The first classics of the season take place this weekend at Newmarket and that is of course the 1000 & 2000 Guineas.
It looks to be once again a battle between both of the big guns in Ballydoyle and Godolphin with most of the markets being dominated by their representatives. Here’s my lowdown….
Saturday 5th May 2018
1.50 – Spring Lodge Stakes (Class 2) (1m 1f)
THIRD TIME LUCKY – (11/1) (E/W)
(Doesn’t seem to be the force of old but has been steadily dropping down the handicap. Got very strong form around here and won the Cambridgeshire in 2015. Clearly retains some ability as shown in recent runs and could well get involved here at a price, Sharja Bridge the obvious key threat and Dommersen could be one to keep a close eye on.)
2.20 – Palace House Stakes (Class 1) (Group 3) (5f)
ORNATE – (10/1) (E/W)
(Havana Gray is obviously going to be tough to beat here but i’m going to try and take him on and i’m doing that with Ornate. He goes very well fresh and has not long ago had a wind op. In form jockey on board in David Allan too.)
2.55 – Jockey Club Stakes (Class 1) (Group 2) (1m 4f)
DEFOE – (4/9)
(He’s no price but Defoe is a Group 1 horse running in a poor Group 2 here, very impressive when winning on reappearance at Newbury the last day. There’s not really an each way edge to take him on with due to the lack of runners unfortunately, should win.)
3.35 – Qipco 2000 Guineas Stakes (Class 1) (Group 1) (1m)
The first classic of the season is of course the 2000 Guineas a Group 1 contest that’s ridden over a mile here at Newmarket and it’s been a place where champions have been born in years gone by.
It see’s a battle of the big battalions all fighting it out at the top of the market with AP O’Brien once again dominating affairs with both Gustav Klimt and Saxon Warrior both battling it out for favouritism.
Masar is Godolphin’s hope following his very impressive win in the trial here last month when beating Roaring Lion decisively. Expert Eye takes his place here and is likely to play a big role if recapturing the form we saw him in at Goodwood last season as he’s ultimately been disappointing since.
Elarqam for Mark Johnston is another big player in the field and has looked impressive in his two from two victories last season, he’s the mount of the Jim Crowley.
All of those horses of course have huge chances however i’m going to go against the lot of them with a couple massive outsiders. The first of these come in the form of TIP TWO WIN for Roger Teal and David Probert. He comes here off the back of a couple of valuable wins in Doha throughout the winter and was last seen on UK soil when behind Elaraqam in a Group 3 here. He does have a lot to find on the best of them here but I was really impressed with him when I saw him at Doncaster last season and with some firms doing four places, he’s a worth a go at odds of around 33/1.
The other one at a massive price I’m going to take a tentative chance on here is RAJASINGHE. He won the Coventry last season at Royal Ascot and hasn’t quite lived up to expectations since. Connections however have been very bullish about his work at home with trainer Richard Spencer on record saying one piece of work was ‘extraordinary’. He’s not bred to get this trip but if he does find improvement and handle the distance and a few others don’t give their running he could nab a place and he’s trading at a colossal 80/1 with a few firms.
TIP TWO WIN – 33/1 (E/W)
RAJASINGHE – 80/1 (E/W)
VJ DAY – (15/2) (E/W)
(First run in a turf handicap and is up 9 pounds from the last day. Up against some decent prospects here but could pick up the pieces from off the pace.
4.45 – Newmarket Stakes (Class 1) (Listed) (1m 2f)
KEY VICTORY – (7/4)
(Has lot’s of fancy entries to his name and won well here on debut back in October. Is the choice of Buick and should surely put in a bold bid.)
SAM GOLD – (7/4)
(Comes here with very strong form to his name in Maiden contests from last year and could well be thrown in off current mark for powerful connections.)
Sunday 6th May 2018
1.50 – The Grand Visr (7/1) (E/W)
2.20 – Wuheida (5/6)
2.55 – Magical Memory (14/1) (E/W)
4.10 – Fly The Nest (2/1)
4.45 – Lah Ti Dar (4/5)
5.20 – Durkhan (5/2)
Qipco 1000 Guineas Stakes (Class 1) (Group 1) (1m)
The 1000 Guineas of course takes centre stage on Sunday at Newmarket and it’s once again headed by a AP O’Brien horse this time in the form of Happily following the back of her impressive season last term barring the last run at the Breeders Cup.
Solioquy is the main Godolphin hope next up in the market and looks to be the choice of William Buick on the back of her impressive win here last time.
The one I like here though is the other O’Brien runner and that comes in the form of I CAN FLY. She was an expensive one and won her debut over at Dundalk and has since gone on to be placed a couple of times. I think the run on her reappearance the last day was an ideal prep run for this and she comes here very much similar to Winter last year. Heffernan looks to be on board and at 7/1 I think she has a great chance.
I CAN FLY – (7/1) (E/W)