Former Talksport man Charlie McCann marks your card with six to follow on Saturday and Sunday at Newmarket. View selections below
The first classic of the 2015 flat season takes place this afternoon with nineteen going to post for the Qipco 2000 Guineas run over the Rowley Mile at Newmarket. The market is headed by Gleneagles who was an impressive winner of the National Stakes at the Curragh as a juvenile and first past the post in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at Longchamp on Arc day although he did lose the French race in the Stewards’ room having shifted right inside the final furlong.
Having backed Gleneagles at 4/1 I am loath to oppose him but I have also supported the second Ballydoyle colt Ol’ Man River (3.45) and hope this son of Montjeu can maintain his unbeaten record and give Aidan O’Brien a seventh win in the colts’ classic.
Some will suggest Montjeu’s need further and softer ground but that didn’t stop Camelot winning the corresponding race back in 2012 and Ol’ Man River’s dam Finsceal Beo won a fast ground Guineas herself back in 2007.
The selection won both starts as a juvenile including the Group 2 Beresford Stakes back in September and whilst many believe his best chance of classic glory is at Epsom next month I’m not convinced he’ll stay the Derby trip and he is reported to have blossomed in recent days having been slow to come to hand this spring. The selection is 6/1 at BetVictor and can reward each way support.
Telescope (3.05) is impossible to oppose in the Jockey Club Stakes for Sir Michael Stoute who won the corresponding race 12 months ago with Gospel Choir. The selection was last seen finishing a close fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Santa Anita back in November and should make a winning reappearance.
The lightly-raced Twilight Son (4.20) represents the yard of Henry Candy who won this corresponding race back in 2011 with Seal Rock and this son of Kyllachy was unbeaten in two starts as a 2-year-old. There is no suggestion that the selection is as good as his stablemate Limato but he is an exciting young sprinter in his own right and is one to follow.
I was fortunate enough to visit Manor House Stables in Cheshire midweek home of Tom Dascombe and one horse who looked in rude health was Crowley’s Law (4.05) who makes her seasonal reappearance in the listed Conqueror Stakes this afternoon. The filly looked to have very well from three to four and flew up the home gallops. She must give 13lbs to the younger Tigrilla but at 4/1 with BetVictor she gets the vote despite having a bit to find on official figures.
The fillies’ take centre stage on Sunday with Lucida a worthy favourite for Jim Bolger in the Godolphin silks. The filly won the Rockfel Stakes here over 7f back in September before disappointing on soft ground in the Fillies’ Mile and has been very well backed in recent days especially as doubts emerged about the well-being of antepost favourite Found who was not declared to run on Friday morning.
Lucida (4/1 at BetVictor) must go close but Jellicle Ball (3.40) gets the each way vote at 11/1 with BetVictor despite her lack of experience. The filly won her sole start as a juvenile in a 7f Kempton maiden before finishing runner up in the Fred Darling having been slowly away at Newbury last month.
Trainer John Gosden suggested the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot might be her best opportunity for Gp 1 success with his daughter of Invincible Spirit but she looks sure to appreciate the step up to a mile and is entitled to improve on her return. Note there is rain forecast for Sunday and the selection wouldn’t want the ground to deteriorate markedly.
There is more to come from Agent Murphy (1.50) this year and this lightly-raced 4-y-old represents the inform yard of Brian Meehan. The selection won his first couple of starts before running well in defeat stepped up in trip and he put up a career best effort when third of 18 stepped up to 12f for the first time at Ascot back in September.