Newmarket Guineas Weekend …

April 30th, 2018 | Marten's Current Racing Diary

Hi there!

The five-day entries for Newmarket’s Guineas meeting appeared today and the biggest shock is the absence of September’s name from the 1,000 Guineas.

There had been little said by Aidan O’Brien about the filly this spring – often an ominous sign from a man who prefers to dwell on the positive – and although she had remained steady in the betting for Sunday’s race I started to have doubts about her participation a few days ago. I suspect that despite her diminutive stature she has simply not yet come to hand.

O’Brien still has five fillies to call upon, headed by ante-post favourite Happily, who is supported by Bye Bye Baby, I Can Fly, Sarrocchi and Sizzling.

Mick Channon has paid £30,000 to supplement Dan’s Dream while Nell Gwyn Stakes winner Soliloquy has also been added to the field.

Of the others I am pleased to see Billesdon Brook left in the race. Richard Hannon’s tough daughter of Champs Elysees can reduce the five and a half lengths deficit with Soliloquy over the longer trip. By contrast I am not convinced that Dan’s Dream, whose dam is by Royal Applause, will improve for the step up to a mile.

Laurens is one of the more interesting fillies in the race, especially if she has grown into her imposing frame. Teppal, not seen since impressing in a Kempton novice in September, and Godolphin’s Wild Illusion, who is bred to stay middle distances, are others that command respect.

I will have more to say about the race in my Online Preview, which is available to view on Thursday evening, but at this stage I rate the race rather more competitive than the betting suggests.

Seventeen colts have been left in the 2,000 Guineas, headed by gutsy Leopardstown trial winner Gustav Klimt. On BHA figures this 112-rated son of Galileo should not be favourite, behind the joint-top 118-rated Masar and Roaring Lion. On the subject of Roaring Lion, it was interesting to read that John Gosden has had a rethink about the colt’s participation having started to pick up at home.

Visually his Craven Stakes conqueror Masar has been the most impressive trial winner this spring, while Saxon Warrior’s Racing Post Trophy form has taken a knock or two.

Mark Johnston’s Elarqam, unraced this season, seems to be carrying plenty of confidence but Expert Eye looked rather lifeless at Newbury in the Greenham and may struggle to replicate the impression he made at Goodwood last season.

The most interesting of the less-exposed runners is Without Parole, who has won his two races by wide margins. He has a most attractive way of going.

Regarding the ground the going at Newmarket is currently good to soft, but heavy rain is forecast for Wednesday followed by dry days and a warm weekend. I expect the ground to be riding just on the easy side of good.

I am sure to be getting quite a few bits and pieces of news for the meeting which will appear in my Online Preview.

I will be there for both days and look forward to sharing my thoughts and reflections with you upon my return.

Bye for now