Newmarket stages the opening two Classics of the season this weekend with the best colts and fillies’ tackling the world-famous Rowley Mile.
Aidan O’Brien’s record in the 2000 Guineas is stand-alone stuff, with three wins in the last four years taking his tally to nine overall. The aptly-named Ten Sovereigns bids to send him into double figures now.
2000 Guineas – Saturday 15:35
Ryan Moore partners the unbeaten Dewhurst winner and that in itself is a vote of confidence with stablemate Magna Grecia having been strong in the betting recently. There are some concerns about the son of No Nay Never getting this mile trip but, if he does stay, then Ten Sovereigns is the one his 18 rivals all must fear given his progressive profile last season.
Skardu is another big player at 8/1 having won the Craven here last month in pleasing style and he should go well for William Haggas and James Doyle.
For those seeking an each-way swing at the Classic, look no further than Shine So Bright for trainer Andrew Balding. He was competitive in group-race company last term without winning and appeared to have improved over the winter judged on his blitzing 7f handicap win at this track last month. He did that in a smart time and hit the line as if the mile won’t be a problem. He could run into the money at big odds.
1000 Guineas – Sunday 15:35
This exciting daughter of Scat Daddy comes here unbeaten in two starts and representing a Roger Varian stable that is positively thriving right now. She was the subject of a real betting move on her reappearance in the Nell Gwyn Stakes here and has won both her races at Newmarket.
Despite her inexperience, she came home strongly and beat seasoned rivals with plenty up her sleeve. There will be more to come and she looks the likeliest winner of the Fillies’ Classic.
This Dandy Man filly will have to settle some old scores with Skitter Scatter in order to claim glory at Newmarket, having finished behind Patrick Prendergast’s charge twice in Ireland last season, but don’t cross her off. She also beat current Oaks fancy Pink Dogwood last year and her reappearance victory in a Leopardstown Trial for this was quite striking. She travelled smoothly and didn’t have to have the riot act read to go and win. There could be plenty more to come and she’s a player.
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