The return of the classics takes place at Newmarket with a fantastic betting card, albeit one which is ferociously competitive.
1.50 – Spring Lodge Stakes (Handicap) (Formerly The Suffolk Stakes) (Class 2) (3yo+): Elector was rather highly tried last season before finding his way into handicaps but looks a typical Sir Michael Stoute improver as a four-year-old and he should find the Rowley Mile more to his liking than Kempton, when he came home to good effect when last seen. Power of Darkness and Al Muffrih will both take some beating but another who appeals is Aquarium, who was unable to find a run and was then unbalanced when second in the City and Suburban Handicap at Epsom ten days ago. He can be more forward here and should handle the dip better than he did the camber at Epsom, and on the straight mile should get less trouble in running than he did last time. If Vintager bounced back to form here he will take a huge amount of beating but no excuses have been found for the last time.
Advice: 1 pt each/way Elector (7/1 general), 1 pt each/way Aquarium (12/1 general)
2.20 – Zoustar Palace House Stakes (Group 3) (Class 1) (3yo+): Sergel Prokofiev has a run and a win under his belt this season, with an excellent win in the Cork Stakes, and the previous course and distance winner (took the Cornwallis Stakes) has a favourite’s chance. He will get a fierce pace to run at, just like in the Cornwallis, and his juvenile form looks to be as good as anything here apart from Mabs Cross. Mabs Cross, third in the King’s Stand, a nose second in the Nunthorpe, and then a winner of the L’Abbaye, is the class act but she’s giving away race fitness as well as a penalty and that might just prove to be too much. Equilaterial appears happier at 6f, as does Major Jumbo, and perhaps the each/way angle could be Judicial. He lost out to Mabs Cross in this last year and then had some bad luck, getting no run in the Achilles Stakes and finding the ground too soft at Newbury last September, but when on his mettle he’s a very sharp horse and 11/1 could prove to be big. Sir Thomas Gresham should enjoy this trip more than 6 furlongs and Tarboosh and El Astronaute are both improving.
Advice: 1 pt each/way Judicial (11/1 general)
2.55 – (Row) Roaring Lion Jockey Club Stakes (Group 2) (Class 1) (4yo+): Coronet has bumped into class acts in Group 1 company, finishing a nose second to Waldgeist, third to Poet’s Word, and then second to Sea of Class and Magical last year, and if she’s as tuned up as she was when a winner of the Middleton Stakes then she will take the beating. Defoe and Young Rascal ought to have improved for their retune in the John Porter but they’ll have needed to; the really interesting one is Mildenberger, who needed the return a lot in the City and Suburban Handicap but who was second to Roaring Lion in the Dante last year. If back to that form, he could do well this season and he’s worth watching in the market.
Advice: 2 pts win Coronet (7/4 general)
3.35 – 1m (Row) Qipco 2000 Guineas Stakes (Group 1) (British Champions Series) (Colts & Fillies) (Class 1) (3yo):
My two main each/way shots are Madhmoon and Royal Marine, but I’m also adding Great Scot, who will relish getting a step up back up in trip after a great run in the Greenham.
4.10 – Havana Gold Handicap (Class 2) (3yo 0-100): A lot of potential here but Intuitive was probably value for a bit more than the winning distance on his return and a mark of 87 is fair for that. He can get the better of Jackstar, Mawkib, and Louis Treize.
Advice: 1 pt win Intuitive (5/2 general)
4.45 – Lightning Spear Newmarket Stakes (Listed Race) (Colts & Geldings) (Class 1) (3yo): UAE Jewel looked impressive when winning the Wood Ditton but Walkinthesand arguably achieved at least as much as he did when pushing Vertem Futurity Trophy sixth Kick On to a neck in the Fielden and perhaps he should be closer to the favorite in the betting. Beatbxer disappointed in the Royal Lodge but he has had a wind op since so is worth watching closely I the market. Persial Moon shouldn’t be as big as he is, having run well when upped to this trip in the Classic Trial at Sandown.
Advice: 1 pt win Walkinthesand (7/4 general)
5.20 – Qatar Racing Welfare Handicap (Class 2) (3yo 0-105): A tricky last. Fox Leicester went too wide and too quickly in the Esher Cup, but has had only a week to recover from that. Alkaamel has form figures of 11122 since being sent handicapping and his secnd at Ripon in a good handicap (third was a previous winner, 1st got first run) shows he can handle turf too. He makes most appeal, with Brian Epstein sure to improve for his return and Global Warning an impressive winner, albeit in a weak race, at Newcastle last time.
Advice: 1 pt win Alkaamel (4/1 general)