Tag Archives: 1000 guineas

1000 Guineas Day Preview & Selections

In the 1000 Guineas itself, the ante post bet on Iridessa at 20/1 is looking quite nice and I’m happy enough with it. The only concern would be that the track bias turns out to be similar to yesterday’s, although I think that the major factor in the Guineas was Shine So Bright breaking so quickly up the rail, giving the three horses on that side a nice passage into the race off a strong pace. I’m going to have another small bet in the Guineas today on Mot Juste who was weak in the betting before the Nell Gwynn and should come on for the run. She hit the front just a bit too early and I reckon she’ll appreciate the step up to the mile. It’s easy to get 20/1 on the exchanges this morning.
0.5pt win Mot Juste 20/1 (general)
Already Advised: 1pt win Iridessa 20/1

In the 4:30 at Gowran I’m quite keen on Lady Olenna, who I thought ran a nice race last time out. She broke slowly and and Colin Keane allowed her to take her time under an easy ride, but she made up ground nicely without Keane asking too many questions to finish just 6 lengths behind the winner. 33/1 seems generous.
1pt win Lady Olenna 33/1 (BetVictor, Betway, William Hill)

2000 Guineas Weekend – The Trainers

Guineas weekend is here. With Punchestown winding down today, the last reminders of the jumps season will simply become memories and a flat season which up until now may have felt as if it was still beginning to kick into gear is most definitely in full swing. This weekend at Newmarket will see some of the game’s most talented, most exciting fillies and colts battle it out over what is one of the truest tests of the thoroughbred possible, the Rowley Mile.

While the Lincoln at Doncaster may seem like a long time ago, it has to be acknowledged that this is still early in the season – many see this as the turning point, when the warmup ends and the game begins. Plenty of horses we see this weekend (indeed plenty of the protagonists in some of the biggest races, including the Classics) will be having their first run of the season, so it pays to take a look at which trainers tend to have their horses primed and ready, and which have the best record at this meeting.

Andre Fabre

The first mention has to go to the Frenchman who in the last decade has brought 7 horses to Newmarket on Guineas weekend, with 3 winners and a 2nd and 3rd to boot. Fabre’s runners at this meeting since 2003 have form figures of 351514112513, and perhaps most interestingly, only 4 of them were favourites. Baking all of Fabre’s runners since 2003 would have given a tidy SP profit of +9.91. The profit figures, along with Fabre’s A/E of 1.61, suggest that the market still may underestimate French raiders, favouring horses from these isles whose form we know better.

Ralph Beckett

Beckett hasn’t had a winner at this meeting in the last 3 years, but can’t be criticised for this – three of his five runners in that period of time went off at double-figure prices, and his form read 02262, with the three runners-up going off at starting prices of 7/1, 16/1 and 9/1. Looking back at the three years prior to that, he had a winner at a double-figure price each year, with his overall record over the last decade reading 4 winners from 17 (24%) and a further 5 places, meaning that more than half of his runners have made the frame despite the fact that not one of them was sent off favourite (in fact, not one of them was shorter than 4/1 and 10 of the 17 went off at double-figure prices). This brings Beckett’s A/E to an impressive 2.41.

Sir Michael Stoute

Sir Michael Stoute has had more runners at the meeting than either of the two trainers discussed so far, which makes his 22% strike rate (9 winners from 41 runners) all the more impressive. He drew a blank last year with neither of his two runners making the frame, but had a winner at the meeting in each of the 5 preceding years, and it would have been profitable to blindly back all of his runners in each of those years. In earlier years his runners tended to be well fancied in the market, although he has only trainer one clear favourite at the meeting in the last 3 years. His A/E over the last decade is 1.15.

Charlie Appleby

It would be ridiculous to discuss trainers at the meeting without mentioning Charlie Appleby, who trained 5 winners across the two days last year. 2018 was a big step up for Appleby in terms of the amount of ammunition he fired at the meeting (17 runners, compared to 6, 5 and 2 in the previous three years) and so somewhat surprisingly, backing all of his runners last year would have resulted in a small loss (of -0.59 at industry SP, although backing all of them at Betfair SP would have resulted in a profit of 1.47 – his A/E was 1.29). Appleby didn’t have any winners from his 11 runners in 2014 and 2015, although 4 of them did finish either 2nd or 3rd. In 2016 his success was eyecatching, with form across the two days of 23114, and he went on to train another two winners at the meeting the following year (517166) before sending out 5 winners and 5 placed horses from 17 runners last year. Overall, his strike rate is 9 from 39 (23%), with an A/E of 1.22 and a win/place strike rate of 51% (20 from 39).

Jim Bolger

Bolger might not be the most obvious trainer to finish up with, as he’s not renowned for sending his horses here – he has saddled 115 runners at the Irish Guineas meeting in the last 10 years, and has sent just 10 runners to Newmarket for Guineas weekend in the same space of time. These have yielded just one winner (Dawn Approach in the 2000 Guineas in 2013) but 6 of the 10 have made the frame. You could argue that Bolger has underperformed with Trading Leather (4/6 favourite) and Lucida (9/2 favourite) only managing 3rd and 2nd respectively in recent years – however, his other three placed horses returned odds of 15/2, 12/1 and 25/1 and it’s striking that the only four Bolger runners in the last 10 years which failed to make the frame had starting prices of 28/1, 50/1, 25/1 and 20/1. Using the implied probabilities from Betfair’s place markets, Bolger’s A/E in terms of making the frame is 1.77.

This Year

Fabre, Beckett and Bolger don’t run anything at Newmarket on Saturday, which leaves just two trainers, with three runners between them:
1:50 – Elector (Sir Michael Stoute) – 1st
1:50 – Vintager (Charlie Appleby) – 3rd
3:35 – Al Hilalee (Charlie Appleby) – 16th

And Sunday:
1:50 – Melting Dew (Sir Michael Stoute)
2:20 – Veracious (Sir Michael Stoute)
2:55 – On The Warpath (Charlie Appleby)
4:10 – Path Of Thunder (Charlie Appleby)

Craven Stakes Day Preview, Plus Ante Post Classics Bet

It was an interesting day of racing at Newmarket yesterday, but not a betting day for me. Shine So Bright was a good winner of the 7f listed handicap and the course form at Newmarket is a plus, but the more I watch it back the more I doubt that he will take to the Guineas in a big field as well as he took to yesterday’s test. That said, I wouldn’t write him off over shorter trips – he could potentially be a real 7f specialist and could be one to watch for the Jersey Stakes. Qabala has jumped to the top of the 1000 Guineas market after winning the Nell Gwyn and that seems justified – more on that race later.

This isn’t prime betting time on the flat for me but it is a very interesting time of year, so I’m just going to quickly run through the day’s ITV races, then take a quick look ahead to some bigger races later on in the season and point out one other horse worth watching today…

Today’s ITV Racing

13:50 Newmarket – Moyassar is one that will be interesting to watch having been a progressive type last season. He improved throughout the year and came close on his last two starts in nurseries. Both of those runs were fairly impressive on the clock. He looks as if further improvement is likely and he’ll be an interesting one to watch.

14:40 Cheltenham – Renes Girl is an obvious starting point as, at this late stage in the season, it may pay to side with horses which have avoided the testing route of Cheltenham and Aintree. She comes here fresh, having not run since the Christmas period. However, the interesting point in this race is just how much pace there is – Imperial Presence, Wenyerreadyfreddie, Tree Of Liberty, Highway One O One and Renes Girl all tend to go forward, and Kings Monarch has done so a few times too. This is the majority of the field, and leaves just Mister Whitaker, Tiquer and Got Away. The fear for Renes Girl must be that she could get into a battle up front and set the race up perfectly for the likes of Mister Whitaker under a patient ride. With that in mind, I would suggest that the market has this one backwards, and Mister Whitaker looks the bet at 9/2.
Mister Whitaker 1pt win 9/2

15:00 Newmarket – Brando deserves to be favourite having won the race the last two years, but 11/8 doesn’t seem overly generous. It’s worth noting that Dreamfield clearly goes well fresh, having won on debut and after a 569-day break, and comes here after a break of 235 days.

Craven Stakes

Zakouski is currently (just about) favourite here at 2/1, with Royal Marine 9/4, but the money appears to be for the latter rather than the former and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see their market positions reversed soon. This seems reasonable – Royal Marine is the one with the form in the book, having won a group 1 at Longchamp, and although he was disappointing in Meydan last time it wouldn’t be unreasonable to forgive him that run and assume that he didn’t take well to the surface. Back on turf, he’s the one to beat.

That’s not to say that Zakouski isn’t an exciting horse – he was impressive at Kempton on debut and has become a major talking horse. It would be great to see the hype justified, but it would make more sense to side with the proven contender. Just a quick mention for one at a massive price – Jackstar has had his trouble with injury, but he returned at Wolverhampton last month and won with ease. It’s possible that he’s a better horse than his 33/1 price tag suggests.
Royal Marine 0.5pt win 9/4
Jackstar 0.5pt win 33/1

One Other…

4:00 Beverly
City Tour won on his handicap debut last time out off a mark of 73, defying a significant draw bias. He was drawn in stall 12 of 12, whereas the all of the other winners that day were drawn low (with the exception of the 5f races on the straight course). That was the first flat meeting of the season at Musselburgh so we don’t have much to compare it to, but on the evidence available to us, a 3 pound rise for that performance may still have him ahead of the handicapper. With that in mind, early prices of 8/1 seem more than fair, and I’ll be keeping an eye on his odds when the race is priced up by other firms.
City Tour 1pt win 8/1

The Classics

It seems strange to be discussing the Classics when in just a few days I’ll be pouring over the Fairyhouse form for the Irish Grand National meeting. However, I have had a couple of bets thus far and have had one as recently as yesterday.

In the interest of full disclosure, I’m on Magna Grecia for the Guineas at 12/1. His price has contracted over the last few days, but this is predominantly due to the withdrawal of Too Darn Hot from the Greenham and his subsequent drift out to as far as 9/4. Although that puts the Magna Grecia bet in a good position, should Too Darn Hot turn up fit and well on the day, he’ll most definitely be my selection in the race and I will be backing him at anything longer than odds on, assuming the vibes from connections are that he’s fit and well.

As for the Derby, I don’t have any strong opinion on the race. Too Darn Hot doesn’t really deserve his position at the top of the market, and Japan probably does. Again, I have backed one whose price has shortened a bit since – Mount Everest’s prices of 40/1 in recent weeks were a bit silly, and the 25/1 for him now is more reasonable, if not still a bit on the big side. He was only beaten a short head by Japan, and if he was to come out and win any trial, his price would contract significantly.

The 1000 Guineas is generally a race of lesser interest for me, but I’m surprised to see that one firm (888) still has Iridessa at 20/1. In the 1000 Guineas Trial at Leopardstown she was drawn wide and carried a penalty on ground that was much softer than would have been ideal, but still raced well to finish 3rd. Joseph O’Brien stressed before the race that she wasn’t completely fit and that she should come on for the run, so 20/1 looks more than fair for the Guineas.
1000 Guineas – Iridessa 1pt win 20/1 (888Sport)