Friday, May 22, 2009

Irish 2000 Guineas and Newmarket

With the going at the Curragh likely to be heavy, it's no surprise this evening to see Mastercraftsman take over from Delegator at the head of the Irish 2000 Guineas market. Brian Meehan's charge finished second behind See The Stars in the Guineas at Newmarket three weeks ago but isn't certain to appreciate the underfoot conditions whereas Aidan O'Brien's inmate, fifth at Newmarket, won the seven furlong National Stakes here last September on heavy ground. On official ratings Mastercraftsman is the top-rated animal - he has three pounds in hand over his English rival - and so gets the vote.

Newmarket's opener has only the six runners but looks intriguing, with Big Bound likely to make the running. Your Old Pal beat Palavicini a head last time out over course and distance but the runner-up looks weighted to reverse placings here. Henry Cecil's Father Time was third behind Age Of Aquarius in the Lingfield Derby trial a fortnight ago; that day I thought Father Time's head carriage looked a little awkward in the closing stages and the form book states 'pressed leaders over 1f out, not run on'; the shorter trip here may help but I'll go with Palavicini.

In the 2.50 Alyarf should offer some value against likely hotpot Donativum while a quick look at the 2-y-o maiden would seem to point to Mark Johnston's Step In Time. These days however, before I get involved in any two year old race, I check out the details on Jason Coote's excellent H.C.E. Horse Racing Tips blog and I recommend you do the same. The notes for this race conclude 'This may not be a straightforward race.' With that in mind, I'll watch from the sidelines.

1 comment:

GeeDee said...

Three selections and three winners, all available at longer odds earlier in the day. Mastercraftsman (6/4f) looked plenty warm enough entering the stalls but in the race itself backers never had the slightest worry as Johnny Murtagh sent his charge on two out to win this Group 1 with stunning ease. If it was always this simple, I wouldn't be sat here writing this blog... ;-) Several are likely to crab the form - Delegator clearly didn't handle the going and was beaten a furlong out - but I thought this an impressive performance. Afterwards winning connections indicated the St James's Palace at Royal Ascot would be the target. Irish firm Cashmans offered 3/1 and promptly had their hands bitten off, the price contracting firstly to 9/4 and then 7/4. This evening there's no market for this race on the Oddschecker site.
In the end only five went to post in Newmarket's opener and Palavicini (7/4 2f) held off Henry Cecil's Father Time (13/8f) a neck. I should say I haven't seen this race; having said that, Barry Dennis ( made Father Time the day's 'bismark' and the fact there was just a neck in it at the line suggests the runner-up is one who doesn't want to go through with his effort. A canny piece of riding by Eddie Ahern ensured he had first run when passing the leader at the furlong pole but I wonder whether they'll try different tactics with Father Time next time.
Prices shown on The Morning Line
had Donativum an even money shot and Alyarf 3/1. Those interested in figures will have noted that Tanya Stevenson was showing a little more than usual of her own, possibly in an attempt to revive flagging viewer numbers... Anyway, at the off Alyarf was 2/1 and Donativum the 13/8 favourite. Michael Hills sent Alyarf on two furlongs out and from there the result was never in doubt. To be fair, the trainer indicated the favourite, who faded in the final furlong to finish fourth, would come on for the run.