O’Brien Runners Dominate Guineas Weekend
Last weekend saw the first two classics of the British flat horse racing season with the latest running’s of the 1000 & 2000 Guineas as part of the Newmarket Guineas Festival. Of the 14 races at the Festival four of the winners came from trainer Aiden O’Brien’s yard. On Saturday he won the 2000 Guineas with favourite Churchill and also had the 4th in the same race. On the Sunday he had the 1st Winter and 2nd Rhododendron in the 1000 Guineas. Add in good wins by his four year old fillies Seventh Heaven & Somehow in their respective races and a neck 2nd by Washington DC in the Group 3 Palace House Stakes and we have the Irish maestro dominating a racing festival this side of the Irish Sea.
Newmarket Guineas Festival EyeCatchers
Let’s start by having a look at a couple of Saeed bin Suroor trained horse’s that caught my eye over the weekend at Newmarket and a Andrew Balding trained filly who has put herself right into the Epsom Oaks picture
Saturday 6th May
Dream Castle – Once again the three year old was well backed pre race this time for the 2000 Guineas. Had been well backed to win the Greenham on his previous start but was to keen early in the race and was beaten into second by Barney Roy. Trainer opted for the first time hood but the modest early gallop saw the colt being to keen even in the hood. Despite his keenness and the fact that he didn’t get the best of runs on a couple of occasions when making a run the son of Frankel did remarkably well to finish as close as he did in 5th. He is a Group 1 horse in my view but until he learns to settle he won’t be able to fulfil his undoubted ability.
Sunday 7th May
Dubai Horizon – The son of Poets Voice was just beaten a neck by his stablemate in this class 2 handicap. Had been gelded over the winter and showed the benefit of the operation when easily winning on the all weather at Lingfield last month. Making his handicap debut off a mark of 85, hopefully the handicapper won’t put him up too much for this performance as he looks on a workable mark and can win more races.
Horseplay – Andrew Balding – There was a lot like about the manner of filly’s win in the 1m 2f listed Pretty Polly Stakes. She found plenty for pressure inside the final furlong and her battling ability will hold her in good stead over the coming months. A winner on soft ground as two year old she proved just as effective on this much quicker surface which now gives her plenty options this summer. Her sire Cape Cross has produced Sea The Stars and Golden Horn to win the Epsom Derby and her dam won over 1m 5f so the extra distance of the Oaks should bring out more improvement in her. Since 2013 two winners of the Pretty Polly Stakes have gone onto victory in the Epsom Oaks can Horseplay make it a 3rd? All the 16/1 that was available has now gone but even at 14s she has to be worth an each way play for next month’s race.
Rest Of The EyeCatchers
This week I have two extra horses that are worth putting in your trackers.
Thursday 4th May
Crazy Tornado – Keith Dalgleish – Not for the first time the 4 year old was subject to plenty of market support before the race but unlike his previous race at Haydock he almost repaid his backers here. Indeed if he had kept straight when making his effort inside the final furlong he would probably have won instead he had to settle for a ¾ length 2nd at the finish. Races of a mark 1lb lower than his last win, he will go up for this performance but hopefully not too much.
Saturday 6th May
Fox Trotter – Brian Meehan – The five year old could hardly be described as frequent winner as a 1 win from 18 career record indicates. Held up at the rear but was finishing best of all inside the final furlong to be a never nearer 7th of 15 at the line. Might well have needed his seasonal reappearance and another go at mile could be the way to go for the gelding. That said a fast run 7f shouldn’t be a problem for him. He is now down to a handy mark based on his best form but does need all the cards to fall right if he is to get into the winners enclosure again.
Aiden O’Brien’s Chester May Meeting Favourites Are Worth A Punt
With Chester’s May Meeting starting on Wednesday could we see yet more domination by the Ballydoyle horses? Aiden O’Brien has recently had even more success at Chester’s May meeting and usually sends over a useful horse or two with the Epsom Oak’s and Derby in mind. Since 2014 he is 6 winners from 15 runners 40% +0.64, even better when you focus on the trainers record with favourites – 6 winners from 9 runners 67% +6.64 A/E 1,38 7 places 78%. When the money is down you have to be following the O’Brien runners at Chester this week!
Who Dares Wins The Chester Cup!
Apart from the Classic trials the big betting race of Chester’s May Meeting is of course the 2m 2f 142yd Chester Cup on Day 1. In recent years horses that have been running over hurdles during the winter have done well in this marathon race with five of the last 10 winners of the race have been jumping over the winter. I have one for you in the shape of the Alan King trained Who Dares Wins. The five year old was last seen in action when finishing an excellent 3rd in the Coral Cup at the Cheltenham Festival 59 days ago. The King horse is suited by good or good to firm going being 3 wins from 10 runs +7 5 places on such underfoot conditions, he handles the track being 1 win from 1 run +6 at Chester and Jockey Tom Marquand is 3 wins from 4 runs +8.88 on the horse. Trainer Alan King also has an exceptionally good record at the track with his handicappers. In the past 5 years he is 6 winners from 15 runners 40% +24.71 A/E 2.25 8 places 53% +27.22 in such races here. Plenty of impressive stats there, Add in the fact that the last 10 winners of the race carried between 8-9 and 9-4 and had an official rating between 93 and 99 and you can see why I really like this ones chance, albeit in a race that I have never managed to find the winner of yet. He shouldn’t be far away in stall 7, although I would be looking for at least 10/1 about his chances in this sort of race, and must have solid each way claims if he is ridden fairly handily.
Chester Cup Selection – Who Dares Wins
All that’s left is to wish you a profitable weeks punting