This weekend Newmarket, the HQ of flat racing, hosts the first two classics of 2019 with the Qipco 2000 Guineas on Saturday and Qipco 1000 Guineas on Sunday.
The 2000 Guineas Celebrates its 210th running on Saturday, the first winner back in 1809 being Wizard. The racing world will be watching intently hoping for the magic of another wonder horse to appear on the scene. Four of the last ten Derby winners ran in the Guineas to emphasise the class fields that assemble for the Guineas each year.
With the weather looking set fair for the majority of the week, good fast flat ground can be expected.
Not unsurprisingly the front of the market is dominated by the ever powerful O’Brien stable. Magna Garcia currently heading the market at 7/2, already proven over a mile winning the Group 1 Futurity Trophy Stakes last October, and looking all class.
Ten Sovereigns next in the market at 5/1 arguably has the best form in the book going into the race. All wins last year were over 6 furlongs, but with a mixture of speed and middle distance angles to the pedigree, and O’Brien rarely one to tilt at windmills, the assumption is that staying a mile will be within scope for Ten Sovereigns. Which ever horse is chosen by Ryan Moore sure to go off favourite.
Royal Marine from Godolphin a 2 year old Group one winner in France over 1 mile, albeit on slower ground, is currently an 8/1 shot, and can be marked up for his run in the Craven where he wasn’t seen to best effect.
Demonstrating long term profit from betting on horses is found from being a contrarian and looking for angles less seen by others, whilst accepting missing the obvious more frequently (and I wouldn’t put anybody off backing either of the O’Brien pair).
However, and with that in mind, a horse that interests me at huge odds of 40/1 is Emaratty Ana from the Kevin Ryan stable. A late foal by the sire Shamadal (who was a Newmarket Group one winner himself). Emaratty Ana during a light 2 yo campaign showed his class winning the Group 2 Gimcrack at York over 6F, and I’m happy to forgive his subsequent fifth at Newmarket behind Ten Sovereigns. Sharmadal came into his own when he tackled a mile plus, and the dam also brings stamina to the fore. There is good reason to believe we may see a stronger, more developed, and altogether different horse now going over 1m and at 40/1 each way makes for an interesting bet at such huge odds.
Monday morning saw Godolphin supplement Al Hilalee for the race at a cost of £30,000, following a key racecourse gallop in Meydan that clearly impressed connections. A Derby entry this unbeaten son of Dubawi described by trainer Appleby as “a unit” who handled the undulations on the July course last season, he should feel right at home on the galloping Rowley Mile come Saturday. At odds of 16/1 the hint should be taken each way.
On Sunday the 1000 Guineas takes centre stage for the fillies with Qubala heading the market at 7/2. The favourite winner of the key trial The Nell Gwyn in taking style, drawing right away from a good field. The Roger Varian filly looks sure to go very well.
Skitter Scatter from the John Oxx stable who trained the imperious Sea The Stars to 2000 Guineas success 10 years ago, is expecting a big run from this Scat Daddy offspring. Strong market support over the last 48 hours into 6/1 second favourite only further adds to the confidence behind this filly and is an interesting selection.
Iridessa from the up and coming Joseph O’Brien stable looks very interesting based on her Group 1 Fillies mile win over course and distance last October. Her seasonal appearance on face value might be viewed as slightly disappointing, however the soft ground may well not have suited as well as the fast ground she’s shown her best form on so far. At current odds of 8/1 she makes fair each way value against rivals whose prices have contracted more over the past days.
For those looking for a lively outsider likely to outrun her odds then Star Terms from the Richard Hannon stable looks sure to be suited by this testing mile, a strong gallop, and should run well.
Saturday Qipco 2000 Guineas
Emaratty Ana 40/1 each way
Al Hilalee 12/1 each way
Sunday Qipco 1000 Guineas
Iridessa 7/1 each way
Star Terms 25/1 each way
Have a great, profitable, and enjoyable Guineas weekend.
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