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Sunday 05
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Horse Racing

Balding excited ahead of Newmarket trip

26th May 2020, 17:52 by James Mason

Trainer Andrew Balding says he is very optimistic about Kameko's chance of winning the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket next month.

Kameko, owned by Qatar Racing Limited, produced a brilliant performance to win the Group 1 Vertem Futurity Stakes at Newcastle in November, beating Innisfree by three-and-a-quarter lengths.

That display immediately put the three-year-old in the mix for the 2,000 Guineas, which was originally scheduled for May 2 but has now been slated for June 6 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Oisin Murphy will be aboard Balding's charge for the big race at British Racing's HQ and the latter is feeling confident ahead of the meeting, insisting Kameko is in great shape.

"I'm really pleased with him. He had a quiet period during the winter months and we got him back into faster work around Cheltenham time, which was when lockdown happened," he said on a Zoom call organised by QIPCO.

"At the time we were obviously still hoping that the Guineas would be on its original date in the beginning of May, so we had a period where we were cranking up the work.

"When we realised that wasn't the case he was let down a little bit and I couldn't be happier with him at the moment. He had a gallop at Kempton last week – Oisin rode him – and I couldn't have been happier by the way he went.

"He looks magnificent and he's a lovely horse to have anything to do with. We're all very excited."

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

James Mason grew up in Northumberland so is entrenched in both the football and golf scenes. A low handicap golfer, he also follows Newcastle United and predicts big things under Rafa Benitez.

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