IT’S ONE EL OF A BET!

Mark John­ston’s colt can take the 2,000 Guineas at New­mar­ket on May 5 says John An­thony

Racing Ahead - - 1,000 AND 2,000 GUINEAS PREVIEW -

2,000 GUINEAS

ELAR­QAM cre­ated a good im­pres­sion by win­ning his two starts as a ju­ve­nile and he has strong claims in the open­ing Clas­sic of the sea­son.

He got the job done ef­fi­ciently in a York maiden in Septem­ber be­fore com­ing back 18 days later to take the Group 3 Tat­ter­sall Stakes at New­mar­ket with plenty left to give. He picked up well there and charged through the line over 7f.

The im­pres­sion is that this mile will suit bet­ter and there will be a lot of im­prove­ment to come from Mark John­ston’s colt. He may go straight to New­mar­ket with­out a prep run but that wouldn’t be a con­cern.

At the time of writ­ing, there is plenty of 7/1 avail­able and that looks a fair price.

The Rac­ing Post Tro­phy at Don­caster looks an­other key piece of form for the 2,000. That saw a good bat­tle be­tween win­ner Saxon War­rior and neck sec­ond Roar­ing Lion, who was prob­a­bly put in front a lit­tle too soon by Oisin Mur­phy.

He gave Saxon War­rior a tar­get to aim at and he got there in the dy­ing strides. There won’t be a lot be­tween them again but it there’s no rea­son why Roar­ing Lion would turn the form around even if he times his chal­lenge frac­tion­ally bet­ter.

On breed­ing, he would prob­a­bly want fur­ther than this mile al­ready, although you would ex­pect him to run well in the Guineas. He could be more of a Derby horse. Sim­i­lar com­ments ap­ply to Saxon War­rior given that he’s from the Galileo line. Both may have to set­tle for mi­nor hon­ours to­day with Ep­som in mind.

Ex­pert Eye was amiss in the De­whurst so for­get that clos­ing run of the sea­son. Sir Michael Stoute’s colt was highly im­pres­sive when win­ning the Group 2 Vin­tage Stakes at Goodwood in Au­gust. He wasn’t stop­ping over the 7f trip there and looks ideal for this mile. At around 10/1 he’s got an each-way chance.

Woot­ton’s form is not easy to as­sess but he bat­tled well to win a Longchamp Group 3 in mid-April so will be match fit at least. He made all there and kept bring­ing out more when it was needed. The per­for­mance looked a lit­tle short of Clas­sic stan­dard though.

Gus­tav Klimt heads the bet­ting and has been backed fol­low­ing his easy win in the Leop­ard­stown 2,000 Guineas trial in April. He didn’t beat an aw­ful lot there but it was a facile win and you can un­der­stand why he’s the favourite.

You would ex­pect a fair amount of im­prove­ment for that come­back run but he’s an­other who maybe screams Derby more than Guineas.

1,000 GUINEAS

Since ante-post favourite Clem­mie had a late set­back, the 1,000 Guineas has a

more open look about it.

That thrust fel­low Ai­dan O’Brien filly Hap­pily into the lime­light but she had a lot of rac­ing as a ju­ve­nile for a Clas­sic win­ner. Mind you, her form is solid enough with Group 1 wins at The Cur­ragh and Chan­tilly. Her copy­book was blot­ted some­what with a poor run in the Breed­ers’ Cup ju­ve­nile but she had no chance af­ter miss­ing the kick on the tight Del Mar track. Those races could leave their mark which makes you wary of tak­ing a short price about her chances at New­mar­ket.

In what looks an open race, we’ll take an each-way punt on Roger Charl­ton’s GAVOTA. She is 33/1 at the time of writ­ing but she didn’t do a lot wrong last sea­son.

She had an en­try in the Fred Dar­ling Stakes at New­bury while the ink was dry­ing on this mag­a­zine and that will tell us a lot more about her prospects if she runs.

Last sea­son saw her win a cou­ple of mi­nor con­tests with ease be­fore tack­ling Group races and hold­ing her own well.

She was third in the Rock­fel Stakes and then beaten in a bob­bing fin­ish for the Oh So Sharp, both on the Row­ley Mile. Those races are both over 7f and she shapes as though step­ping up to a mile will bring out the best in her.

Wild Il­lu­sion is an­other to con­sider. She won two of her three races last sea­son, fin­ish­ing with a Group 1 suc­cess in the Mar­cel Bous­sac at Chan­tilly in Oc­to­ber. That looks like good form and, although she will want fur­ther in time, she should have enough pace to hold her po­si­tion in the Guineas.

There was some cut in the ground that day but her maiden win came on a fast sur­face which she han­dled well.

Char­lie Ap­pleby is likely to get plenty of im­prove­ment out of her this sea­son and of­fers of around 10/1 look fair enough.

Gavota

Elar­qam

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