And so, dear reader, we take you back to the heady days of 1968 for today’s headline, when instrumentals regularly topped the charts and Mason Williams produced his one and only hit.

The first Classic of the season, the Qipco 2000 Guineas Stakes takes place at Newmarket at 3.40, with a field of 15 due to line up.

As per, Ballydoyle sends over the usual phalanx, with Wembley the apparent first string, disputing favouritism at 9-2 with the unbeaten Mutasaabeq and another Irish raider Thunder Moon.

Of the three we think that Thunder Moon will prove the best suited by this test, with the ability to quicken off a fast pace already proven.

We recommend an each way bet at the quoted price.

Another overseas challenger, Lucky Vega is our other bet, this time at a fairly juicy 12-1.

Jessie Harrington‘s colt was an unlucky fifth behind Thunder Moon in the Group 1 National Stakes, before proving he acts well on this track when finishing a close second in the Middle Park and an each way punt-ette is advised.

First race on the box is the Suffolk Stakes Handicap at 1.50 and we will ‘dutch’ this race too, starting with Starcat.

Thought good enough by dear old Hughie to contest last season’s Guineas, in which it finished a respectable seventh, Starcat was mildly disappointing afterwards, running respectably but not winning. However, now a four year old and, significantly ‘sin cojones’, we may see a different beastie today and an each way bet at 9-2 is called for.

We also suggest a smaller investment on Braveheart‘s Overwrite, which is 1-1 over CD and may get them all at it if Franny decides to go from the front.

Have an each way bet at 10-1.

The Palace House Stakes at 2.25 has the somewhat quirky Lazuli as favourite at 3-1, which looks opposable.

Have a bet on Charles Hills‘s consistent Garrus instead, at 13-2.

Newmarket coverage is completed by the Jockey Club Stakes at 3.00 and in this we take Pyledriver to continue his upward curve as a 4-y-o, after his two Group wins last year. 9-4 are the odds of reward.

Two ‘outside’ races are also on telly, starting with the 2.05 at Goodwood, the Conqueror Fillies Stakes.

It’s quite early in the season for 3-y-os to take on their elders, but the 13lb wfa allowance swings us in favour of William‘s runner Lilac Road. Thought good enough to contest Group 1s as a 2-y-o, Lilac Road showed she had trained on in spades with an easy victory at Kempton turning over a Gosden hotpot without turning a hair. Provided she acts on the track, she may take the beating and we suggest a win bet at 2-1.

Finally there is the simple matter of the Thirsk Hunt Cup which takes place at 2.40 at, er, Thirsk.

Our selection in this is another Haggas trained jobbie, Tom Collins.

This 4-y-o was bought out of David Elsworth‘s yard for big money after winning a Pontefract handicap in October and makes its stable debut off just 5lbs higher and, perhaps significantly, ‘sans noisettes’.

Trust the yard to have it spot on and back it each way at 11-2.

Here endeth the Preview.


Thunder Moon 3.40 Newmarket 1.5pts e/w @ 9-2 (4 places)

Lucky Vega 3.40 Newmarket 1pt e/w @ 12-1 (4 places)

Starcat 1.50 Newmarket 1.5pts e/w @ 9-2 (4 places Paddy/Betfair)

Overwrite 1.50 Newmarket 1pt e/w @ 10-1 (4 places Paddy/Betfair)

Garrus 2.25 Newmarket 1pt e/w @ 13-2

Pyledriver 3.00 Newmarket 3pts win @ 9-4

Lilac Road 2.05 Goodwood 3pts win @ 2-1

Tom Collins 2.40 Thirsk 1.5pts e/w @ 11-2 (5 places Hills, Skybet, Paddy)

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