The first Classics of the season take place at Newmarket this weekend with Saturday’s Qipco 2000 Guineas and Sunday’s Qipco 1000 Guineas, both set to be run at 3.40pm. We will provide Horse Racing tips, previews and predictions for both one mile contests which date back to 1809 and 1814 respectively.
One of the main supporting races on Saturday’s card is the Group 3 Betfair Palace House Stakes at 2.25pm. We will also supply a Horse Racing tip for this race run over the minimum trip which has attracted a field of nine sprinters.
Our Tip for the 2.25pm at Newmarket:
Perhaps not the best renewal of this Group 3 speed test, but what it lacks in quality it makes up for in the competitive nature of the race. The betting is headed by the Godolphin representative Lazuli, who started an odds-on favourite for a Limited Handicap at Meydan in January, but could finish only third.
Several of these have a fitness advantage, including Came From The Dark and Garrus who finished 1-2 at Newbury two weeks ago. This can go to the north however, courtesy of the Julie Camacho-trained Judicial.
Runner-up in this race last year (run in June), the nine-year-old went on to win races at Newcastle and Chester, on the latter occasion beating fellow rival Emaraaty Ana comfortably and now enjoys a 5lb pull in the weights.
The mount of Callum Rodriguez has a good record fresh and a repeat of last year’s effort should be more than good enough to go one better in what looks a weaker race.
Our Tip for the 2000 Guineas:
The main clue to the outcome of the first Classic of the season could come in last year’s Group 1 Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes at the Curragh in September.
That seven furlong contest was won by the Joseph O’Brien-trained Thunder Moon from Ballydoyle’s Wembley, the two horses currently at the head of the market for Saturday’s historic one mile test.
At a much bigger price however, it is the horse who finished an unlucky fifth in that race, Lucky Vega, who represents the best value bet in what looks a wide-open renewal.
The Jessica Harrington-trained son of Lope De Vega got no run at all when having to be checked twice inside the final furlong. But was still only beaten two and a half lengths, just behind fellow rival Master Of The Seas who is a much shorter price following his recent victory in the Craven Stakes.
Shane Foley’s mount ended his two-year-old career with a respectable half length second to leading juvenile Supremacy in the Middle Park Stakes. That drop back to 6f may not have been ideal for Lucky Vega, who should appreciate stepping up to a mile. At a double-figure price and with most bookmakers offering four places, the colt looks a fair each-way bet to make the frame at the very least.
Our Tip for the 1000 Guineas:
If the noises coming from Ballydoyle are to be believed, the first fillies’ Classic of the season is little more than a foregone conclusion for the once-raced Santa Barbara.
To say the daughter of Camelot has been impressive in her homework would be an understatement, and if the hype proves justified, Irish maestro Aidan O’Brien could have another superstar on his hands.
However, on the back of just a victory in a Curragh maiden race to her name, odds in the region of 6/4 make no appeal whatsoever.The Joseph O’Brien-trained Pretty Gorgeous boasts strong claims based on several top class efforts as a juvenile. But at a much bigger price, the vote goes to the Jane Chapple-Hyam-trained Saffron Beach.
The New Bay filly won both of her starts as a two-year-old, including the Group 3 Oh So Sharp Stakes on the course last October. A three quarters of a length runner-up to fellow rival Sacred on her reappearance in the Nell Gwyn Stakes, Adam Kirby’s mount looked as if she would come on for the run. If coming from a more fashionable stable, Saffron Beach would be a few points shorter in the betting. But her talented handler can emulate the small stable of Pam Sly who took the race with Speciosa in 2006.
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