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WEEKLY RACING OUTLOOK



NEWMARKET GUINEAS WEEKEND: 2018


Every racing fan can identify themselves with one particular race/meeting that pops up on the racing calendar & for the big thumb the 1000 & 2000 Guineas meeting is the one for us. Not sure there are many races that get the blood pumping like this one, really looking forward to it. We're not huge fans of ante post punting, in fact we didn't even have any ante post bets at the Cheltenham. However, we have been sitting on a few ante post punts in this race (More on that as we go on) so we thought we would knock together a runner by runner break down of the big race. We've had some success in previous years in this race, in fact we have had the last FIVE 2000 Guineas winners appear in our "Horses To Follow" book & hopefully this year we can follow up...


2000 GUINEAS
3.35 NEWMARKET, SATURDAY 5th MAY 2018 3.35, 1 MILE, GROUP ONE


1. CARDSHARP (M JOHNSTON) 100/1

The first of two Mark Johnston runners in this years first classic & on paper & pricing it clearly is the second string for the stable. This son of Lonhro was far from disgraced last season as a two year old & ran well here too, at Newmarket in the process. He was a winner over the 6f course winning the July Stakes & ran a credible second in the Middle Park stakes over 7f last September. He made is re-appearance at Deauville on heavy ground last month & was beaten 21 lengths, so he has plenty to answer for in this contest.

VERDICT - Whilst not wanting to completely rule out anything, this fella looks like he has a LOT to do here to land this contest. His form from last season is actually very good, but the run last time out is not something you would expect to see from a potential Guineas winner. He may appreciate better ground, but surely a place is the most backers of his would be hoping for, as it would be a poor guineas if he won, surely!


2. ELARQAM (M JOHNSTON) 5/1

The second of two Mark Johnston runners to look at here & it's safe to say there is a lot more optimism about this chap then there is of the previous one, with all due respect! This is the first of five horses to run in this race from our "2018 Horses To Follow On The Flat". This son of Frankel took many a judge's eye last season & is making his re-appearance in this contest carrying a lot of hype. The hype certainly caught us, this colts Mother & Father were both Guineas winners (Frankel 2000 Guineas in 2011 & Attraction 1000 Guineas in 2004) & we actually backed him a few months back at 8/1 to win in our second ante post bet in this race. We were left a bit perplexed by the trainers decision to not name the horses's publicly he galloped with when at Newmarket, but then Mark Johnston is not always the most straight forward of chaps. On top of that his form has gone down a notch since last seen, but he does remain unbeaten & we can only hope the colt improves into a classy one.

VERDICT - Having backed him to win a few months back at 8/1, we certainly will be hoping he carries on his progression from a two year old. Like we say above his form has taken a bit of a cooling down after Kevin Ryan's AYUTTHAYA was beaten in a handicap on re-appearance, but you can't help feel a horse with this pedigree could be classy enough to defy form lines & turn into something special.

Mark Johnston has two representatives in this years contest & both have chances 


3. EXPERT EYE (SIR M STOUTE) 9/1

For many people the very first horse in 2017 being touted as an early favourite for this years 2000 Guineas, was this son of Acclamation & Sir Michael Stoute trained colt. He won what has turned out to be a very strong Vintage Stakes last August at Goodwood & from then on in he was installed as the favourite with bookmakers to win the Guineas. However, after winning that contest in August the colt was put away for nearly two and a half months before being bitterly disappointing in the Dewhurst, an often key trial for this race, finishing stone last as the 4/7 favourite. Since re-appearing as a three year old last month, he did not run too badly in the Greenham at Newbury & there is a slight chance he could bounce back again here. However for us, he has more questions to answer running in a stronger race.

VERDICT - As mentioned, this horse carried a huge reputation through out 2017 & it would be no surprise to see the house bounce back under the guidance of a brilliant trainer. However having said that we have our doubts about the horse's mentality & with that in mind we are happy to let him run without our money this year.


4. GUSTAV KLIMT (A O'BRIEN) 5/2

The second of five "2018 Horses To Follow On The Flat" running in this contest & our very first ante post bet placed in this race, last July when we advised to back this horse E/W at 20/1. Massive fan of this of horse & actually is the first horse to feature in our to follow e-book. Loved the way this colt beat his rivals in a maiden at the Curragh last year, then there was that incredible route to victory taken in the Superlative Stakes here at Newmarket last October. He has a good action going through the ground & his win last month has to go down as impressive given the amount of ground he made up on soft ground.


VERDICT - The 20/1 has obviously long gone & at 5/2 there has to obviously be a lot of confidence in him, but we do think he's the most exciting colt in the race & we are certainly looking forward to him run. There have been murmurs of mention about Aidan O'Brien not giving his best ones a prep run before a Guineas & he obviously did have one, but I still feel our E/W bet has a chance. Would love to see this son of Galileo rule King of the Rowley Mile on Saturday.

Gustav Klimt winning the Superlative Stakes in spectacular fashion last year at Newmarket.


5. HEADWAY (W HAGGAS) 33/1

The third runner in the race from our "2018 Horses To Follow On The Flat" is the William Haggas trained Headway. This colt out of Havana Gold was flagged up in our to follow list, as a potential 6f-7f horse this year, so quite surprised to see him line up over a mile in this contest. The reason for that is obviously his style of victory in the Spring Cup at Lingfield, on the 3rd March, as it was hugely impressive. Conditions here will be very different, so will be fascinating to see how he goes!


VERDICT - As mentioned this race is a very different one from his last time out victory at Lingfield, where he was so impressive, but he does feature in our "2018 Horses To Follow On The Flat" for a reason. He is talented & may shock a few with his effort, but should probably find himself bumping into another who will be more suited to the conditions of this race.


6. JAMES GARFIELD (G SCOTT) 25/1 

The fourth runner off our "2018 Horses To Follow On The Flat" is this years Greenham winner James Garfield. This brilliantly named colt for rookie trainer George Scott carries some very smart form coming into this contest & should prove to, hopefully, enjoy a decent three year old campaign.  He beat a fairly useful field in the Greenham & his form as a two year old has been franked in many places, including Invincible Army coming out winning the Pavilion Stakes earlier in the week at Ascot.

VERDICT - At 25/1 he is hugely overpriced in our opinion & could very easily hit the top 3/4 for a place at the price, or if even one of the bigger guns have an off day, nick this. Like we mention his form from last year is very strong & has proven he can dine at the big table with Group wins here & a good run in the Breeders Cup last year. With him featuring in our "2018 Horses To Follow On The Flat" he is one we are excited to see more of this year.


7. MASAR (C APPLEBY) 5/1

Many people view both the 1000 & 2000 Guineas to be a Godolphin/Ballydoyle battle this year & the boys in blue are represented by the very impressive Craven winner Masar. He wasn't a complete shock winner that day at Newmarket, but certainly upset a few when beating Roaring Lion last time out. The question over this one is wether he beat a flat horse not fully fit, or he is just full of class. To be honest it's a bit of a hard question to answer without watching him run again & he has to prove it here off a new rating of 118, it will be tricky in our opinion.

VERDICT - Huge respect for this horse in this race, but you have to draw the line somewhere & I feel he will have to improve a lot more to win this contest. His two year old form is very good, but just wonder if he will get his own way of things out of front & wether he can improve once more against a very useful field.


8. MURILLO (A O'BRIEN) 50/1

Considering Aidan O'Brien only fields three in this race, it's quite surprising to see the third priced as big of this. However when looking at things more closely, this Son of Scat Daddy perhaps isn't an out & out miler & will probably end up becoming a sprinter given the pedigree.  He hasn't been seen since July when finishing third to BECKFORD in the Railway Stakes at The Curragh, so he has to defy a huge lay off.

VERDICT - Going to be a bit of a turn up if this one can play a hand in the outcome of the race, despite his two year old form being far from shabby. He has a pedigree that shouts out sprinting so he could be one using the race as a prep towards something later on in the Spring/Summer over a shorter distance.

Aidan O'Brien is chasing his NINTH 2000 Guineas winner this year & once again has a strong hand


9. NEBO (C HILLS) 66/1

Charlie Hills is represented this year with a colt who again carried some very smart two year old form, including narrow defeats to Gustav Klimt & James Garfield. However, as our pockets found out having backed him, he was not quite at this best when re-appearing as a three year old at Newmarket last month. He was disappointing in the European Free Handicap that day & you would imagine he would need to improve upwards of ten pound to get involved here & that is hugely questionable given his run last time out.

VERDICT - Like we mentioned, on his old form you wouldn't want to rule him out, however he has since been ran plenty of times & is looking a bit exposed. He would have to find a huge improvement to play a hand in this & others are much preferred.


10. RAID (D SIMCOCK) 33/1

Every year the 2000 Guineas gets a horse thrown in who catches the eye after just one run as a two year old & then an impressive run first time out as a three year old. That was going to be the profile for WITHOUT PAROLE, but he has since withdrawn & we now left with only one fitting that profile & that's this fella Raid. Very hard to gauge exactly what to expect here as he has only ran the twice, but he could be anything & could improve again from that run in the run in the Greenham where a few marked him up as one to watch after staying on for fourth.

VERDICT - Hard one to figure out in this race & judging by his runs, there may not be enough juice in the ground for him. He's clearly thought of well though & he could be one to keep onside with after this contest, which he may find come one race to soon for him.


11. RAJASINGHE (R SPENCE) 50/1

Not often you see a Royal Ascot Coventry Stakes winner so far down the pecking order for this contest & for the dreamers out there, there may be a few who chance a few pennies at this colt. He has been kept relatively quiet since winning at the Royal Meeting last year, having ran just three times since then, including a run at the Breeders Cup last year. His trainer is very bullish about his chances & thinks he can out run his odds, even if he has to turn around form with a few of these.

VERDICT - Probably not the worse 50/1 shot you will see run all year & perhaps if out of a bigger stable he would be shorter in the betting. He does however have a bit to find & whilst not ruling out a big run, it would be a big surprise if he was to actually win this contest.


12. ROARING LION (J GOSDEN) 16/1

The last horse to feature from our "2018 Horses To Follow On The Flat" in this contest has to bounce back from a poor run last time out in the Craven here at Newmarket, behind the well fancied Masar. As much as we would like this horse to bounce back, we do have reservations as he was well beat last time out & perhaps he hasn't wintered as well as we would of all liked. Gosden relies on just the one in this race, so clearly he feels this horse still has more to offer & after he labelled the horse just "80% fit" in the Craven, it would be no shock to see him bounce back. His form is up there with the well fancied runners and has to respected.

VERDICT - Whilst mentioned above his form is of a very high level, we just can't get that run last time out of our heads & he simply has a lot of questions to answer. It's a well known thing to not rule out horses on the back of a bad first time out run, but given the quality of this race it would surely be a mammoth task to bounce back & beat some of these. An interesting one none the less, but has lots of questions to answer.


13. SAXON WARRIOR (A O'BRIEN) 9/2

The third & final O'Brien dart in this contest & for us is the chief threat to those we fancy, having been another well touted to win this contest. He comes here undefeated having ran three times, including when last seen at Doncaster last year winning the Racing Post Trophy. He beat that day Roaring Lion & a few other horses that we like, so it would be very silly to rule him out on that grounds. He is a son of Deep Impact & whilst we don't have a sample size of how his offspring fair in these contests, he clearly is a horse commanding the respect of many looking over the race.

VERDICT - Whilst this horse gets maximum respect from us & will do so from many others, you simply can't back them all & we are going to have to let him run here in hope we have sided with the right O'Brien runner. Whilst he is undefeated we still feel that Beresford Stakes last year at Naas could turn out to be one of the weaker contests of what is usually a very hot race for two year olds in Ireland & would much rather see this horse run one more time before labelling him a potential superstar.  As mentioned though, the respect for this horse is there from us & he really is the chief threat to gauging profit out from this race for us.


14. TIP TWO WIN (R FELL) 40/1

The last of this years runners in this contest is another for a relatively quiet trainer when it comes to landing Group One wins. If you dive into racing websites and racing news this week, you will read some quite heart warming stories about this horse & his small stable dreaming of landing a huge race like this.


VERDICT - It actually must be stated that this horse's form is not actually all that bad as a two year old, but it surely wouldn't be a horse you would imagine winning a 2000 Guineas!? All the same we do wish connections all the best with this fella, in what would be a huge day out & upset if it did happen.


There are 14 runners set to go to post for this years 2000 Guineas. Good luck with what ever you back!

OUR BETS


GUSTAV KLIMT 20/1 E/W (ADVISED 13th JULY 2017)

ELARQAM 8/1 WIN (ADVISED 28th MARCH 2018)