GUINEAS WEEKEND – MAY 2nd/3rd:
Newmarket: Saturday May 2nd: A splash of rain (forecast but not forthcoming at the time of writing) would be welcome before the start of the two-day Classic meeting…
2.00: Two seasons on and after six races, on the verge of what ought to be a lucrative campaign, Top Tug now makes his reappearance as a four-year-old. Rather like a vintage wine, he has always looked likely to improve with age (something confirmed by his pedigree) and he embarks on his third season equipped with what looks like a reasonable mark. Despite his stable’s rather slow start to the season (signs they might be hitting stride now), he should be up to this task en route to loftier targets.
3.45: 2000 Guineas: Apparently Gleneagles lines up here for his first start of the season with all guns ablaze. Demoted after winning the Group 1 Jean-Luc Lagardere on merit, although technically he is closely matched with Territories, he sets a pretty high standard and is taken to repel the French challenger. Several line up in opposition with similar claims. Decent though they are, Estidhkaar and Ivawood look a notch below that required. Intilaaq is interesting after blitzing his rivals in a maiden at Newbury in a fast time, but he will find this a different proposition. Elm Park has had an ideal preparation and his form looks solid. He will improve for some cut so granted some ease in the ground could go well. His current double-figure price looks too big. Similarly, Moheet should not be judged too harshly on his third in the Craven. It is a run he is capable of improving upon, particularly if the rain arrives, in which case Ladbrokes should find no shortage of takers at their present price of 33/1.
4.55: Second to Elm Park in the Racing Post, a good run from the winner in the Guineas will ensure Aloft will be well supported here. He looks the pick on juvenile form and promises to stay the trip.
At Doncaster in the 6.45 the handicapper has certainly taken no prisoners with Strong Chemistry’s mark. Raised 9lbs for a Newbury second in a race that has yet to work out, he is asked a big question in having concede 19lbs to the improving Gothic Empire.
7.45: After a fair effort in a decent Newmarket handicap, Spiriting should open his account without too much bother in this maiden.
May 3rd: Newmarket: 3.40: As the betting suggests The 1000 Guineas looks wide open. Lucida is a fragile form pick as she has little in hand of Malabar and Osaila. Jellicle Ball’s name will not sit particularly well on the winners’ list, but she is expected to come on for her recent Fred Darling second, particularly over this extra furlong and could be the alternative.
4.50: Zannda could be on course for a tilt at the Oaks, something she can emphasise with a win here.
5.25: Muqtaser can be expected to improve on a pleasing run here two weeks ago in what looks like a tight handicap full of possible improvers.