Kevin Ryan can storm Palace with 20-1 runner
29 April 2016
Trepidation, intrigue and a heightening interest take hold as we approach the first Classics of the season at Newmarket this weekend.
At the culmination of last season we were left in awe as both Air Force Blue and Minding blew their rivals away on the Rowley Mile to establish themselves in the higher two-year-old echelons.
Winter has passed, though you wouldn’t know it, by the freezing temperatures and bizarre snowy weather, yet the pair who took ownership of Guineas favouritism return at the head of the market ready to tackle all comers.
Their rivals may be different, but the strength of confidence behind Air Force Blue and Minding remain the same.
There are stamina doubts for Air Force Blue and Thursday’s 8mm of rain would have strengthened that concern and boosted the chances of chief challenger, Stormy Antarctic.
It seems odd that Marcel is a bigger price, he defeated Foundation by four lengths in the Group One Racing Post Trophy, while Stormy Antarctic was three and a half lengths ahead of John Gosden’s charge.
It is worth contemplating what Herald The Dawn would be priced up a lot shorter, had he not run at Longchamp and pulled so hard to finish seventh behind Ultra in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagadere. He was only three lengths behind Air Force Blue in the National Stakes.
I would not want to be the bookmaker laying each-way 25-1 or bigger a Jim Bolger runner in any race, let alone the Qipco 2000 Guineas!
Godolphin also own Buratino, trained by Mark Johnston, and he, too, has beaten Air Force Blue in the Coventry Stakes, though that was soon rectified by Aidan O’Brien’s runner in the Phoenix Stakes.
Buratino had an exceptionally busy season at two, though his gallop on the Rowley Mile at the Craven meeting showed he was as enthusiastic as ever. Galileo Gold has a new fan base, and heavy support for him came in the middle part of this week. He was third in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere three months after his win in Goodwood’s Vintage Stakes and Frankie Dettori is on board.
The Guineas is very tricky because since last year I thought Air Force Blue had this in the bag, but during the last few days doubt has crept in.
There is a belief that Air Force Blue could be exceptional, though the sensible option is to watch as for me there is value to be had elsewhere throughout the day.
What a supporting card there is! The rain would not have assisted the cause of Sole Power and Kingsgate Native. Initially my selection was Cotai Glory, though now the rain has come I am leaning towards Goken. He has been with Kevin Ryan since November last year, having been trained in France. Two runs for him have shown immense promise and they have both been on an all-weather surface. He has shown a liking to a variety of ground, including soft. He has run in three Group Ones and he was only seven lengths behind Muharaar in the Commonwealth Cup. He appears value at big odds.
The Dunaden At Overbury Jockey Club Stakes offers up an intriguing predicament - do you take odds-on Jack Hobbs? Or do you side with St Leger winner Simple Verse conceding weight? Or do you opt for one of the remaining runners?
For me it’s the latter, and my reasoning is that the big two have much to look forward to throughout the season and they have yet to step foot on a racecourse. Big Orange in contrast has had a run, when second in the Dubai Gold Cup last month. The distance may well be insufficient to his requirements, though I sense Frankie may have him out in front dictating the pace to the others and gradually winding up the pace as each furlong goes by. Star Storm could be a major player as James Fanshawe has brought this one along gradually.
While I’m on the subject of James Fanshawe his apprentice jockey, George Wood. looks a star of the future. I watch him win aboard King Of Naples at Redcar on Thursday and was very impressed.
Tanya Stevenson's Saturday tips:
2.30 Newmarket: Goken each-way at 20-1 with Bet365 and Bet Victor
3.05 Newmarket: Big Orange at 10-1 generally available
None of the last ten favourites have won
Eight of the last ten winners carried 9st or less
Nine of the last ten winners were aged four or five
All of the last ten winners were drawn 12 or lower
Seven of the last ten winners derived from the first four in the betting
Nine of the last ten winners were no older than six
Eight of the last ten winners finished in the first two on their most recent start
Six of the last ten winners had had a run in the current season
Nine of the last ten winners derived from the first three in the betting
Seven of the last ten winners were aged four
Sir Michael Stoute has won the race on seven occasions dating back to 1983 with Electric
Luca Cumani has won the race on four occasions with Second Step now going for back-to-back victories
Since 1988 eight favourites have won the Qipco 2000 Guineas, yet more recently the record has strengthened to five of the last ten and four of the last five.
Since 1988 16 favourites have finished either first or second
Seventeen of the last 20 winners had won at least twice in their career
Sixteen of the last 20 winners had won on their most recent start
Fourteen of the last 20 were making their seasonal debut in the 2000 Guineas
Fifteen of the last 20 won on their racecourse debut
As for the draw in the 2000 Guineas the best stalls to be in are three, one, four, five and nine with stall three providing the winner five times since 1988 and stall one successful four times in that period.
Three of the last five odds-on favourites in the 2000 Guineas have won
Sixteen of the last 20 winners had won over 7f or further (six of those had won over a mile)