First Classic of the season takes place at Newmarket this afternoon, when the Qipco 2000 Guines Stakes kicks off at 3.35 over the Rowley Mile.
A field of 19 are due to line up and, surprise, surprise, Aiden O’Brien supplies the first two in the betting.
Favourite at 7-2 is the unbeaten Ten Sovereigns, which steps up to this stiff mile for the first time, having taken 3 events over 6f as a 2-y-o. Ryan Moore may well have made the right choice, but he has been wrong before and we prefer the chances of Magna Grecia, the mount of young Donnacha.
Available at 5-1 and with four places on offer, an each way bet is advised.
Wherever MG finishes, the Tom Dascombe trained Great Scot should not be far behind on last season’s form, so, after a more than satisfactory ‘prep’ run, we also advise this one each way at 16-1.
The card starts with the Spring Lodge Stakes Handicap at 1.50 and we hope that it might be ‘hats off for you-know-who’ and a win for Her Maj’s Elector. Trained by the in-form Sir Michael, this 4-y-o is just the type to improve with age and represents a sound each way punt at 13-2.
As a back up, we also suggest backing Jazeel each way at 9-1, partly on the grounds that runners from ‘unfashionable’ yards tend to be over-priced and Jed O’Keefe‘s charge definitely has the form to take a hand.
The Zoustar Palace House Stakes at 2.20 sees Mabs Cross return in an attempt to repeat her victory last year. Trouble is, this time round she is saddled with a big penalty and that turn round in the weights gives a big chance to last year’s second, Judicial, which has a 7lb pull for just a neck defeat. Laid out for this again by Julie Camacho, we will risk an each way bet at 9-1.
We also like the look of Equilateral, trained by Charles Hills, which drops back to the minimum trip and is the mount of Oisin (‘sauce’) Murphy.
A modest investment at 8-1 is suggested.
The Roaring Lion Jockey Club Stakes at 2.55 should be at the mercy of Coronet, warming up in a Group 2 before hunting a first Group 1 success and John Gosden‘s mare can be confidently backed at 7-4.
TV cameras are also at Goodwood and the (deep breath) British Stallion Studs EBF Daisy Warwick Fillies’ Stakes at 2.05 has all the hallmarks of a penalty kick for the William Haggas trained Klassique, which finished off her 3-y-o season with a close second in a Group 3 at Saint-Cloud.
Lets whack into this at 6-4.
Magna Grecia 3.35 Newmarket 1pt e/w @ 5-1 (4 places)
Great Scot 3.35 Newmarket 0.5pts e/w @ 16-1 (4 places)
Elector 1.50 Newmarket 1pt e/w @ 13-2
Jazeel 1.50 Newmarket 1pt e/w @ 8-1
Judicial 2.20 Newmarket 1pt e/w @ 9-1
Equilateral 2.20 Newmarket 1pt e/w @ 8-1
Coronet 2.55 Newmarket 4pts win @ 7-4
Klassique 2.05 Goodwood 6pts win @ 6-4