Can Oceanographer Sink His Rivals?
Those of you who put the farm on Air Force Blue, in yesterday’s 2,000 Guineas, may well be nursing hangovers right now. It just goes to show that there is no such thing as a dead-cert, in racing.
Many punters left Headquarters with a bloody nose, but you can be confident that most will be back for more as the 1,000 Guineas takes place this afternoon. Read our full preview.
As you would expect, the whole card is strong at Newmarket today and the curtain-raiser is a 1.5m handicap (1.50) for horses aged 4 and over. William Buick will be on-board Oceanographer, a Sea The Stars gelding owned by Godolphin. The Charlie Appleby-trained runner has won 3 of his 5 races, including one on turf.
French gelding Slunovrat looks well treated, even with a 6lb hike. He showed plenty of grit, when staying on to beat Rideonastar at Windsor. Ryan Moore is booked for Richard Hannon’s Watersmeet, although this horse finished last of 9 in the Easter Classic All-Weather Middle Distance Championships Conditions Stakes.
Punters Put Their Brass On Jazzi Top
The G2 Dahlia Stakes is a 1m contest for fillies and Frankie Dettori will be on-board the very smart Jazzi Top. John Gosden’s filly won last year’s Pretty Polly Stakes, finished 5th in both the Oaks and the Nassau, before landing the G2 La Nonette Stakes at Deauville. She was runner-up to Covert Love in the G1 Prix De L’opera Longines, last time out and looks the one to beat. Crystal Zvezda and Amazing Maria should both be competitive.
The 1,000 Guineas (3.40) is sandwiched between a 6f handicap (3.00) and a Plus 10 Future Stars maiden (4.15). All of these juveniles will be having their first outing, but Global Applause will walk straight into the limelight. Much is expected of this Mayson colt, who already has a G1 Phoenix Stakes entry (as does Richard Hannon’s Hakeem). Walter Raleigh is unlikely to be in the shake-up, but keep an eye on John Ryan’s charge as he has already been entered into the 2017 Epsom Derby.
Swiss Range Ready To Roll
9 horses will try to emulate Jazzi Top, by winning the Listed Pretty Polly Stakes, at 4.50. Even Song shed her maiden tag readily at Leopardstown and Ryan Moore will partner Aidan O’Brien’s horse. Swiss Range is marginally preferred. The filly was extremely impressive, when winning here by 5 lengths last month.
A Class 3 Handicap brings the Guineas Meeting to an end and Taqdeer goes for John Gosden in this one. He dwelt in the stalls, when debuting at Wolverhampton in December, but stayed on well to finish 2nd. The Fast Company colt then beat Sir Michael Stoute’s Mustashry, in another polytack encounter at Chelmsford. He takes on Saeed bin Suroor’s Prize Money. Sired by Authorized, he won impressively here from Hepplewhite, despite hanging left. They are both up against more experienced horses, in Galvanise and Mengli Khan, so it will be interesting to see how they cope.
Further Action At Hamilton, Salisbury, Saint-Cloud & Scottsville
There are two other relatively low-key British meetings. Mirsaale takes on Lycidas, in the 2.45 at Hamilton, while Stormy Clouds looks the pick of the 2-year-old fillies racing in the 3.10 at Salisbury.
Dariyan is fancied to take the G1 Prix Ganay, at Saint-Cloud (Ralph Beckett has Air Pilot running for him and The Corsican represents David Simcock), which is followed by the G2 Prix du Muguet.
There are 3 G3 and one Listed race, at Scottsville in South Africa. Lanner Falcon, Cuvee Brut and Fly By Night should make the Poinsettia Stakes an intriguing contest.
Good luck with your bets, today!