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Newmarket Guineas Festival Preview - Day 2

Newmarket Guineas Festival Preview - Day 2

It's the first British Classic of the new season on Saturday afternoon as Newmarket provides the backdrop for the Qipco 2000 Guineas - which sees the finest three-year-olds clash over the famous Rowley Mile. Locally-based trainer Charlie Appleby will be hoping Native Trail can bag him a first Guineas win, but the unbeaten Godolphin colt faces a strong field of 14 rivals here. They race at Newmarket from 1.15pm-5.25pm and the Racing Post previews all the action at Headquarters.


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1.15pm - British EBF Kilvington Stakes (Fillies' & Mares' Listed, 6f)

FLOTUS is the logical choice based on her final two-year-old start, where she chased home Tenebrism in the Cheveley Park Stakes over course and distance.

After winning a Goodwood maiden in May, the Starspangledbanner filly initially found things tougher in pattern-race company before coming up with an impressive display in the Listed 2YO Trophy at Redcar in August immediately prior to that second here.

Tenebrism is clear favourite for the 1000 Guineas here on Sunday, but it's no great surprise to find Simon & Ed Crisford sticking to sprinting for now with Flotus and she's got excellent claims.

Umm Kulthum wasn't far off in the Group 2 Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock (6f, heavy) last May, but has been absent since. Richard Fahey's daughter of Kodiac has the form to be a player if all is well after 343 days away.

The oldest contender is Gale Force Maya, a solid barometer in her career and winner of a C&D handicap 18 days ago in her comeback. Michael Dods' six-year-old should give a good account.

Selection: Flotus

Next Best: Umm Kulthum

 

1.50pm - My Odds Boost On Betfair Handicap (Heritage Handicap, 6f)

No shortage of familiar names in the sprint handicap sphere for this contest, the likes of Summerghand, Justanotherbottle and Mr Wagyu long established at this discipline. The first pair have had a run, which favours them over John Quinn's challenger today, though you can never cross any of them off.

Jumby made some eye-catching progress late on in the Group 3 Abernant Stakes here earlier in the month and is set for another good season on that evidence. Eve Johnson Houghton's charge should be in the firing line under red-hot William Buick again.

Run To Freedom was right behind him at the finish line that afternoon, having made good ground himself late on, and Henry Candy's charge is now 7lb better off and high on the shortlist returned to a handicap.

Top-weight Tactical has undergone a wind operation over the winter and has certainly been cut some slack by the assessor, he should go well for Andrew Balding, Ryan Moore and The Queen.

ABOVE didn't quite see out 7f here recently but it does appear as though trainer Stuart Williams is starting to get the best from him, after he initially struggled having moved from Archie Watson last summer. He may well be lurking on a decent mark off 93 with the excellent Marco Ghiani on board dropped in trip.

Selection: Above

Next Best: Run To Freedom

 

2.25pm - Betfair Daily Rewards Suffolk Handicap (Heritage Handicap, 1m1f)

The market here is giving due respect to Dhahabi in the Godolphin blue for Charlie Appleby and William Buick. The Frankel colt has not raced since October 2020, when he was third over a mile here in the Group 3 Autumn Stakes behind stablemate One Ruler.

That was only his third appearance and it was a strong level of form. His absence since is clearly something of a concern and, in truth, the handicapper hasn't taken any undue risks with this mark of 103 so he's one to take on as forecast favourite.

FOREST FALCON ended last season with wins at Carlisle and Yarmouth for Mark & Charlie Johnston and this month's comeback on the all-weather at Chelmsford was largely positive.

He finished third there in a solid race and is reunited with Joe Fanning now back on the grass from the same mark. The son of Raven's Pass has a good draw from which to deploy the sort of positive tactics that have in the past worked well and he should be right there at the finish.

Fast Medicine readily put distance between himself and he field in a Class 4 event at Nottingham over the extended-mile on his comeback this month for Peter Chapple-Hyam. This unexposed sort shouldn't be overburdened by a 5lb penalty for that win, albeit he's in amongst better horses now.

Lucander was unfortunate not to win last season, ending the campaign with back-to-back seconds, and he has a strong record when fresh so there's every chance that Ralph Beckett's five-year-old will be one of the leading each-way contenders here.

Selection: Forest Falcon

Next Best: Lucander

 

3.00pm - Betfair Palace House Stakes (Group 3, 5f)

Twilight Calls won a handicap over C&D this month in fine style, held up for a run under a confident ride from David Probert and getting there with plenty authority despite giving weight to the field. The Cheveley Park-owned gelding was making it 2-2 over track and trip and, on that evidence, he is well worth a crack in this grade.

Tis Marvellous is the old boy in the line-up but ended last term winning three of his final four starts, including a pair of Listed contests at Beverley and Ascot, either side of a close third behind today's rival Hurricane Ivor at Newbury (form that was reversed on soft at Ascot next time).

Came From The Dark was a Sandown winner in this grade last summer and Ed Walker's charge should strip fit and ready to go for this comeback run with Hollie Doyle on board.

He is well matched with ARECIBO on that form and Robert Cowell (also runs 4YO Atalis Bay) will be hoping Jamie Spencer's mount has a leading role to play here. His strike-rate isn't the best but he won a handicap over C&D first time out last season and was a fine second in the King's Stand at Royal Ascot in June before the Sandown Group 3 second.

He's been nothing if not reliable since joining this trainer and should go well.

Selection: Arecibo

Next Best: Twilight Calls

 

3.40pm - Qipco 2000 Guineas Stakes (Group 1, 1m)

Charlie Appleby's string have been in superb fettle in recent weeks and hopes are high that Native Trail can give him his first Guineas winner. The Godolphin-owned son of Oasis Dream has won all five starts, two at Group 1 level including the Dewhurst here in the autumn, and he showed his well-being in landing the Craven over C&D 17 days ago.

That was perhaps more of a battle than expected at one stage, given he was the 1/4fav, but ultimately he had 3½-lengths in hand on Claymore once he hit full cry having met the rising ground. He should be sharper for that comeback and he is the one they all must beat here.

Stablemate Coroebus gives Appleby a strong second-string. He won 2-3 starts as a juvenile - all of them here over a mile - including the Group 3 Autumn Stakes when last spotted.

A line through Imperial Fighter sees that form closely knitted with LUXEMBOURG on his Vertem Futurity Stakes win at Doncaster, but there could be plenty more to come from Aidan O'Brien's uneaten son of Camelot.

The Ballydoyle supremo is bidding for a sixth Guineas win since 2012 and his last two winners of that Doncaster Group 1 have followed up here in the spring.

The Town Moor race is a proper stamina test for a two-year-old and Luxembourg will be bidding to do what his sire Camelot did in taking out this race on his seasonal comeback.

Getting one ready at home is no issue for O'Brien and Ryan Moore's mount is taken to burst Native Trail bubble.

Greenham winner Perfect Power has the potential to be a major player for Richard Fahey and Christophe Soumillon if his stamina holds out, while Frankie Dettori has picked up the ride on Royal Ascot winner Point Lonsdale for O'Brien and they are not to be dismissed in any haste.

Selection: Luxembourg

Next Best: Native Trail

 

4.15pm - Read Tony Calvin's Tips On Betting.Betfair Handicap (1m4f)

Tritonic has enjoyed a solid season over hurdles and is interesting back on the level for Alan King. He's on a fair mark and handles both track and trip.

Preference is for the one at the other end of the racecard, however, as CONTACT bids to go one better than his recent Thirsk comeback for David Barron. He was a bit keen in that race and was overhauled late by Get Shirty, David O'Meara's charge going close again since from a higher mark at Ripon, while the form of that race has been boosted a few times elsewhere.

This is tougher but he should be sharper now and, carrying just 8st 12lb with Ben Curtis in the plate this afternoon, he could be well-handicapped.

Love Is Golden didn't get much luck in the run at Epsom over shorter last time when finishing third and he should be better suited at this 1m4f trip in any case.

Selection: Contact

Next Best: Love Is Golden

 

4.50pm - Betfair Exchange Handicap (1m)

A small but talented field. Spirit Catcher and Tempo Star were last-time-out winners and should have more to offer for Mark Johnston and Ralph Beckett respectively, while Private Signal was runner-up on handicap bow at Newbury a fortnight ago and gets first-time cheekpieces now - he does look second-best of the two Charlie Appleby runners however.

Razzle Dazzle was a promising 2YO last season, albeit beaten on his final start, and could have more to offer before long for Richard Hannon. The booking of Ryan Moore is promising but an opening mark of 94 and top-weight makes this tough enough.

KING OF TIME gets the nod from William Buick and is unbeaten after two runs on the all-weather at Lingfield over a mile. He hasn't been overly flashy but he came clear with a previous winner last time and won with something in hand.

The gelded son of Kingman gets to start life in handicaps off 86 and the 8lb he's getting from Razzle Dazzle should prove too much to bear for the latter at this moment in time.

Selection: King Of Time

Next Best: Razzle Dazzle

 

5.25pm - Betfair Weighed-In Podcast Handicap (6f)

INGRA TOR was well held over 7f here on debut in the autumn but Mick Channon's Churchill colt could be a different proposition now.

He came out in March to win a Southwell novice (6f) with more in hand than a one-length margin suggested and he was a trifle unfortunate not to follow up at Kempton this month, inched out in a tight three-way finish by 50/1 outsider Nationwide, with useful looking Lir Speciale behind in third for the Roger Varian team.

The winner and the fourth from that novice event have won their next starts and an opening mark of 82 looks to be within reach for Rob Hornby's mount.

Recent C&D scorer Anadora is only 2lb worse off with second and third Loves Me Likearock and Harry Three, so has every chance of confirming those placings.

After winning two of his first three on the all-weather, Muhaarar colt Annaf was quietly fancied for a Conditions event on All-Weather Finals Day at Newcastle recently. Mick Appleby's charge ran fourth that day, no disgrace in what was a warm race, well clear of the remainder.

The handicapper hasn't taken any undue risks for this turf bow with a mark of 96, but Theodore Ladd takes off 3lb in the saddle and they should once more be an each-way proposition with scope for better on the grass.

Selection: Ingra Tor

Next Best: Annaf

 

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