Dawn Approach is the new 5-2 favourite, from 12-1, to win the Investec Derby on Betfair’s Sportsbook after thrashing his rivals in the Qipco 2000 Guineas.
The Jim Bolger-trained favourite never looked in danger as he breezed to the front with over a furlong to go before pulling five lengths clear of the field to remain unbeaten, making it seven wins from seven races.
Betfair Spokesman Barry Orr commented immediately after the race, “It’s impossible to knock that performance and with Bolger having trained his sire, New Approach, to win the 2008 Derby, he is virtually certain to try 1m 4f for the first time in Epsom’’
‘’At this stage he is the one they’ll all have to beat and with 4 of the first 5 in the betting all trained in Ireland it’s looks a particularly strong year for Irish three year olds’’.
To win the Derby – Betfair Sportsbook: 5-2 Dawn Approach, 5-1 Battle Of Marengo, Telescope, 8-1 Mars, 10-1 Kingsbarns, 12-1 Toronado, 20-1 Bar
Back Dawn Approach at Betfair to win the Investec Derby and get a £25 matched free bet if you’re a new customer!
Having a bet on the 2000 or 1000 Guineas this weekend? Then make sure you take advantage if BetVictor’s Double Down offer!
If you bet on the 2000 or 1000 Guineas this weekend and if your selection wins and goes on to win the Epsom Derby or the Epsom Oaks, BetVictor will double your winnings as a free bet!
To get your Double Down enhanced bet:
1) Sign-up for a BetVictor account here.
2) Place a bet on the 1000 & 2000 Guineas at Newmarket.
3) If you winning selection goes on to win in the Epsom Oaks or the Epsom Derby, BetVictor will automatically double your winnings as a free bet!
Sign-up to BetVictor now!
For more terms and conditions, visit Betvictor HERE!
2000 GUINEAS: DAWN APPROACH AND TORONADO SET TO DOMINATE, SAY TIMEFORM
TIMEFORM, the leading horse racing form experts, believe that the unbeaten colts, Dawn Approach and Toronado, are set to dominate the QIPCO 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on Saturday.
Their weight-adjusted figures, confirmed today, show that Dawn Approach is top rated on 140, 2 lb ahead of Toronado (who carries a ‘p’), with the pair at least 6 lb clear of the rest.
Although currently trading at 11/8 and 9/4 respectively, Timeform Handicapper Pat Jupp suggests that there won’t be as much between them in the race: “Dawn Approach had a long 2-y-o campaign, culminating with success in the Dewhurst, and he fully deserves the accolade of Timeform’s top juvenile of 2012. The form he has already shown is of a level good enough to have won three of the last five renewals of the Guineas, but for perhaps the first time since the Coventry he faces a very serious rival in Toronado, who produced not only a taking visual display in the Craven, but one backed up by sectional time analysis – Toronado is potentially a high-class miler.”
Ballydoyle’s best hopes are likely to rest with Mars and Cristoforo Colombo. Of the O’Brien runners, Jupp said: “Mars is all about style over substance at present with just a maiden win to his name, and though Golan took this race with a similar profile, that was a substandard renewal and it’s asking a lot for such an inexperienced horse to win a classic.
“Although Cristoforo Colombo has something to find with Dawn Approach on the Coventry form, he ended his 2-y-o campaign with an air of unfinished business, having been unsuited by the drop in trip in the Middle Park, and should progress now tackling a mile.”
Richard Fahey’s Free Handicap winner Garswood is third in Timeform’s ratings, behind Dawn Approach and Toronado, but his stamina for the trip is a concern. Jupp added: “Garswood put up an effort that comfortably exceeded recent standards for the Free Handicap, but his running style and pedigree suggest he’s not sure to stay the longer trip.”
2000 Guineas (all ratings weight-adjusted)
140 DAWN APPROACH (IRE)
138p TORONADO (IRE)
131 LEITIR MOR (IRE)
130p CRISTOFORO COLOMBO (USA)
130 MOOHAAJIM (IRE)
130 GEORGE VANCOUVER (USA)
129 VAN DER NEER
118P MARS (IRE)
116 DONT BOTHER ME (IRE)
111 GLORY AWAITS (IRE)
100p KYLLACHY RISE
Follow us on Twitter @HRacingTavern!
Dawn Approach – www.guardian.co.uk & GETTY IMAGES
QIPCO 2000 Guineas Stakes (Group 1) (Class 1) (3yo) 1 Mile
Well after a National Hunt enforced hibernation, Alan Hughes is back in the Horse Racing Tavern to give his inaugural 2013 flat season preview. The focus this week is at Newmarket, racing HQ, and home to many a doping scandal in recent weeks. Nevertheless, we’re on the Rowley Mile to find the next Classic winner. The 2000 Guineas, underway at 3.50pm on Saturday, is a brilliant race for purists and is always targeted by the big trainers and breeding operations. Many a blueblood has passed the winning post in this race and normally go on to bigger and better things.
Before I discuss my shortlist of candidates to land the spoils, it normally pays to check the stats for this race before getting embroiled in the form.
- The last 16 winners finished in the places (1st, 2nd or 3rd) last time out, and 13 of them won last time out (Henrythenavigator, Cockney Rebel and King’s Best all placed in a Group race on their last start).
- Horse’s that have been beaten as a 3 year old are normally worth overlooking, unless they weren’t beaten far (as was the case with Zafonic in 1993, and Kings Best in 2000 who were both beaten half a length or less and went on to win the 2000 Guineas).
- It pays to stick with a lightly raced horse with plenty of improvement left in them – no winner has raced more than 5 times prior to taking the 2000 Guineas (66 have tried although French Fifteen went almighty close last year but was mugged by Camelot!).
- 15 of the last 26 horses to win either the 1000 or 2000 Guineas had prior experience at Newmarket – 13 of which had already posted a course win.
- For the pedigree buffs out there (just me then?), horses by a sire with a stamina index below 8.0f normally struggle to get home in the 2000 Guineas. You need a stamina influence as well as class to get up the Rowley Mile.
On the basis of the trends outlined above, we can get rid of Correspondent, Cristoforo Colombo and Leitir Mor as they didn’t place last time out, whilst Dont Bother Me and Glory Awaits could only place in a Listed race so are also overlooked. Kyllachy Rise is yet to win and ran in a maiden last time out – he can’t be good enough for this and is also dropped. Moohaajim was beaten 1 3/4 lengths into 3rd in the Greenham Stakes and is therefore also dropped (he looks more of a sprinter and the step up in trip doesn’t seem sure to suit). By sticking to the 5 run rule, Dawn Approach has to go (6 runs, sorry favourite backers), shortly followed by George Vancouver (7 runs) and Lines Of Battle (6 runs). And now to the stamina index… Garswood is out of Dutch Art, a prolific sprinter with an index of just 7.1f so he has to go, as is Van Der Neer, who follows suit back to the horse box.
And then there were 2 – perhaps a little hasty in getting rid of some of the other market fancies, but the stats rarely lie so it would be no surprise to see either Mars or Toronado take all the beating on Saturday at Newmarket.
MARS, trained by Aidan O’Brien, is a once raced son of Galileo. He won first time out in July 2012 when cantering all over his rivals in a 7f Dundalk maiden. His trainer was impressed with him that day and gave the impression that he needs good ground. He is nicely bred (a Galileo cross with a Danehill mare – which has brought about so much success in the big races before e.g. Frankel, Golden Lilac, Maybe, Roderic O’Connor, Teofilo) without his siblings being serious horse’s (his sister Nayarra was a 2 year old Group 1 winner in Italy but the rest were average in comparison). His dam was a very handy sprinter and was related to some other fast horses including Invincible Spirit and Zodiac. Mars is obviously not short of speed and will inherit sufficient stamina from his sire to meet the Newmarket test (his trainer also seems to be lining him up for a Derby tilt, the Irish equivalent of which he has won for the last 7 years, including with Camelot in 2012 who also won the 2000 Guineas en route).
In terms of negatives, Mars has been off the track for 292 days and has never raced on turf, or on an undulating track such as Newmarket. Support arrived for Mars in the betting ring this week as he was pushed in to just 8/1 with Ladbrokes, but can be backed at 12/1 with PaddyPower. On the basis that Ladbrokes normally know which of the Ballydoyle raiders are expected to fire (Ladbrokes were noticeably short on Camelot in the lead up to the 2012 renewal), they are ducking for cover at 8/1 (6/1 earlier in the week) and so an each way bet at 12/1 with PaddyPower seems sensible. I honestly can’t say what he’ll do come Saturday, but if he doesn’t ruin his chance by being too green, then we may see him outrun his double figure price and hit the frame. Regardless of the result, with experience on his side, he’ll be going on to greater things this season.
TORONADO has been the horse in the headlines since his taking display in the Craven Stakes over course and distance here in April. The son of High Chaparral is trained by Richard Hannon who normally knows when he has a good one on his hands and has always made good noises about this charge. The front running colt has an unblemished 4/4 record, and looked very well in himself when beating off a trial field (that included Dundonnell) in a quick time when carrying a 3lb penalty. The Craven is a decent guide to the main event but not since Haafhd (2004) has a horse won the Craven and followed up in the 2000 Guineas (2009 winner Delegator finished 2nd behind Sea The Stars, and Native Khan finished third behind Frankel). Toronado is not fashionably bred by any means but he obviously has the speed and stamina for this test and is fancied to have a crack at the Derby later in the year. He is versatile in terms of race tactics and has plenty of gears, whilst being proven on the Newmarket dips is helpful.
He goes into the race with a massive chance and has to rate as the chief danger to the favourite, Dawn Approach (11/8 with PaddyPower). In terms of a win bet, Toronado has been backed in from 4/1 after his Craven success to 9/4 (Bet365, William Hill and PaddyPower), which in itself doesn’t give much room for manoeuvre. I’d happily take him against the favourite so perhaps try and find a match bet come the day of the race, or get stuck in at 9/4 as you’ll certainly get a run for your money.
I return to my 2000 Guineas series this week with a look at the Richard Hannon-trained colt Van Der Neer, writes Andrew Fletcher. He is currently available at best-price 25/1 for the first Classic of the season and it will be interesting to see whether he emerges as a contender for the Guineas come the spring.
He showed a glimpse of his potential racing ability when running out a comfortable winner of a Yarmouth maiden on debut. He was always handy during the six furlongs contest and having been asked for an effort with a furlong to run, he ran out a ready winner of a race that has turned out to be quite useful. There were no less than five subsequent winners in that field although none of the others scaled the heights of their conqueror on this occasion.
It was almost a month before he returned to the racecourse in a Conditions event at Leicester which saw him take on seven furlongs for the first time. This time he settled at the back of the pack before being moved to the outside with two furlongs still to travel. He picked up the leaders with consummate ease in the closing stages and having sewn up the race in a matter of strides, recorded an impressive 1¾ length success easing up.
His Leicester performance was impressive enough for Richard Hannon to run the colt in Group 1 company in the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster. Once again his jockey Richard Hughes used waiting tactics on him before asking his mount for an effort with a couple of furlongs still to run. He looked to hang towards the stands rail under pressure before finishing off his race in taking fashion to grab second place on the line. It is worth noting here that although Van Der Neer never really troubled the winner Kingsbarns, he did finish ahead of three Group winners in Steeler (3rd), First Cornerstone (4th) and Trading Leather (5th).
His effort in the Racing Post Trophy rounded off a good campaign for the colt in which he continued to improve when facing the challenges of both a step up in trip and Grade. Also, the fact that he hung slightly at Doncaster suggests he was still a little green and that with more experience he could well have finished closer to the winner. In terms of a visual impression he seemed to see out the mile well at Doncaster in testing conditions meaning that the 2000 Guineas would look a suitable target for this colt. He is still relatively unexposed and it will be interesting to see from his pedigree whether further improvement should be expected.
His sire is Dutch Art who during his own two-year-old campaign won the Prix Morny and the Middle Park Stakes as well as the Norfolk Stakes at the Royal meeting. At three he was third in the 2000 Guineas behind Cockney Rebel before being beaten half a length and a length in the July Cup and the Prix Maurice De Gheest respectively. Perhaps the best of his progeny at stud so far has been Caspar Netscher who won both the Gimcrack and the Mill Reef Stakes as a two-year-old before successes in the Greenham and the German 2000 Guineas a year later. Other useful products include Listed and Group 3 winner Producer, Listed sprinter Slade Power and Listed-winning filly Miss Work Of Art. There is no doubt that Dutch Art has already shown an ability to pass on his talents including speed to most of his progeny, but looking at his own pedigree there is reason to suggest there is also some stamina lurking in there. Dutch Art is by Medicean who won both the Lockinge (8f) and the Eclipse (10f) at Group level during his career and is out of Halland Park Lass who although disappointing on the racecourse has also produced a dual Group-winning filly in Up. Dual Group 1 winner Spectrum appears on the maternal side of the pedigree as the damsire and can be considered another stamina influence given that he sired a 2000 Guineas winner in Golan who also won a King George. This information suggests that Dutch Art’s offspring could well have sufficient stamina to stay between a mile and ten furlongs.
On the other side of the pedigree, Van Der Neer is out of an unraced mare called Lalectra. She has produced two half-siblings in the form of Goodwood Treasure who won at up to 10f on the all weather and Common Denominator who was placed over a mile. Lalectra is by the former Aidan O’Brien trained King Charlemagne whose career highlight came when winning the Group 1 Prix Maurice de Gheest over seven furlongs. It is probably fair to say his offspring have been useful without pulling up any trees with perhaps the best being Listed winning sprinter Aiboa.
The overall conclusion in terms of pedigree seems to confirm the visual impression from Doncaster that Van Der Neer appears to get a mile without any problem. In fact with a number of milers and ten furlong horses in his family it does not seem unreasonable to foresee him running over slightly further in time.
In terms of the 2000 Guineas it is difficult to work out which of Richard Hannon’s three-year-olds will head for the first Classic of the season. It appears that Olympic Glory looks set to head for the French Guineas, perhaps Toronado will head for a race such as the Dante, leaving the likes of Havana Gold, Wentworth and Van Der Neer in contention for the Guineas. If he does make it to the start at Newmarket, he looks to have a chance based on his performances to date. Based on the fact that he was only given three runs at two suggests that connections feel he was always set to be a better three-year-old. His run in the Racing Post Trophy puts him amongst some of the best juveniles of last year and I feel it is fair to say that Richard Hannon’s colt will improve for better underfoot conditions and a winter to develop. Whether he ultimately has the ability to beat the likes of Dawn Approach remains to be seen but with more likely to come, I would be reluctant to rule him out at this stage.
Jack Milner gives us his latest verdict on his ante-post portfolio which includes the big races left in the flat season, as well as his best bets and tips for Cheltenham 2013!
Current Ante Post Shortlist
Hawkeyethenoo/Doc Hay/Pintura (Ayr Gold Cup)
Kirthill/Mull of Killough/Navajo Chief (Cambridgeshire)
Orfevre/Snow Fairy (Arc)
Countrywide Flame/Olympiad (Cesarewitch)
Finians Rainbow/Grand Crus (King George)
Fingal Bay/Boston Bob (RSA)
Grandouet (Champion Hurdle)
Sir Des Champs/Bobs Worth (Gold Cup)
Big Bucks (World Hurdle)
Sprinter Sacre (Champion Chase)
Colour Squadron/Captain Conan (Arkle)
Dawn Approach (2000 Guineas)
Big Break (1000 Guineas)
Looking at the market for the Ayr Gold Cup, Doc Hay immediately jumps off the page, tipped up by Timeform to keep an eye on a couple of weeks ago, before getting up late to win The Portland Handicap at Doncaster. With that win, he could be well in providing he runs. Pintura could be worth another look if he gets in, and looks to have trickled down the weights for a respected yard and shrewd owner, who will no doubt want a runner or eight. My main fancy is the ante post favourite in HAWKEYETHENOO for local trainer Jim Goldie, fresh from his Stewards Cup heroics. He will no doubt have had this in mind for a while, and as long as the ground comes up good, he will be a big threat, with Graham Lee on his back, who has been exceptional since switching to the flat.
The two big Newmarket handicaps are very open affairs on the bare face of things, aren’t they? Maybe not. COUNTRYWIDE FLAME won impressively from start to finish at Chester in a decent looking handicap, and the winner came from the same race last year. He should come on a lot for that run, and looks to be very well handicapped on his Triumph Hurdle form, he is respected. As is the classy looking Olympiad, who won a two mile handicap on good ground at York. The exceptionally well bred colt for Sir Robert Ogden should be a group horse on pedigree and looks to have been very well treated at the weights, he looks a cup horse and possible Melbourne Cup horse for The Master of Rosewell, and if he turns up, would warrant maximum respect. These two set the standard in this year’s Cesarewitch, and in the Cambridgeshire, there are three on my current shortlist. I am really sweet on KIRTHILL and the manner of his win last time out at York. He put his bad run at Goodwood behind him, and although burdened with a hefty weight with Danadana now ruled out, this will have full attention of the Cumani stable, and that man Fallon. The other two I like at bigger prices around the 33/1 mark are Navajo Chief and Mull of Killough. Both have flirted with the idea of pattern level but are tough hardened handicappers, and with strong form in these big fields. Both have course form to their name, and look to have had the race as their short term targets.
Simonsig has been trimmed as looks like he may not go down the Arkle route, possible being affected by the unfortunate and heart-breaking news surrounding Spirit Son. As such I have backed Colour Squadron and Captain Conan, one a Hobbs horse bought by JP and another a Henderson horse, both were said to have been chasers, not really expected much over hurdles, and when sent chasing could and should improve.. The two both fought out the Tolworth Hurdle, before disappointing later on in the season. Colour Squadron fell when looking like beating Montbazon in a hot novice hurdle, and finished second in the Grade 1 Champion Juvenile Hurdle at Punchestown. Nicky Henderson was in two minds about putting Captain Conan away for the season, but he ran a good second behind Supreme second Darlan at Aintree, and the French bred is a winner over the sticks at Auteuil, and should thrive jumping the larger obstacles. Much like Fingal Bay and Boston Bob, big, scopey sorts, who could be anything. Fingal Bay should have won the The Sefton at Aintree, and given the size and presence of the animal, he should be an absolute beast over fences. His form with Simonsig, and similarly other juveniles should put him right up there amongst the seasons top novice chasers. As should Boston Bob for Willie Mullins, looks another terrific prospect for owner Howard Johnson. Second in the Albert Bartlett, when the stable weren’t really firing, he looks to be a readymade chaser and all class, I expect at this stage, one of the two to progress and win The RSA Chase at Cheltenham.
The Gold Cup market is headed by two horses at backed ante post at the previous festival, and as we know, course form around Prestbury Park, is a golden ticket to the chocolate factory. Bobs Worth was a worthy winner of a pretty good RSA Chase, beating solid 160+ horses in First Lieutenant and Grands Crus, in a very smart manner. He is a course specialist, and Nicky Henderson will no doubt be aiming him for the big day, on the race he won with Long Run in 2010. The other winner who steps up to the top grade is SIR DES CHAMPS, an outrageously impressive winner of the Jewson Novice Chase over two and a half miles. He won doing handstands, and proved the trip wasn’t a problem, when winning a Grade 1 novice chase at Punchestown, on desperate ground. He is unbeaten, and is another Cheltenham specialist, 2 from 2, winning the Martin Pipe handicap hurdle in 2011.
I won’t talk about Grandouet too much, because he is my best bet of the festival for next year. At 12/1 – he was nothing short of impressive last year. He should have beaten Zarkander at Aintree in 2011 before being brought down, and the manner of his International Hurdle win confirmed his promise and potential for me. He is classy, unexposed, and will be fresh from an extended break missing the festival last year.
The two bankers who are even money and it are a bit of a difficult one to throw in are Big Bucks and Sprinter Sacre. They aren’t puntable prices as of yet, as is backing any even money shot so far away from the day itself. Rather than backing Frankel ante post at evens, I was much more comfortable backing him after final declarations were announced two days before the race itself at around 4/7, and although they both look bombproof in weak markets,
The two most immediate ones are Finians Rainbow and Grand Crus for The King George, can’t really put in multiples for some reason as cross-contingency or something similar. Long Run won The King George after The Feltham, and Grand Crus’s time was quicker last year than Kauto’s. He looks to be a flat track animal, and Finians Rainbow looked like the step in trip suited when winning over two and a half miles around Aintree.
BIG BREAK, a full sister to Famous Name, hacked up in a good Leopardstown maiden last week; Weld said he thinks she could be a Guineas filly. I asked Paddy Power for a price before she won her maiden, and they offered 50s, and then put her in the market at 33s, and the reply I got was basically ‘didn’t see shit’. Schmucks. Then wins and 25s. Disgusting, but they know the game, and once DK Weld says she’s a nice filly, the people spoke, poured in, poured a glass, and put her away Dermot my boy, we’ll have some of that. The males version is dominated and headed by the unbeaten, the unmatched and unparalleled Dawn Approach for Jim Bolger and Sheikh Mohamed, who should learn from the mistakes of Dubai Prince and Casamento and leave the colt in France. This gorgeous colt resembles his old man so much, chestnut with a white face, he really is a cracker. Expected to do a Camelot, and win Racing Post Trophy, 2000 Guineas and Derby. Get on early… providing he stays with Mr Bolger and chooses to enjoy the scenery of County Kilkenny.
Follow Jack on Twitter @JJMSports!
Robert Plumbridge is back in the Horse Racing Tavern and has sounded out a nice bet for the Irish 2000 Guineas.
A very open market for the Group 1 Irish classic, run over a mile on the Curragh. Surprise, surprise, Aiden O’Brien has entered a cavalry charge for this one and is represented by no less than 4 of the 11 runners. The pick of these is Power who was very disappointing in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket, finishing 17th of 18 on that day. That was a disappointment after his second to today’s market leader Parish Hall last October and I would expect a better performance today having had the run. However, taking a chance on him bouncing back means the price of 9/2 simply can’t be justified especially as he is running against horses who have beaten him in the past.
His Newmarket conquerer Parish Hall, trained by Jim Bolger, did nothing wrong when winning the Dewhurst at Newmarket and justifies his place as market leader. He’s untried at the distance so, again, 9/2 is not tempting me to part with any coppers. When going to press there was rumours he was lame this morning so even more reason to avoid.
The value for this has to be Richard Hannon’s runner Trumpet Major; especially with the ever drying ground which will play to his strengths. He was running on to grab fourth in the Dewhurst behind Power and Parish Hall and looked desperate for the step up in trip to a mile. He was fourth in the English 2000 Guinees behind an exceptional winner in Camelot and I think this is the perfect opportunity to get back to winning ways. You’ll take the massive 7/1 any day of the week and he’ll be there or thereabouts so effectively it’s a bet to nothing. He won’t be that price come 3.15 though so get on early. A very confident each way selection.
Selection: Trumpet Major EW @ 7/1 with Stan James
The French 2000 Guineas, better known as the Poule D’essai Des Poulains, is a superb looking race on paper and it could be argued it’s a stronger renewal than the English equivalent last week. The only reason Camelot, clearly a mile and a half horse, manged to win was because of the weakness of the challengers over a mile. This can only be supported by the fact the second horse home, French Fifteen, was a French raider.
Twelve runners look set to line up on Sunday at Longchamp, but where better place to start than the warm favourite, Dabirsim. He lost his unbeaten record in the Prix De Fontainbleau when Christophe Soumillion completely misjudged the ride and left himself too much to do to catch the re-opposing Dragon Pulse. Christophe Soumillion certainly won’t be making the same mistake this time, and with a fast pace guaranteed in the race due to Aiden O’Briens pacemaker Vault, he should settle much better than he did when losing his unbeaten run last time out. Connections have made no secret of his ability and he is the class act in the field. He’ll need some luck in running, but he’ll be bang there in the finish. He’s current 13/8 favourite with William Hill.
Aiden O’Brien’s main chance Furner’s Green has Joseph O’Brien in the saddle, and he’s another jockey who will be playing it safe following St. Nicholas Abbeys defeat last week at long odds on. Furner’s Green is certainly a quality racehorse, and the fact he has such mixed form figures in his juvenile year should not be overlooked. It was another expensive time for punters last week when stable second string Homecoming Queen won the 1000 Guineas with average form figures of 63965431210 in her juvenile season. Furner’s Green is another that is still progressing and should be staying on in the final furlong, however the concern is he’s appeared best on good ground which he may not get at Longchamp on Sunday. Of more interest is Dragon Pulse, who took Dabarism’s unbeaten record last time out. He’s a proven top class colt in his own right, as proven by his capability to ruffle Dabirsim’s feathers and he was able to get within half a length of Power in the Group 1 Goffs National Stakes at the Curragh. It’s important not to forget that he’s still improving too, he looks a rock solid alternative if the favourite isn’t firing on all cylinders. However there is no EW play in his price.
Coupe De Ville is another alternative that shouldn’t be overlooked. He put up a career best last week in the 2000 Guineas, getting to within four lengths of the classy Camelot. He too is open to bundles of improvement and Richard Hughes will be sitting tight and producing him late. He could be an EW alternative in the race at a standout 12/1 with Ladbrokes. Of the others, Amaron is a classy German sprinter who is a double Group 3 winner. Interestingly he has beaten Pakal twice, a horse that finished second to French Fifteen last November, so he isn’t discounted easily on the form and could prove to be a big price at 25/1.
However in my opinion, the race looks at the mercy of Dabirsim. He looks the classiest in the field and has less to prove than most, and if settling much better than on his second start of his three year old campaign, he looks a cracking bet at 13/8 with William Hill.
Selection: Dabirsim 13/8 WIN (Bet with William Hill)
Alternative: Amaron 25/1 EW (Bet with Paddy Power)
Photo Credits: france-galop.com, tattersalls-millions.com
This week we have two Tote Placepot hunters, Mark Cranston and Robert Plumbridge, with some useful advice to help you through those tricky legs on the placepot at Newmarket and Goodwood!
Leg 1: Fury (1)
Leg 2: Fiorente (5)
Leg 3: Born To Sea (3)
Leg 4: Hamish McGonagall (5)
Leg 5: Mince (14)
Leg 6: Noble Mission (4)
1 @ £16
Leg 2: Vita Nova (8)
Leg 3: Lui rei (3)
Leg 4: Four Nations (6)
Leg 5: Esentepe (7)
Leg 6: Balady (8)
1 @ £14
Fancy a FREE £10 BET for today’s racing action? Just deposit £5, and get £10 free! Click below to sign up!
I have to admit five furlong sprints are my favourite kind of race to bet in, most recently group sprint races a personal favourite. With no undisputed five furlong sprint king around in the division, there tends to be some good value around if you can solve these kind of puzzles and the Group 3 Palace House Stakes at 3.45 on Saturday certainly fits that bill.
Horses can be split into three groups for these sort of races – Those with a fairly obvious chance on previous form, those who’s overall form suggests they are not quite good enough to win at group level and those ‘dark horses’ who could be in with a chance with just a little bit of faith or persuasion!
Of the probables, Mayson of the Richard Fahey stable landed the odds with a comprehensive win at listed level on similar ground here at the course over six furlongs which puts him in with a decent chance and whilst I would not put you off him, I think his current odds of around 4-1 are a little short but he may just prove to be in too good form for these at the moment.
Margot Did and Hamish McGonagall bring five furlong Group 1 form on good to soft ground to the table and based on their runs at York in August, are both worthy of great respect at around 8-1 at the current prices. The latter has been in winning form this year and deserves a big success to reward his consistency.
Of the others Masamah, Eton Rifles and Inxile are certainly capable of going close at this level if they put their very best foot forward. The dark horses include Definightly, who is very lightly raced for a 6 year-old and with the aid of his astute trainer, Roger Charlton, could be a fly in the ointment in this company.
Johnny Mudball is worth considering whilst Temple Meads looked a decent 2 year-old but has been off the course for 18 months, and much will depend on his fitness and the betting may be the biggest clue to assess this ones chances. Even if he doesn’t win on Saturday, he’s certainly one to watch for the rest of the season.
On balance, I think the rest probably fall just short of being group performers but one other worthy of a mention is Caledonia Lady who has run some very good races in defeat in the past, and could well be one to run into a place without quite having the class to win a race like the Palace House.
It is early in the season to be lumping on big, but Margot Did looks a nice price at 8/1 (William Hill) considering that this is her best trip and she likes this kind of ground, and is my idea of the value bet in the race. If she runs well then Hamish McGonagall shouldn’t be too far behind and he would be one for the forecast . Of the others, Mayson is an obvious choice but for the big tricast dividend I would throw in Caledonia Lady to run into third.
1) Margot Did 8/1 (Bet with William Hill)
2) Hamish McGonagall 8/1 (Bet with Bet365)
3) Caledonia Lady 16/1 (Bet with PaddyPower)
Follow Darren on Twitter @papafleming!