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Gustav Klimt put forward a poor performance in his major race of the campaign at the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket. The bay colt was a leading contender for the meet along with his stable-mate Saxon Warrior, who put forward a fine performance to clinch the victory.
It was the second win on the bounce for Aidan O’Brien at the event – his ninth in the history of the 2,000 Guineas. However, it was not the outcome Gustav Klimt’s owners would have preferred, although two-thirds of the group also own Saxon Warrior. The three-year-old was off the pace from the start of the contest and finished down in sixth place.
He now faces a challenge to get back to form for the rest of the season. Gustav Klimt may have to get used to seeing his stable-mate as the duo horses will lock horns throughout the campaign, including The Derby. The bay colt is currently backed at 20/1 by William Hill to win the event at Epsom Downs, although those odds could shorten should Gustav Klimt find his form over the next few weeks.
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The Irish horse had reeled off three wins on the bounce before his poor outing at Newmarket. However, his career began with an underwhelming display at the Tally Ho Stud Irish EBF Maiden. Ryan Moore was in the saddle, but he was unable to get the best out of his charge, finishing down in fifth place, well off the pace of winner Commander Grigio.
Gustav Klimt notched the first win of his career at the Barronstown Stud Irish European Breeders Fund. He was considered the favourite for the event and on this occasion, Moore was able to get the best out of the horse. Moore timed the surge to perfection after a steady start, finishing ahead of his nearest rival Would Be King by one-and-three-quarter lengths.
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He made his first appearance at Newmarket in the Superlative Stakes. His victory in Curragh saw him anointed the favourite for the contest. Gustav Klimt was slightly off the pace in the early stages of the race before moving into the lead. However, he dropped back two furlongs out, but the bay colt staged a recovery with a surge down the straight to beat out his compatriot Nebo by a head.
The Irish horse made a statement in his first race of the current campaign. O’Brien’s charge faced a limited field in the 2,000 Guineas Trial Stakes, but he still did not enjoy a blistering start. Moore moved Gustav Klimt into second place one furlong out before he upped the ante down the stretch to pull away from Imaging to win by one-and-three-quarter lengths.
There were high hopes for the bay colt at the Guineas, but he never moved into contention for the win, failing to match the speed of his stable-mate in the closing stages of the race. There’s a quality competitor in Gustav Klimt, although he will have to raise the level of his performances. A slow start has hindered his chance at the Guineas, which could prompt a change in strategy for O’Brien and Moore moving forward in the rest of the campaign.