It’s been a long time between drinks, but just under two months since Ed Chamberlin and co. last brought us action from a wet and windy Thurles, the ITV Racing crew are back.
They’re back in more familiar climes, too, with the Oaks and Derby Trial starring alongside the rescheduled Coronation Cup in an action-packed seven-race card across Lingfield and Newmarket.
We can’t wait for a thrilling afternoon on ITV4, and we’ve previewed the main contests in our ITV Racing Tips.
Race of the Day – Coronation Cup – Newmarket, 15:35.
Often skipped over on Oaks Day at Epsom, the Coronation Cup has found a temporary new home as the feature race on the second day of Newmarket’s four-day Guineas Festival.
It’s a race worthy of the limelight, with last year’s winner Defoe taking on the might of Ghaiyyath for Charlie Appleby, 2019 Derby winner Anthony van Dyck for Aidan O’Brien and most interestingly, Stradivarius.
John Gosden’s super stayer, who picked up the Stayers’ Million for a second year in a row in 2019, is more accustomed to marathon trips of 2m or longer, so it’s fascinating to see him dropped in distance here.
The six-year-old usually shows plenty of excess speed, so there’s a fair chance he’ll take to the task over 1m 4f, although he won’t be without challenges, with Ghaiyyath looking like the biggest obstacle.
He won the Preis von Baden over this trip last term and produced a stunning performance to land the Group 3 Dubai Millennium Stakes by 8l at Meydan in February as well as having an excellent record when fresh.
Next Best – Derby Trial – Lingfield, 15:15
With no Aidan O’Brien sniffing around this looks like a fairly wide-open renewal of the Lingfield Derby Trial.
English King, Berkshire Rocco and King Carney are vying for favouritism at the top of the market, with the foremost of the trio stepping up in class after a taking hands and heels victory at Newcastle in November.
Berkshire Rocco should enjoy the step up in trip and is worth a check in the market depending on how Miss Yoda, who finished just ahead of our runner in the Zetland Stakes, gets on in the Oaks Trial at 14:40.
Elsewhere, King Carney will need to prove he can do it on a faster surface after landing a Listed event on soft ground at Pontefract, while Sound of Cannons and Dark Heart will not be without their supporters either.
One to Watch – Abernant Stakes – Newmarket, 14:25
There’s nothing we love more than a fast and furious 6f sprint, so we’re very much looking forward to the Group 3 Abernant Stakes and the reappearance of the much-loved Brando.
The eight-year-old put in a succession of positive appearances at the highest level last year including when runner-up in the Prix Maurice de Gheest and fourth in the Sprint Cup.
He’s won first time out on four separate occasions throughout his career, and in lesser company than he’s used to facing, we’re expecting a big run from the veteran.
However, Keystroke did get up ahead of the favourite in this contest last year, while Oxted signed off 2019 by winning the Portland. Breathtaking Look won both starts over this trip as a juvenile.
ITV Racing Schedule:
13:50 Newmarket – Betway Handicap
14:05 Lingfield – East Grinstead Handicap Stakes
14:25 Newmarket – Abernant Stakes (Group 3)
14:40 Lingfield – Oaks Trial (Listed)
15:00 Newmarket – Paradise Stakes (Listed)
15:15 Lingfield – Derby Trials (Listed)
15:35 Newmarket – Coronation Cup (Group 1)
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication.