Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, picks six to follow on Saturday at Newmarket, Thirsk, Goodwood and Doncaster. Selections
IT is the day of reckoning for Frankel in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas and the racing industry will be hoping for a super show to reinforce his growing public appeal. Trading around 1-2, Henry Cecil’s physically-imposing colt isn’t a working man’s price and the each-way alternative is Ireland’s unbeaten colt PATHFORK (3.10). Trainer Jessica Harrington could hardly have her string in better nick, landing a double at Tipperary on Thursday evening.
Best bet of the day at Newmarket is DANDINO (2.30) in an intriguing QIPCO Jockey Club Stakes. Dandino smashed the course record on his Ripon comeback against minor opposition, further cementing the considerable reputation he attained in an excellent three-year-old campaign. James Given is spoilt for choice as he also saddles recent scorer Indian Days with a leading chance.
At Thirsk, ESTOURAH (2.25) has a poor draw to overcome in the Toteswinger Maiden Stakes but should be up to the task if able to build on two placed efforts as a two-year-old. The Godolphin colt ran third to the Queen’s exciting Derby entry Carlton House at Newbury last October and is bred to appreciate this 1m 4f test.
IMPERIAL DJAY (4.45) pulled too hard for his own good in a small field at Redcar earlier this week but should be able to get some cover in this competitive handicap. On his last visit to Thirsk, Imperial Djay sauntered home by a wide margin after travelling well off the pace.
Roger Varian has made a bright start to his training career, slipping seemlessly into the shoes vacated by Michael Jarvis, and FERDOOS (2.15) could be the answer to the Totesport Fillies’ Stakes at Goodwood. She still looked green when beaten a nose by Polly’s Mark at Ascot in September and can take her revenge on Clive Cox’s tough mare.
At Doncaster, FRONTLINE PHANTOM (5.35) can supplement his easy victory over course and distance at the Lincoln fixture. With a couple of trailblazers in the line-up, apprentice Matthew Lawson should get a nice tow into the race.
In Sunday’s QIPCO 1000 Guineas, the cheers could be ringing out for HOORAY (3.15). The Cheveley Park filly won her final three races last season, culminating in a Group 1 victory at HQ, and she can continue her upward curve for Sir Mark Prescott.