Racing Round-Up: Guineas reaction and Punchestown pointers
There’s been plenty to reflect on for fans of both codes this past week with Newmarket and Newbury providing key Classic trials on the Flat while the Punchestown Festival is about to light up the dying embers of the Jumps season.
Here’s our take on all the main talking points…
Churchill unmoved as others lay down 2000 Guineas markers
Aidan O’Brien’s Churchill is still out on his own in the 2000 Guineas market at 6/4. But while he’s stayed at home in the run-up to this year’s Classic, his rivals have been busy showcasing their credentials.
Eminent (as tipped up by us…) was hugely impressive in landing the Craven Stakes at HQ and the Martyn Meade-trained charge is now a 6/1 shot for the big one.
However, the racing literati are more smitten by Greenham Stakes hero, Barney Roy.
The Godolphin entrant is the same price as his rival. But while Eminent was eye-catching the thinking goes that he’s perhaps a rangier type who could want further as opposed to Barney Roy who looks built for speed.
Dream Castle, runner-up in the Greenham, is 16/1 for the Guineas. However, the Frankel foal could prove even quicker still given the way he blazed down the Newbury track before eventually fading.
That performance hinted that shorter trips could be the way to go for the Saeed Bin-Suroor-trained three-year-old.
It could pay to get on the 6/1 currently about Dream Castle winning the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot.
Daban and Dabyah look likely to go their separate ways
In terms of the 1000 Guineas, stablemates Daban and Dabyah were the standout performers last week.
The John Gosden-Frankie Dettori partnership brought rich rewards with these two particularly impressive.
First, Ladbrokes ambassador Frankie steered Daban to victory, marking his fourth straight Nell Gwyn success and seventh in total.
Then it was the turn of Dabyah to oblige in the Fred Darling Stakes.
Both are 8/1 for Guineas success although the sticking point is both are also owned by Abdullah Saeed Al Naboodah.
Word on the street is Daban will get her UK Classic chance while Dabyah will head to France.
With the fillies, perhaps it’s wise to stick with antepost jolly Rhododendron at 5/2.
Sizing John v Coneygree is ON
While the Flat turf season is just clicking into gear, we’re about to wave goodbye to the Jumps season proper.
But not before the five-day spectacular that is the Punchestown Festival.
On Thursday we’ll be treated to an intriguing re-match between Cheltenham 1-2-3 Nichols Canyon, Lil Rockerfeller and beaten favourite Unowhatimeanharry in the Ladbrokes Champion Stayers’ Hurdle.
Meanwhile, the return of mother-to-be Annie Power will something to behold in the Punchestown Champion Hurdle.
However, before both of those contests we’ll be treated to two Cheltenham Gold Cup winners going head-to-head in the form of Sizing John and Coneygree.
We make this year’s hero Sizing John the 11/10 favourite to overcome 2015 winner Coneygree (6/1) and re-opposing Djakadam (5/2).
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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing