By News Team
Last Updated: 5th June 2020
What a weekend of racing we have in store with the first Classics of the season, the 1000 and 2000 Guineas, at Newmarket the highlights of some brilliant action.
Nick Luck has previewed it all for us at William Hill.
Godolphin might March to victory
You have to go back 21 years to find the last Godolphin-owned 2000 Guineas (3:35pm) winner trained in Newmarket. I think the wait is over, but perhaps not how you might expect. The 1999 hero was the forgettable Island Sands, who achieved his feat on the July Course while the Rowley Mile was rebuilt.
There was certainly nothing forgettable about the two-year-old career of this year’s favourite, Pinatubo, so superior at Goodwood and at the Curragh last year that he seemed almost too good to be true. What the Charlie Appleby-trained colt has achieved is so far clear of his opposition that you could argue 5/6 is not a bad price.
That the Guineas is a month later, however, may not be to the advantage of a horse who looked so complete physically and mentally last year. Put simply, his rivals have had more time than usual to develop and catch up compared to a normal year and although bred to stay a mile, Pinatubo is yet to race beyond seven furlongs.
With rain in the forecast, I will chance MILITARY MARCH each-way at 16/1 for the man who trained Island Sands, Saeed bin Suroor.
Though Bin Suroor is a mild-mannered chap, he unlikely to give it the full Kevin Keegan, but it’s fair to say that he would “love it” if he upset the hotpot from the owner’s more lavishly stocked stable.
I adored this horse both times I saw him last year, thought he had masses still to offer, and that a mile was an absolute minimum for him. There may be runners in here with more explosive speed, but Military March is not slow and will be finishing best of all. He is drawn near Royal Dornoch and Mum’s Tipple, both certain to be up with the pace, and, provided he can latch on to their coattails, he should be right in the mix.
I’m fearful of Ralph Beckett’s Kinross at 14/1, who looked freakishly talented on his debut here last year, while Wichita, with Frankie Dettori aboard, might prove best of Aidan O’Brien’s quartet at 10/1.
Palace House victory could await Moss Gill
One of the first big sprint races of the season is the Palace House Stakes (1:50pm) and, with no real standout performer in here, I’m hoping that MOSS GILL can improve into a Group horse for James Bethell.
He never stopped improving through a busy season last year, showing versatility as well as a tremendous attitude. He has a stalk-and-pounce style perfectly suited to this race and the booking of James Doyle shows intent. He looks the one to be with at 11/2.
Queen to Power home in Dahlia
The Dahlia Stakes (2:25pm) – named for one of the great racemares of the modern era – has drawn a small but far field of seven runners, but I’m hoping that QUEEN POWER turns out to be smart and shows it here.
Sir Michael Stoute’s team has made a bright belated start to the season, has won this race six times, and is sure to squeeze a bit more improvement out of this well-bred filly, who was given a light campaign last year.
She looked every bit as good as Group One performers Star Catcher and Fleeting at Royal Ascot before lack of experience found her out and at 3/1 may not have as much to find with the market leaders as ratings suggest.
Prince Of Arran the pick in Sagaro at Newcastle
With UK racing now back on, full marks to Newcastle racecourse for bearing such a heavy load this week. On an afternoon when they have been justly rewarded with some good sport, they can host a popular winner in PRINCE OF ARRAN in the rerouted Sagaro Stakes (2:40pm).
You might think that there is nothing you don’t know about Charlie Fellowes’s superb globetrotter, but it is worth remembering that despite his heroic efforts in two Melbourne Cups and the Saudi Cup Turf, his best career figure was posted on this track when trying to give five pounds to today’s rival Withhold in the Northumberland Plate.