Former Talksport man Charlie McCann marks your card with six to follow on Saturday at Goodwood, Uttoxeter and Newmarket. View selections below
The first two classics of the British flat racing season are the weekend highlights with Dawn Approach (3.50) looking to go one better than his sire New Approach who was beaten a nose by Henrythenavigator in the corresponding race back in 2008; unbeaten in six starts as a juvenile he will be wearing the Godolphin Blue although it is not confirmed whether Sheikh Mohammed will be at HQ to see his colt, who he purchased during his 2-y-o campaign, make his reappearance.
Currently 11/8 for the Qipco 2000 Guineas with BetVictor the colt is reported to be training well at Jim Bolger’s yard in Ireland but he will have to be on top of his game to beat Richard Hannon’s Toronado so impressive in the Craven Stakes over C&D last month. Jockey Richard Hughes was very taken with the win of the colt over Saturday’s C&D but he was given a soft lead and I just favour the Irish raider with the ground likely to be on the fast side of good.
If Garswood stays he would be a threat to all having looked a potential star when landing the European Free Handicap last time but this represents a huge step up in grade for Richard Fahey’s star 3-y-o, and he struck me as more of a potential winner of the Jersey Stakes over 7f at Royal Ascot when winning at Newmarket. Cristoforo Colombo will love the forecast fast ground and gets his conditions for the first time since Royal Ascot last year when beaten a length by Dawn Approach.
At Goodwood the lightly-raced Reckoning (2.20) can take the listed Warwick Stakes for Jeremy Noseda with the booking of Mickael Barzalona of particular interest; the filly won a Doncaster maiden on her sole start as a 2-y-old and only made one appearance last term when third at the same track back in November. The step up to 12f is a bit of a concern but she is bred improve with age and can take an interesting little contest.
Democretes (2.55) steps back up to an easy 7f having finished well over a furlong less at Windsor last time and, although 1lb higher, can make his presence felt with two recent runs under his belt. He has a good draw in stall six and in an ultra-competitive heat can reward each way support.
I have never been convinced that Moonlight Drive (3.40) is an out and out stayer and he can go well returning to 2m 4f; the selection travelled well at Doncaster last time over 3m and has been dropped 5lbs. In the absence of the injured AP McCoy Dougie Costello takes the mount at Uttoxeter and he can reward each way support in a cracking little heat.
Presenting Paddy (4.50) has been off the track for the best part of a year but he might have been let in lightly off a mark of 110; he has the scope to jump a fence but will love the good to firm ground at the Staffordshire track and will go off a big price.
In Sunday’s 1000 Guineas Hot Snap (3.50) worked all over the older filly Chigun last weekend and is reported to have improved since her win in the Nell Gwyn over 7f on her reappearance; she is bred to appreciate the step up to a mile and must be the selection for Sir Henry Cecil although she is 3lbs worse off with Sky Lantern on their Trial last month. Jockey Richard Hughes believes he can reverse the form on Sky Lantern but I’m not so sure and it’s Hot Snap for me.