Wide open renewal this year – a shame that my long term ante-post pick Highland Reel isn’t going to run. So I had to look for an alternative. I felt seriously tempted to take the 7/2 available for Gleneagles this morning. He was so much shorter earlier the week, but has now been pushed out to an attractive looking price.
Gleneagles has been a brilliant, precocious juvenile, a winner of five of his six career starts. His trademark turn of foot saw him beating good rivals in in multiple Group races, including the Group 1 National Stakes at the Curragh – the top 2yo race in Ireland.
He’ll be primed for the race today. It is his big target and he should have a good chance to go close. That says later the year I would expect others to improve past him. And what about today? Well, I feel already in this Guineas field there might be enough rivals able to improve to a level close- if not better. He can be beaten and after all he is a fair price, but there are alternatives.
Stable mate Ol’ Man River is equally a very attractive prospect. He is out of a 1.000 Guineas winning mare. Question mark is his sire: Montjeu. His offspring usually doesn’t quite excel over 1m at the highest level. At 8/1 I can oppose him.
Estidhkaar is the hype horse. I know many like him – I don’t Personally I can’t believe his recent strong seasonal reappearance in the Greenham until confirmed again. Today is his chance to do so. That race was a strange one and I thought he doesn’t look like one likely to improve an awful lotfrom what he has done as a juvenile. The jury is out on him today.
I’m not sure if Ivawood truly stays the trip. He finished okayish in 3rd in the Greenham but more is required here. Elm Park has the Derby on the forefront of his mind and conditions today may not suit.
The one I feel is really overpriced is the exciting Roger Varian inmate Intilaaq. Lightly raced – he had only one start as a juvenile, and repapered at Newbury last month for his second career outing. Always in front, he set a frenetic pace and produced a dramatic turn of foot to win easily. Albeit only a maiden race, ordinary horses don’t do that.
This was a mightily impressive performance and he is bound to improve quite a bit. He is lovely bred and should be able to progress with time and age. That’s what his pedigree is pointing to. It’s a tough ask nonetheless for an inexperienced horse to go to Newmarket and try to win a Guineas. That days Intilaaq seems to be an extremely talented individual and he has a better chance of winning the race than his price suggests.
3.45 Newmarket: 2.000 Guineas
Intilaaq @ 11/1 PP – 5pts win