By News Team
4th June 2020
The first Classics of the flat racing season takes place this weekend with the 2000 and 1000 Guineas at Newmarket taking centre stage on a fantastic weekend of action.
Here is our preview of both Group 1 contests.
Kameko can shock Pinatubo in 2000 Guineas
Given the favourite for the 2000 Guineas on Saturday, Pinatubo, is six from six and has achieved a lofty rating of 128, it might seem foolish to look elsewhere, however, in KAMEKO he looks to have a worthy competitor.
Before touching on him, it’s worth making the case for Charlie Appleby’s contender, who is clearly one of the most exciting horses we’ve seen on these shores for a while. People begun to take notice when Pinatubo bolted up five lengths at Glorious Goodwood, but it was his nine-length demolition job at the Curragh in the Group Superlative Stakes which really showed we might have a superstar on our hands.
He didn’t have conditions in his favour at Newmarket in the Dewhurst, but he still got the job done well and he is very much the one to beat at 5/6.
Arizona (11/2) has, according to reports, been working the house down and Aidan O’Brien’s runner is another obvious contender. O’Brien has won the race a record 10 times and although his main hope is not perhaps as flashy as some of his other Guineas runners, he has to be respected.
Jockey Oisin Murphy is yet to taste a victory in a Classic but that could change aboard the aforementioned Kameko, who is available at 7/1. The son of Kitten’s Joy has already won the seven-furlong Solario Stakes, but notably he seemed to thrive when stepped up to a mile in both the Royal Lodge at Newmarket and Vertem Futurity Trophy at Newcastle.
He was just touched off at Newmarket, but he was an impressive winner at Newcastle by over three lengths, beating some very well-regarded types and he has strong claims of adding another Group 1 to his CV on Saturday.
Harrington could have another star filly on her hands with Millisle
If there is one trainer who we know is good with a filly then it’s Jessica Harrington. The Irish handler has had some great female horses including four-time Group 1 winner Alpha Centauri and she could have another one on her hands in MILLISLE, who lines up in the 1000 Guineas on Sunday and could make it a weekend to remember for her jockey Murphy.
11/2 for the first fillies’ Classic of the season, the daughter of Starspangledbanner has run five times in her career and hasn’t finished out of the first two in any of them. She won a Listed contest at the Curragh, before finishing a close second in Dick Poole Stakes at Salisbury. Although that was a good run, she was sent off a relatively unfancied 16/1 shot for the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket, but she ran out a very impressive winner.
Millisle is untried over further than six furlongs, but the way she finished her race last time suggests this trip should hold no fears, and the fact that Harrington has booked Murphy speaks volumes of the chance she thinks her filly has.