Two racecourses, 200,000 acres of grassland, over 3,500 horses and 70 fully licenced trainers. Newmarket in Suffolk is without question the homeland of British thoroughbred horse racing.
10 more sleeps until Britain’s first classic weekend of the season. Here we highlight our fancied Rowley Mile contenders for 2019.
2000 Guineas – Saturday 4th May
Selection: Calyx (GB) (8/1) 1pt win
First things first, the Irish have a fantastic record here over the past 20 years, providing 54% of the overall winners. Since 1998, Aiden O’Brien has triumphed a total number of nine times with Jim Bolger and Dermot Weld also contributing to the tri-colour’s success.
This year may go against the trend. Ten Sovereigns represents Ballydoyle this season and heads the market at 3/1. He might be worth taking on, breeding suggests stamina over 1m may be an issue and his exaggerated high head carriage looks less than ideal.
Calyx (GB) by Kingman is the most interesting entry and might be the springer in the market. Arguably the most exceptional 2yo colt last season when landing the Coventry Stakes over 6f, victory at Ascot came just 10 days after deputising at Newmarket for trainer John Gosden. He can improve again.
Long-time favourite and stable mate Two Darn Hot’s omission here leaves more Guineas questions than answers but significant support has come for Calyx (GB) . Current best odds of 8/1 could prove massive.
Madhmoon is also interesting and might finish the best of the Irish!
1000 Guineas – Sunday 5th May
Selection: East (GB) (14/1) 1pt win
Churchill Downs in November provides us with some big clues for Newmarket’s 1000 Guineas.
East (GB) by Frankel (pre-trained by Katie Walsh) was an expensive £315,000 purchase at the Goresbridge breeze up sales in May 2018.
She showed professionalism when winning over 6f on debut for trainer Kevin Ryan on soft ground at Hamilton in September.
I liked her performance at the Breeders Cup on her third start. Drawn in the car-park, she missed the break and showed a great attitude to finish second.
One stat to note, Frankel is showing an incredible 25.58% winning strike rate with 3yo fillies from 7f-1m (Galileo 22.3%) (Dubawi 21.4%). East reportedly looked like a monster in the preliminaries and has the potential to take a major step forward as a 3yo.
By Barry Doyle – 24/04/2019