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1.15 - Read Ryan Moore On Betting Betfair Handicap (6f)
He's up 8lb for last month's C&D win but CREATIVE FORCE was ridden confidently by William Buick in that season reappearance and did the job with a minimum of fuss, banishing memories of last summer's Coventry Stakes defeat at Ascot. He had a subsequent Group 3 winner behind in fifth in Rohaan and the gelded son of Dubawi is the type to improve still further and have pattern-race aspirations of his own before long.
Bickerstaffe made a winning return of his own at Pontefract last month, though fourth home Uncle Jumbo might have legitimate aims of turning that around given he enjoyed little luck in running that day. Perotto has to improve on seasonal return in all probability, while If You Dare makes his handicap debut for Mark Johnston and certainly hasn't been marked out of it from this opening perch.
1.50 - 'My Oddsboost' On Betfair Suffolk Stakes (Handicap, 1m 1f)
Both Maydanny and Bell Rock made winning comebacks last season and are to be respected here. The former hasn't quite gone on from his blistering Glorious Goodwood success over this 1m2f last summer but could get back on the up. Andrew Balding's charge meanwhile held his own in some big-field handicaps last term (fifth in that Goodwood race / third in the Cambridgeshire here) and has the 5lb claim of William Carver to assist.
The Godolphin pair of Bright Melody (Charlie Appleby) and Dubai Legacy (Saeed bin Suroor) look sure to run well but preference is for Hughie Morrison's STARCAT. He began last season with an ambitious appearance in the 2,000 Guineas on this card (seventh) and perhaps didn't quite progress as hoped afterwards. He did however shape well enough in handicaps at Goodwood and Doncaster over this trip and he's been eased to a mark of 91 now. The bang in-form James Doyle rides today and Starcat is very capable of getting back track this season at four.
2.25 - Betfair Palace House Stakes (Group 3, 5f)
Having found one too strong over 6f here in last season's comeback run, LAZULI enjoyed a fruitful summer, with Listed/Group 3 wins at Sandown and Newbury amongst his tally from four more starts. He's a sprinter with every chance of further improvement at four-years-old and he represents a trainer/jockey combination in a rich vein of form now. He's very capable of making all the running and he's already had one solid run in Dubai this spring to he's not coming in entirely from the cold. He's got a penalty to concede to these rivals but may well be good enough to do just that.
Aljady, Emaraaty Ana, Judicial and Came From The Dark all command maximum respect on their strongest efforts but Garrus could be the key danger for Charlie Hills. He was just collared at Newbury a fortnight ago by Came From The Dark over this trip and is now 4lb better off with that same rival.
3.00 - Betfair Exchange Jockey Club Stakes (Group 2, 1m4f)
Pyledriver was one of the success stories of last summer, winning the King Edward at Royal Ascot and the Great Voltigeur at York, while also managing a podium finish in the St Leger at Doncaster. He's due a chunk of respect and should find conditions optimal on seasonal return under regular pilot Martin Dwyer.
Sir Ron Priestley is one of two runners for Mark Johnston and he defied a 571-day absence at the start of April to win a Listed Nottingham contest over 1m6f on good to firm ground - his first appearance since the 2019 St Leger (second). He won that Nottingham race well despite being easy to back before the off and the second, Ocean Wind, chased home Stradivarius in midweek at Ascot. There is just the slightest fear this second run back from a long absence might catch him out.
Thunderous and Pablo Escobarr cannot be dismissed with certainty in a tight contest but there's no doubting that AL ZARAQAAN is plenty exciting for William Haggas in the Shadwell colours. The Golden Horn colt was well held on debut over 7f (soft) here in October 2019 but has won all four starts since at 1m2f-1m4f. He had plenty in hand on his recent return at Kempton and retains potential for better still back on the grass.
3.40 - Qipco 2,000 Guineas Stakes (Group 1, 1m)
The first British Classic of the new season and the Guineas has attracted a stellar field of 15 runners to the Rowley Mile. Arch-rivals Coolmore and Godolphin fire three apiece at this quarter-of-a-million target, though the prize money will be secondary to having a Classic winner amongst their crop of three-year-old colts.
Master Of The Seas, Naval Crown and One Ruler are the trio in Godolphin blue, all trained by Charlie Appleby. The first-named is the choice of William Buick and got up late to bag the Craven here 16 days ago having had far from the perfect trip. He's got improvement in him but will surely need it.
One Ruler had some of these behind when winning a C&D Group 3 in October and makes his reappearance today with plenty of positive vibes having emanated from Newmarket in the run-up to this contest. He can play a hand under James Doyle.
Aidan O'Brien's bid for a fifth win in seven year is also three-pronged - with Wembley heading the betting and being joined by stablemates Van Gogh and BATTLEGROUND.
Ryan Moore sides with Dewhurst runner-up Wembley and he's got an obvious claim as St Mark's Basilica - winner of that end-of-season Group 1 here - remains at home. He's got a solid form chance, though he was readily turned over in the National Stakes last season by the superior turn of foot from Joseph O'Brien's Thunder Moon (third in the Dewhurst). He is very much respected.
Frankie Dettori picks up the ride on Battleground for Ballydoyle and having the Italian cannot be construed as any kind of slight. A Royal Ascot winner on his second run last season, Battleground also impressed with his Group 2 Vintage Stakes win at Glorious Goodwood in July and is easily enough forgiven a near miss in the Breeders' Cup at Keeneland, as things didn't go his way and he rattled home fast. The War Front colt is a big burgeoning sort that should progress at three and he can start with a bang.
Mutasaabeq was supplemented into this after a C&D handicap romp recently but needs more now, while Chindit was back on form on his seasonal return but does need to prove himself on this track after his Dewhurst flop - if he handles the dip better he could be a big factor.
For value, Lucky Vega was right in the mix with the likes of Thunder Moon, Wembley and Master Of The Seas in the National Stakes at the Curragh last season - a race in which Jessica Harrington's colt was joint-fav - before suffering a luckless passage and finishing close enough in fifth. If he stays the mile he could be a major player at a juicy price.
4.15 - Betfair Exchange Handicap (6f)
Count Otto switched back to the turf with a C&D success in April, just holding off Chil Chil in second spot. Andrew Balding's mare was having her first start of the season and will certainly fancy another crack now.
That pair are joined on the shortlist by Great Ambassador, a decisive winner at Kempton in March over his trip on first start for Ed Walker after making the move from Ralph Beckett's yard. He's got to build on that from 7lb higher back on turf but could be capable of doing just that.
RAAEB however gets the nod to carry top-weight to victory. The Raven's Pass colt improved on his recent handicap bow at Chelmsford, getting to the lead late on and seemingly doing so with something in reserve in first-time cheekpieces. A 3lb rise isn't excessive and there should be more forthcoming from the Godolphin inmate, who appears to go well in Jim Crowley's hands.
4.50 - Betfair Newmarket Stakes (Listed, 1m2f)
SECRET PROTECTOR joined stablemate Highland Avenue in pulling right away from the field over 1m1f here last month in the Feilden Stakes and was eventually touched off by improving rival. This War Front colt had earlier won on the turf in Meydan in February and a repeat of that course form 18 days ago should be good enough for him to bag his prize.
There isn't a lot to separate the remaining trio in all truth. Mohaafeth is 2-2 this season already and had plenty up his sleeve in his recent C&D handicap success - he fully merits a shot in this grade and might just shade Chelmsford winner Indigo Jones for the silver medal.
5.25 - Betfair Weighed-In Podcast Handicap (1m)
A six-runner finale in which the majority of runners have plenty scope for improvement. Magical Land has been second in all three starts thus far, the Frankel colt most recently taking that slot behind a front-running maiden winner over 7f here last month. More to come from him up in distance now sent handicapping.
Zwelela is getting used to winning, while Longlai won on the scoresheet at Beverley last week on his comeback and Crossford was second over C&D on his seasonal bow, leaving the impression he will have more to give.
Mark Johnston's FOREST FALCON hasn't done much wrong in runner-up finishes at Musselburgh and Newcastle this term and Franny Norton's mount could snap that run of second-itis with more to come from him. He's chosen to land a very trappy finale.
3.40 - Qipco 1,000 Guineas Stakes (Group 1, 1m)
Aidan O'Brien has been at pains to suggest SANTA BARBARA has an element of greenness to her but she still has a compelling chance of giving the Ballydoyle maestro his seventh success in this fillies' Classic and a remarkable fifth in six years after glories for Minding, Winter, Hermosa and Love lately.
This Camelot filly won her maiden at the Curragh in September in good style, the only time we've seen her on the racecourse. There's tons up improvement to come and she will have been working alongside a superstar team her in work at home building up to this. Pointedly, her trainer also suggests: 'Anything she works with, she always looks to be going easier than it, no matter what we work her with.'
Santa Barbara is a short price but she may have the class to go and bag this Rowley Mile contest.
The alternatives include Saffron Beach, who knows this place well, and Sacred - who just touched off the former in the Nell Gwyn over 7f here last month. They are key players but Pretty Gorgeous could be the big threat to the market leader.
The Joseph O'Brien-trained Lawman filly boasts the best form, is proven at Newmarket following last season's Group 1 Fillies' Mile win (soft) here. She has also gone close in the Moyglare in Ireland on good ground and should have plenty improvement in her at three-years-old.
Selection: Santa Barbara
Next Best: Pretty Gorgeous
QIPCO GUINEAS FESTIVAL ODDS AVAILABLE HERE