• Mon 25 Sep, 2017
  • 09:08 BST
  • 05:08 EST (BST-4)
  • 11:08 CEST (BST+2)

Five to follow on Saturday

Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, puts up five tips at Newmarket on Saturday. View selections below.

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THE cream should rise to the top in the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket, with CHURCHILL (3.35) taken to ward off classy French raider Al Wukair.

With only 10 runners going to post for the first Classic of the season it’s a question of quality over quantity and Churchill sets the bar high.

Europe’s champion two-year-old is reported in good shape by Aidan O’Brien and today’s race with shape his future Epsom Derby plans. Churchill was particularly impressive in the Dewhurst last autumn, a trip to HQ which will stand him in good stead.

Al Wukair was an impressive winner of the Prix Djebel at Maisons-Lafitte, breaking the track record seemingly with something still in reserve. Andre Fabre could have a very good colt on his hands.

Of the home contingent, Barney Row was strong at the finish when mopping up the Greenham at Newbury, so this mile should be ideal. His backers will be hoping he has recovered fully from those exertions in a fairly quick turnaround.

Unbeaten Eminent, a son of Frankel, is dual winner on the Rowley Mile, which has to be a bonus. He beat Rivet by a length and three quarters, but the runner-up doesn’t line up, instead seeking a Classic success on foreign shores.

Churchill remains the standout on last year’s form but it will be interesting to see if he remains strong at the head of the market come post time.

There is something for everyone on an excellent support card and GOLDREAM (2.20) could well outrun his big odds in the Group 3 Palace House Stakes.

Robert Cowell’s durable sprinter has won twice at this meeting, including this contest in 2015, and goes well fresh. He didn’t cut much ice last season but the decision to bypass a winter a Dubai may reward an each-way interest.

Frankie Dettori rides stablemate Ornate, second to Brando, and this speedy maiden should also figure along with O’Brien’s Washington DC and Richard Fahey speedball Kimberella (ex-Dandy Nicholls).

Ryan Moore has a good book of rides and BALLET CONCERTO (1.50) could be one for Sir Michael Stoute in the 1m 1f handicap.

Ballet Concerto has won three of his last four outings, most recently accounting for 20 rivals at Doncaster, and he could be a Pattern horse before the end of the summer. A 5lb rise is fair and the only time he encountered fast ground came at Yarmouth last year when trouncing his rivals.

Godolphin’s Next Stage is an obvious threat on the back of his gutsy success in a tough handicap here at the Craven meeting.

SEVENTH HEAVEN (2.55) can strike for the fair sex in the Jockey Club Stakes. O’Brien pitched her into the highest class last season and his filly responded with victories in the Irish and Yorkshire Oaks. There was plenty to like about her second to Jack Hobbs in the Dubai Sheema Classic and she gets the nod over Across The Stars.

The Stoute-trained colt made no show in the Derby but appreciated the drop in class when landing the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot before ending the season with a third place in the Great Voltigeur at York. His trainer is masterful with these type of four-year-olds.

Gallic interest is represented by Arc sixth One Foot In Heaven.

Roger Varian has made a very lively start to the campaign and VICTORY ANGEL (4.10) looked one to have on your side when accounting for some smart handicappers at HQ last month.

An 11lb rise is fairly harsh but winning course form, plus the manner in which he handled the fast ground that day, points to a prominent showing in the six-furlong handicap.

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