Educate will relish Newmarket conditions

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A couple more selections for Newmarket’s Guineas card. The supporting races are pretty good, though not overwhelmingly classy. However the last race on the card, the 1m Handicap, looks the pick of them all in terms of future prospects and it’ll be particularly interesting to see how the favourite Mutasayyid fares – he beat my Guineas fancy Intilaaq in a maiden last season in quite good style!

Says this is not a race I want to have a bet in. But there are two other races that do offer some value indeed:

2.00 Newmarket: Suffolk Stakes (Handicap, C2)

In the context of the race I feel Educate is a rather big price. His recent form isn’t all that inspiring, but he ran in hot Group races with credit. He drops back into a Handicap now and with that comes a further slip in the ratings.

In fact he is now down to his last winning mark off 104. Off this mark he was successful in the prestigious Cambridgeshire, back in 2013 over course and distance. That says today’s conditions at Newmarket are no problem for Educate by any means.

He loves fast ground, as he won the Cambridgeshire in similar conditions as another two races on good to firm. With William Buick in the saddle, he is bound to be ready for a big run today.

Educate @ 8/1 PP – 5pts Win

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2.30 Palace House Stakes (Group 3)

This looks a race that should be all about the fast conditions. For that reason I do like the filly Online Alexander. She usually gets beaten when the word soft appears in the ground description but won three times on anything faster than good.

I do like sprinters to improve from three to four years of age and she might be one that has more to offer now as an older filly. Matured and more experienced, there could easily be more to come.

Fresh off a break, she gets her conditions today and could easily improve for that in a way that would see her going close. That says fillies have a horrible record in this race, so I only have a small punt. But on price, she is the one that sticks out to me.

Online Alexander @ 14/1 Stan James – 2.5pts Win

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Exciting Intilaaq good enough to win Guineas

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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

Azmaam’s overpriced in Newmarket Stakes

Newmarket Rowley Mile

With Aiden O’Brien’s Aloft out, this looks a strange little race. Nothing really sticks out and everything depends on the potential improvement to come from each individual runner. That says on pure form I believe Azmaam is hugely overpriced. This lightly raced Dark Angel colt is bound to run a big race!

His three year old campaign started in the 200k Tattersalls Millions over course and distance last montj. Azmaam was a fair juvenile but went with clear doubts about his stamina into this race. He travelled like a dream though, but didn’t get a run whatsoever until the final furlong marker when he got finally into the clear, albeit only briefly, producing an instant turn of foot which looked like to be a decisive move, just to run out off room again soon after.

It’s fair to say that with a clear run he probably would have won. The winner of the race went on to finish a creditable runner-up in a Group 3 subsequently, so this form looks not a bad one at all.

Same conditions here for this 1m 2f contest at Newmarket and Azmaam must have a big chance to win this if he is in the same kind of form and can get a clearer run this time.

Newmarket Stakes (Listed), 1m 2f
Azmaam @ 7/2 Paddy Power – 5pts Win

Amazing Speed can live up to her name

Wet Dundalk Polytrack

Punchestown is truly alive! Some great jump racing all along, though a shame that Hurricane Fly didn’t quite get home strongly enough to beat old foe Jezki in the big 3m Hurdle. He remains a hero nonetheless, but probably deserves his retirement now. Anyway, betting wise I concentrate on the flat these days and there is a very interesting maiden at Lingfield’s All-Weather taking place….

4.10 Lingfield: Maiden 7 furlongs

A hot little race – I’m most interested in Godolphin’s Amazing Speed, though. This big, scopy filly is really well bred and no doubt will get much further in time. She should be good enough to get off the mark in a maiden over the seven furlong trip, however I hope. She really caught my eye in a competitive maiden over the same distance at Newmarket during the Craven meeting.

She didn’t quite enjoy the run of the race from her position further back in the field and was a bit short of room around 2f out. She had to switch in order to get a clear run but showed greenness, which is no surprise on her debut run. But the way she finished the race under a light hands and heels ride was utterly impressive.

Jockey James Doyle has only this one ride tomorrow, and that in itself is telling. They must rate the filly highly and I would hope for a big performance tomorrow, also given the fact that she should relish the All-Weather given her pedigree.

Amazing Speed @ 2/1 Paddy Power – 10pts win

Eisenhower The Dark Horse

Naas

With the rain clouds hanging over Leinster currently, it’s not quite clear how the ground end up tomorrow night. this unclear situation makes this race an intriguing contest. There were some showers here today but still plenty of sunshine and I would certainly hope for pretty much the same tomorrow which would mean we have something like good to yielding, or yielding at worst ground wise I would imagine.

Even that would probably count against short favourite Anthem Alexander. She really needs it fast and may not be knocked over here anyway as bigger fruits are up for grabs sooner rather or later. Any rain will be appreciated by veteran sprinter Maarek of course. He used to do well as a fresh horse and 5f is his trip, but maybe it won’t be quite as soft enough for him? He also seems to start to regress last season. Not to forget he also has to give weight away to all his rivals here.

Regressing – that can’t be said about improving Great Minds. A shade unlucky on his seasonal reappearance at the Curragh, he made subsequently no mistake at Cork in Listed company. He drops slightly in trip and it isn’t as soft as he would like it too. On the basis of that he may be opposable, but he’s an exciting up and coming sprinter, so has to be in with a big chance.

Ger Lyons lightly raced filly Ainippe could be anything. She won a listed race over 5f last season and is Group 3 placed. Ground is a worry though. All her form comes on fast ground. Richard Hannon travelles over with Musical Comedy. Surely not only for the lovely green grass. Drops to the minimum trip has to work, which remains to be seen if it does. Ground will be fine for him.

Three year old filly Dikta Del Mar makes her Ireland debut after a decent juvenile campaign in France. She has plenty of soft ground form and could be anything. Jamesie is hard to fancy over this trip. It probably will be a bit too sharp. he may prefers a quicker surface too.

Aiden O’Brien’s lightly raced Eisenhower is the dark horse. This three year old colt looks big and scopey. He was green on his debut earlier this month, dropped then to 5f to win a maiden at Cork. He still looked like an inexperienced individual with plenty to learn but surely will have done so in that race. He is actually bred for further but showed plenty of speed and is a half-brother to a French sprinter who was Listed placed.

As a War front son he probably wouldn’t want it too soft but seemed to act perfectly on yielding at Gowran Park. Interestingly he has an entry for the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot. So connections must clearly believe he is quick enough. Plenty of improvement to come from this well bred individual, and while I usually find it hard for three year old sprinters against older hoses, he looks nice and big and may make the weight he receives from his rivals really count here.

7.10 Naas: Woodlands Stakes (listed)
Eisenhower @ 10/1 Bet365 – 5pts win

Big chance on Handicap debut for Victoriously

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Plenty of unexposed types in this race and naturally this can be a bit like a guessing game. That says I feel the Brian Meehan trained Victoriously is potentially underestimated on his Handicap debut.

The Azamour colt ran a dismal race on his seasonal reappearance in a hot maiden at Newbury earlier this week. Probably a performance to ignore and he should strip fitter this time. It’s more interesting what he has done as a juvenile last season.

Victoriously  improved massively from his debut run last summer when he finished a good third over 7.5f at Lingfield’s turf. He was very green throughout the race that day, most of the time without cover too but showed a bit of talent the way he made progress from 3f out. That was enough to suggest he could turn into a nice individual and was put away for the rest of the year as he was always one who should improve with age given his pedigree.

Pedigree is the key: He tackles 12f for the first time here. It’s quite a dramatic step up in trip but connections must feel this is the best thing to do to give him a chance to win. He is out of a 7.5f Listed race winning mare but she is by Monsun and in general there is plenty of stamina on both sire and dam side, which suggests the step up in trip is the right move indeed. He has a very good chance to stay the trip, particularly on a sound surface.

He will be first time blinkered tomorrow. That may help to sharpen him up. Most interestingly is his open handicap mark. A moderate 67 gives him every chance and could underestimate his true merit, particularly over a trip more suitable.

8.00 Windsor: Class 5 Handicap, 1m 3f 135y
Victoriously @ 14/1 Bet365 – 5pts Win

Plenty to like about unexposed Mohaayed

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Nice little race, with some interesting individuals going to post. Aiden O’Brien’s Royal Navy Ship proves popular since the yard finally starts to get into top gear. His runner-up effort in last years Group 3 Killavullan Stakes reads a fair piece of form, though none of those in the race has backed it up actually. Hard to know what to expect from this War Front son here.

Zafilani finished with in the Ballysax Stakes earlier this month, in front of Derby fancy John F Kennedy. The merit of this form is debatable but the better ground here should suit. Prologue looks very hard to fancy on form.

I’m very sweet on Mohaayed in this race, though. He’s one of the horses on my Horses To Follow List, and while his seasonal reappearance in the 2.000 Guineas trail at Leopardstown was nothing to be too impressed about, he still finished a fair third in a very hot race behind two smart individuals. I believe he is bound to improve dramatically for this run, for many reasons.

It was only his third career start and he still learns the game. He wasn’t quite as green as last season, but clearly further progress is to come in that department. He won on his second start last year in very impressive fashion, despite wandering in the closing stages, and beating a smart Ballydoyle horse in third. He’ll relish the better ground at Gowran Park I imagine as he didn’t look to be able to put in his best effort on soft at Leopardstown in the Guineas trail. And let’s not forget that he steps up in trip now. Middle distance shall be his game I believe.

So, plenty to like about his chance. He should have plenty more to come and if he wins this nicely then his next target is very likely the Dante. Says I’m really looking forward to see this Prendergast inmate perform to his best tomorrow.

5.35 Gowran Park: Conditions Stakes, 1m 1f 100y
Mohaayed @ 5/2 Paddy Power – 10pts Win

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