There are no less than 21 races on ITV over three days and we have another bumper afternoon Sunday at Haydock and Newmarket with the feature being the 1000 Guineas.
Let’s get straight to it people!
We start at Newmarket with a Listed event over 1m 4f for four-year-olds. I am a huge fan of TRUESHAN, who is going to make into a fabulous hurdler one day for Alan King.
He’s already proved decent on the Flat, and while ideally he would prefer softer ground, there is every chance he can prove hard to catch here as a strong stayer on turf. Communique and First in Line are the dangers.
Next at Newmarket is a handicap over 1m 2f. I like the look of the progressive DESERT ICON here, even though he has suffered a defeat by the re-opposing Good Birthday.
William Haggas has been in great form Down Under during lockdown and I expect his stable to have a cracking season. Desert Icon stays this trip strong and has Tom Marquand on board which is another plus.
This is a Listed contest over 1m 2f for fillies. Not much to go on here, and it’s quite possible the John Gosden-runner Tiempo Vuela will take all the beating. But, I’ll have a few quid each-way on the more exposed ALPEN ROSE for Godolphin and Charlie Appleby.
She has to bounce back from a poor run at the end of last season, but before that she was third in the May Hill at Doncaster and that’s pretty class form. William Buick takes the ride.
The big one, the 1000 Guineas for fillies which is a Group 1 over 1m. I tipped up QUADRILATERAL at 9/2 a long time ago in this column and in the Sun newspaper, and I am still full of hope. Many question whether she has the speed for this, including her trainer Roger Charlton.
But, she’s a big filly and I just believe she was really green as a juvenile. She will have learnt a lot from the Fillies Mile success and will run right to the line. I love her and hope she wins well. Shimmering is the most interesting of the outsiders, but has a mountain to find for Gosden and Dettori on her win at Lingfield last term.
This is a Group 3 for fillies and mares over nearly 1m4f. Gosden will expect a big run from the improver Fanny Logan who was far from disgraced at the Breeders’ Cup and now steps up in distance. I like proven stayer MANUELA DE VEGA who gives Rob Hornby a fabulous chance for Ralph Beckett.
The filly did not win last season, but ran some brave and good races in defeat, including when fourth in the Oaks at Epsom behind Anapurna. This distance is perfect for her and she deserves to get a success on the board. Any rain won’t be a problem.
Next at Haydock is the Group 3 Brigadier Gerard Stakes – usually run at Sandown – over 1m2f. This is a cracking renewal, and it will be interesting to see how Telecaster does on the return. He looked so good in the Dante.
In some ways ELARQAM has something to prove for Mark Johnston, have blown out at Leopardstown in the Irish Champion Stakes when last raced in September. However, prior to that he had been third at York in the Juddmonte International and if can repeat that effort behind Japan and Crystal Ocean he’s going to take some stopping.
And finally, we’ve got a Listed event over nearly 7f. SAFE VOYAGE landed this contest in 2019 and he improved and went from strength-to-strength last season. He’s got to give weight to some of these, but if ready on the return should have every chance of at least a place for Jason Hart and John Quinn.
So best of luck and pray for Yeeehaaas. You hear me Paddy?
* Prices correct at publishing but are subject to change except on our snazzy new bet widget which is bang up to date.
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