It’s Guineas weekend at Newmarket and time for Native Trail to meet his destiny.
HQ hosts three excellent days of racing, though terrific support comes from Goodwood and Newcastle. We have runners across all three days, including a value selection in Sunday’s fillies’ Classic.
Friday 29th April 2022
1.30 Goodwood (Conditions Stakes) – AL MUBHIR
A potentially trappy four-runner race to kick off with, but one in which Al Mubhir may be second or even third favourite which means some value is definitely on offer.
William Haggas’ colt won very well on debut, beaten several subsequent winners. Based on what they have achieved relative to him he should be too good at this level.
Al Mubhir was in the in the Craven and the Guineas, Tom Marquand in fact having said he was very excited by him. I hope Tuscan takes out a chunk of the market leaving us with a nice price.
3.15 Goodwood (Daisy Warwick Fillies’ Stakes – Listed Race) – SAVE A FOREST
With the exception of Crystal Starlet, all of the fillies in this race are returning from long breaks. While Glenartney, Silence Please and Bartzella may all have good seasons, Save A Forest looks the pick.
Roger Varian’s filly won three races as a three-year-old, including at Listed level, and was fourth in the Oaks too. She very much looks the type who will peak this year and she might be too good for this field.
6.10 Newcastle (Handicap) – PETER THE GREAT
Frankie Dettori is at Newcastle on Friday night and he gets to ride the last two winners of the Wood Ditton Stakes, including Peter The Great.
After winning at Newmarket last year, you could say Anthony Oppenheimer’s son of New Approach didn’t go on as well as had been hoped, but his best subsequent form was at Newcastle and he has no doubt matured significantly now.
Race Night at Cheltenham
It's also race night at Cheltenham on Friday. I've covered every race over on my dedicated Cheltenham site
Saturday 30th April 2022
2.25 Newmarket (Suffolk Handicap) – DHAHABI
This handicap race is run over the Cambridgeshire course and distance and in fact is only worth about £20,000 less, so keep an eye on the form.
Recent winner Fast Medicine is officially well in and could improve, but Dhahabi was a very expensive buy and was set for top honours before hitting a problem last year.
He returns before perhaps heading right to the top table. The half brother to Golden Horn has close form with the likes of One Ruler, Megallan and Van Gogh on unsuitable ground and should be more than capable of winning a handicap.
He showed plenty of speed to win over seven furlongs on good to firm ground on debut and this could be perfect for him. He’s in at Royal Ascot too so plenty is expected.
There is one demonstrably well-handicapped horse in against him of course, but at the odds we can take a chance.
3.00 Newmarket (Palace House Stakes – Group 3) – CAME FROM THE DARK
Twilight Calls has been all the rage this week but I can’t help thinking he’s not quite there yet. Hurricane Ivor was a revelation last year but returns with a penalty, while Tis Marvellous retains ability and can go close.
The vote however goes to Came From The Dark who went from strength to strength last season, beating Garrus and Arecibo as well as going down by just a neck to Lazuli and that is excellent form.
3.40 Newmarket (2000 Guineas – Group 1) – NATIVE TRAIL
Native Trail doesn’t come into the 2000 Guineas with quite the same reputation or ability that Frankel had, but he’s the best since the main man and he really should win this.
The brilliant National Stakes and Dewhurst winner did exactly what was required of him in the Craven earlier this month and he looks primed to win what would be Charlie Appleby’s first 2000 Guineas.
Appleby commented after the Craven that he weighs more than 540kg, the same weight as stable beasts Adayar and Hurricane Lane, while his stride length is also some 27 feet which is way above average.
These things, as well as his Craven win, should already quash the winter murmurings of him not staying in the mile, in fact he looks sure to get further and doesn’t really get racing at Newmarket until they hit the Dip.
Of course, I won’t be backing him in a single, he’s simply too short a price, but he couldn’t go without a huge mention here and I really hope above anything else that he does the business and in style under William Buick.
Recent renewals of the 2000 Guineas have suggested that then near side is very much favoured and Native Trail is drawn 15 of 15, ideal if he doesn’t get into traffic problems, though it must be said there is greater speed on the far side.
Richard Fahey is worried about Perfect Power not settling and we know he has tons of pace, he’s in stall 3, while Godolphin’s second strong and second-best on my list Coroebus is in gate 1. Charlie Appleby thinks that Coroebus can now race “the right way round” and if this is true, the far side pace may set things up nicely for him.
Group 1 winner Luxembourg is also on the far side in 4 and can make his mark, while Dubawi Legend shouldn’t be overlooked and nor should recent Burradon Stakes winner Checkandchallenge. Point Lonsdale has already been well beaten by Native Trail and will challenge him on the stands side.
4.50 Newmarket (Handicap) – KING OF TIME
Razzle Dazzle is back from a break and should prove to be better than a 94 horse, while Private Signal did well last time for Godolphin and was reported to have had ringworm.
Will Buick has chosen to ride King Of Time instead of Private Signal, and that looks a wise move to me. Twice a winner on the all-weather, he’s done things with ease so far and looks very well handicapped indeed.
Sunday 1st May 2022
3.40 Newmarket (1000 Guineas – Group 1) – WILD BEAUTY
There may yet be a stunning Guineas double for Charlie Appleby and at a nice price.
His Wild Beauty has been overlooked somewhat for the 1000 Guineas based on the form and the time of her win at Newbury but that seems short sighted to me.
Yes, the time suggested the Fred Darling form was way below that of then Greenham won by Perfect Power, but she battled nicely to win there and was pulling away, her trainer simply commenting that the return to a mile will be very much in her favour.
What is more prevalent is her North American form from last year. In a Grade 1 in Canada, she was left at the start, but came right round a talented field and won with something in hand.
She should have gone to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf but instead took on Inspiral at Newmarket. That race was too soon for her and not in her best conditions, so is best forgotten.
The filly she took care of in Canada duly won easily at the Breeders’ Cup, in turn beating a number of the better British fillies and that form is about the best on offer in terms of the confirmed milers in this contest.
In the absence of Inspiral Aidan O’Brien’s Tenebrism is a hot favourite. She won the Cheveley Park Stakes last year from Flotus, who may well have won at this meeting before this race goes off, but she may very well not see out the mile.
French filly Malavath probably wants these faster conditions and is full of class, while Discoveries is also noteworthy.