As far as the Qipco 2,000 Guineas is concerned on Saturday, we could have one of the deepest renewals of this event for many a year.
Churchill always promised to be a better three-year-old, when you looked at his physical make-up as a two-year-old.
He is fairly short in the market to progress again, but his chance has to be respected.
The long, devouring stride of Eminent was a joy to behold in the Craven Stakes, but will he get going in time to beat some better colts here? I am not so sure.
Barney Roy beat DREAM CASTLE readily by two lengths in the Greenham Stakes at Newbury, but looked booked for second until finding an extra gear with 200 yards to run.
It could well be that the selection is a specialist over 7f.
However, if Silvestre de Sousa can hide him away in mid-pack and preserve that lightning turn of foot then Saeed bin Suroor’s colt could well exact revenge at a double-digit price.
1,000 Guineas on Sunday
When the market speaks in favour of an Aidan O’Brien charge you have to sit up and take notice and his WINTER reportedly put in a top-class piece of work earlier this week with a view to running in the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket on Sunday.
By Galileo, of course, out of the former Wokingham Handicap winner Laddies Poker Two, she has a nice balance of speed and stamina for the first fillies Classic of the season and showed she had trained on well in the 1,000 Guineas Trial at Leopardstown last month.
Given time to find her stride that day by Wayne Lordan she was hardly given a hard race when it was clear her chance had gone and I fancy that kindness will be repaid this weekend.
I am not so sure that Nell Gwyn winner Daban will see out a fast-run mile. A bigger danger, if both line up could come from her stablemate in the form of the Sepoy filly Dabyah, after she galloped on strongly to land the Fred Darling Stakes at Newbury.
By the way, a footnote to this race, Winter’s stablemate Rain Goddess is my long-term selection for the Epsom Oaks, She’s entered on Sunday but we’ll have to see if she stays in at Friday’s declaration stage. At the time of writing, she is 25/1 for the Oaks with Paddy Power so watch her with interest if lining up on Sunday with a view to the Epsom Classic next month.
Incidentally, Saturday’s Thirsk Hunt Cup (3.40pm) has always been a favourite of mine. I know that Brian Meehan thinks that his MUTARAKEZ is very well handicapped on his best form.
Be sure to get a double-figure price though for this one mile race on the turn as he’s been drawn in the car park in stall 18!
Back it up with an interest on the talented BRIYOUNI, better housed in stall seven and weighted to land one of these big handicaps this season for trainer Kevin Ryan.