a three-pronged French assault on the QIPCO 2000 Guineas.

Head has saddled a QIPCO 2000 Guineas runner just once before, Charm Spirit finishing fifth in its vintage renewal of 12 months ago. He went on to land all four of his subsequent starts before retirement, culminating in a fabulous victory in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes on QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot in October.

Freddy Head, trainer of Ride Like The Wind, said:

“Ride Like The Wind will run in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas. He has done very well since his last race, his work has been good, and I think that he has improved a bit.”

“He is on the same sort of level as Charm Spirit was at this time last year. They are similar horses in that they tend to be a bit keen and if Ride Like The Wind settles better than Charm Spirit did last year I think that he has a good chance.”

“That is why I have given him two runs already this season, to get the freshness out of him before the Guineas.”

“I was very happy with his Prix Djebel victory. He settled then quickened well and it was to his credit that he won despite being held up at the back of the field when the pace was slow.”

“The undulations at Newmarket won’t be a problem for him and although seven furlongs is a good trip for him at the moment I think that he will stay a mile as long as he relaxes and gets a good run. He needs ‘good’ or ‘good to firm’ ground.”

Ride Like The Wind’s 33 possible opponents include all of the horses at the head of the ante post betting market, such as the Aidan O’Brien-trained pair of Gleneagles and Highland Reel, and the winners of last week’s three main trial races – Kool Kompany, Home Of The Brave and Muhaarar.

Dermot Weld’s unbeaten colt, Zawraq, is one of seven potential Irish raiders while John Quinn’s The Wow Signal, who beat Ride Like The Wind into sixth place when winning last year’s Group 1 Prix Morny, is the leading contender from the North of England.

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