Newmarket selections Sunday 7th May
We have I think one of the best renewals of the 1000 Guineas for some time, with any number of realistic candidates for this Classic. I have narrowed it down to two and also have two suggestions for the big handicap on the card earlier in the afternoon. We started Saturday with a bang with a 1-2 in the sprint handicap, Probe winning (advised 9/1) and Chairmanoftheboard second for the each-way (advised 14/1).
Newmarket 1.50: HMS President & Torcello
Similar to a couple of the other longer distance handicaps at this meeting, we have quite a few horses who have done well over the winter on the All Weather competing here. However I am favouring two horses who generally stick to the turf who should be primed for a good run here.
HMS PRESIDENT is very difficult to win with and probably threw away a couple of winning chances during a busy late summer campaign that saw him finish second four times running, including in consecutive days on the July Course here and at the Leger meeting. What those runs did show though is that he handles big field handicaps and likes a galloping track.
He was with Eve Johnson Houghton last season, but ran a cracker on his first start for Alan King and return to the track for 2023 at Kempton last month. Drawn wide he covered plenty of ground but still stuck on well for yet another second place behind Max Mayhem. He seemed to like the removal of the usual blinkers and a reproduction of that effort without the headgear again today would put him right in the mix, especially as he goes back up to a more appropriate distance. He has shown he can handle some cut in the past and has been aimed at this race for a while.
TORCELLO is 3-5 on the Rowley Mile course (also won his only start on the July Course) and is especially effective on the soft surface he will find today. All his three wins here came on softer than good, whilst his two defeats were on a quicker surface. He is also best when allowed to race prominently or in front, a tactic that often works well at Newmarket.
Top front-running jockey Joe Fanning is booked today, and was successful on his only previous time on the gelding when winning here in May 2021. He ended last season with a win here over 12f and also seemed to take well to blinkers in the autumn. I am giving him a pass with his heavy defeat on return at Doncaster last month. He raced alone on the far rail which was probably the slowest part of the track and might have needed the run anyway. He is still a pound lower than when winning a competitive handicap at Goodwood on similar going at the end of 2021.
Newmarket 3.40: Dream of Love & Meditate
A whole host of proven group race performers line up here for what looks a particularly hot renewal of the 1000 Guineas.
First choice is DREAM OF LOVE who gained plenty of experience of the Rowley Mile here last autumn. She won her maiden on debut here when overcoming greenness in running but stepped up on that on soft ground when third in a listed contest next time. She was somewhat caught cold by the fast finishing Caernarfon that day having made much of the running.
Her performance at Meydan last time was astonishing. A slightly slow break saw her at the back of the field and she then appeared to be unable to handle the bend before making up around 15l on Mawj in the final 2f, getting to the front a stride too late. This straighter track will be more to her liking, she is already proven at both a mile and on soft ground and there is surely more to come from this lightly raced filly.
MEDITATE is a really strong looking filly who has plenty of experience in the bank from a busy 2022 campaign. She had already run and won twice when defeating Mawj in the Albany at Royal Ascot. She was defeated in her first two Group 1 races, but perhaps positive tactics did not suit when Tahiyra came flying past in the Moyglare (the rest were left well behind however) and the drop back to 6f did not suit here in the Cheveley Park.
She showed she was a miler when landing the Breeders Cup Fillies Juvenile Turf with a power packed finish from the back of the field and given her size I am very hopeful she will cope with the softer conditions today.
1pt each-way – HMS President – 1.50 Newmarket – 7/1 general (most bookies 1/5 odds 1st 5)
0.5pts each-way – Torcello – 1.50 Newmarket – 11/1 Bet365, William Hill, BetVictor (1/5 odds 1st 5)
1pt each-way – Dream of Love – 3.40 Newmarket – 15/2 Bet365, William Hill (1/5 odds 1st 4)
1pt each-way – Meditate – 3.40 Newmarket – 8/1 Bet365, William Hill (1/5 odds 1st 4)