The flat season returns front and centre on ITV this week with the first Classic of the year.
Gustav Klimt, Saxon Warrior, Elarqam and Masar head a field of 14 who will go for broke over 1m in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket in the last race of the day.
We’ve had our say on the feature race, and the five other contests from Goodwood and Newmarket, on what should be a pulsating afternoon on the flat…
There’s no place better to start than the 2000 Guineas. Aidan O’Brien has won this a record-breaking eight times, including last year with Churchill.
But we think his main fancies will be scuppered this time round by Charlie Appleby and Masar.
Anyone who saw the son of New Approach bolt up by 9l in the Craven Stakes last month could not fail to be impressed by the raider.
If he can produce another run like that, we think he stands a very good chance for a trainer who has developed a handy habit of banging in big race winners of late.
The Longholes Palace House Stakes looks set to be a three-way tussle between Havana Grey, Alpha Delphini and Mabs Cross.
And it’s the middle horse who gets our vote to show his class and experience up against the two young pretenders.
Graham Lee’s charge finished a solid second with a front-running ride on his return at Musselburgh last time out.
He’ll be better for that run as he bids to recapture form which saw him land a Listed contest back in 2016.
The selection finished eighth in this renewal last year, but will face a much kinder set of opponents this time around.
We reckon the favourite could get turned over in the Spring Lodge Stakes. So we’ve looked for something at a handy each-way price further down the field.
What did we go for? Spark Plug, of course. Who can provide a right old shock in the betting ring.
Brian Meehan’s raider should get the strong pace he wants from a large-field. He’s won Listed contests before now and last season went close in a host of black-type renewals.
A mark of 109 leaves him vulnerable against the rest of the field. But there are no question marks over his quality. And we think he has what it takes to flick the switch for each-way punters.
ITV Racing Tips:
1:50 Newmarket – Spark Plug (each-way, Lively Longshot)
2:05 Goodwood – What A Home
2:20 Newmarket – Alpha Delphini (NB)
2:40 Goodwood – Mister Music (each-way)
2:55 Newmarket – Defoe
3:35 Newmarket – Masar (NAP)
All Odds and Markets correct as of date and publication