With a weekend of UK horse racing ahead of us, WhichBookie racing tipster Will Smith gives his thoughts on the 2000 Guineas and other races at Newmarket.
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Saturday 4th June 3.35 Newmarket:
Arizona – 11/2 EW (Paddy Power)
Royal Dornoch – 25/1 EW (Paddy Power)
Friday 3rd June 1.50 Newmarket:
Pass The Vino – 11/1 EW (William Hill)
Saturday 4th June 1.15 Newmarket:
Makanah – 14/1 EW (Paddy Power)
The first weekend of UK racing action is nearly upon us, and if you are watching at home on your TV screens, it will look no different to any other usual weekend – in fact the quality has been sandwiched into a packed schedule, so it will be even more gripping viewing than usual.
First port of call has to be the first Classic of the season, the 2000 Guineas. It looks an up to standard renewal, and as can often be the case, the draw could play a large part. As such, it makes sense to maybe play one on either side of the 15-runner field.
I’m keen to take on Pinatubo, who was a superstar 2-year-old, but quite how much he will improve from his lofty level, as a 3-year-old is open to question. Does he even need to improve? Maybe not, but given how close Arizona got to him in the Dewhurst at the back end of last season, and given how much more improvement there is to come from Aidan O’Brien’s son of No Nay Never, it makes sense to have an each-way play on Arizona at 11/2 with Paddy Power, who offer 4 places. You can get 6/1 elsewhere, but I think having the fourth place as a safety cushion is wise.
As I said, the draw can be crucial, as where the other Ballydoyle runners are berthed is notable. Arizona is in stall 13, so you would imagine Ryan Moore will make a beeline for the sometimes favoured near rail. Aidan’s other runners are Wichita in stall 9 and New World Tapestry in stall 8. Given that Pinatubo is in stall 7, this could create a fascinating subplot to the race. How much will the Ballydoyle horses allow Pinatubo to race unharried and will they allow William Buick to position himself where he would like to in the race?
The other horse worth backing has a win to his name at the track in a Group 2, where he beat the subsequent Vertem Futurity Trophy winner Kameko, who is as short as 11/2, and trained by Aidan O’Brien also. Royal Dornoch is exactly the type of tough, hardy, experienced colt that can thrive for the stable in this race. He also has the assistance of the hugely upwardly mobile young Tom Marquand, and I’m sure instructions will be to plough a lone furrow on the far side – if it just so happens to be the favoured side, then 25/1 and four places each-way with Paddy Power will be very tasty.
Elsewhere over the weekend at HQ, I am keen on a couple of double figure prices in sprint handicaps. They both have low draws, which I think may favour one more so than the other given where the stalls are positioned on the Friday and Saturday. But with only 11 and 12 runners in their races, it might not be that big a factor.
The 1.50 over 6f on Friday features some progressive handicappers like Swindler, but a horse who came good at this time of year last season at Newmarket was Pass The Vino, and at 11/1 each-way four places with William Hill, he is well worth backing to see if Paul D’Arcy can re-find that early season form at this track again.
The opening race on Saturday is a 5f handicap at 1.15, again with some very solid types. But one horse who ran well above the bare from on any number of occasions last season, due to poor draws or various unfortunate pace set-ups, is Julie Camacho’s Makanah. At 14/1 with Paddy Power he is worth a few quid each-way, again with the four places to aim at. Hopefully stall 1 won’t be another hindrance.