Friday, April 30, 2010

2000 Guineas 2010

Before we get down to business, a word to the wise. As anyone who has lost money on my National Hunt selections will tell you, the Flat picks are worse...

Nineteen go to post at Newmarket tomorrow for the 202nd running of the 2000 Guineas. Aidan O'Brien's unbeaten star St Nicholas Abbey is a hot favourite on the back of his effortless win in the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster last October. That day he beat Elusive Pimpernel and Al Zir three and three quarter lengths and two and a half lengths on ground described as good to soft. Several commentators think he's the proverbial good thing and that view will have hardened on the back of positive stable reports about the horse's well-being and his ability to handle quick ground. He has been backed today and is now a best-priced 5/4 shot (Paddy Power), with several layers including Ladbrokes, Coral and totesport going even money. This reminds me somewhat of the confidence behind Nashwan just before he won this race in 1989, with everyone seemingly 'in the know' apart from my good self.

Having said all that, reasons for looking elsewhere include - there's no value in the favourite's price; being by Montjeu, the preliminaries may prove a distraction; George Washington (2006) is the only favourite to oblige since 1993; Kieren Fallon is on record saying he thinks the horse will struggle on quick ground and finally the yard was slow into its stride earlier this year (although stable form has improved recently).

John Dunlop's Elusive Pimpernel won the Craven over course and distance a little over a fortnight ago but can hit a flat spot in his races while Dick Turpin caused something of an upset when beating stablemate Canford Cliffs in the Greenham. Since then the latter-named has been the subject of a glowing report from jockey Richard Hughes who has stated he intends to ride the colt with more restraint here. Ladbrokes offer 10/1 this evening which looks big as on official ratings Canford is the one they have to beat - will he stay though?

It's interesting to see owner Harry Findlay trying his luck at the Flat game with Inler while Ladbrokes' 40/1 about Hearts Of Fire is tempting especially as the colt has won over the distance and has been tipped up by Dick Hunter in the Weekender; in addition Pat Eddery's runners have a decent stirke rate so far this season.

I prefer a low draw in the Guineas and that's where the pace appears to be this year. I take Canford Cliffs to win and will have a small each-way interest in Hearts Of Fire. Note that race sponsor Stan James and Skybet go one quarter the odds four places and in addition I'm sure I've read Stan James is to pay out winning bets in guineas.

1 comment:

GeeDee said...

This year's 2000 Guineas turned up something of a shock with 33/1 shot Makfi deservedly taking the spoils for French trainer Mikel Delzangles; at the line the colt had one and a quarter lengths in hand over Dick Turpin (16/1) who confirmed Greenham form with stablemate Canford Cliffs (12/1) who stayed on from the rear to take third, proving he does stay the mile. That was a decent run from the selection who pulled hard early doors and, according to his jockey, was reluctant to stride out on the ground as they raced into the dip.
The big disappointment was even money favourite St Nicholas Abbey who raced prominently but, when asked for his effort two out, failed to quicken and finished sixth. Connections were not too despondent but, with all the hype beforehand, plenty of punters will be this evening.
Harry Redknapp gave Radio 5 Live listeners his verdict on Tottenham's 1-0 defeat of Bolton before asking on air what had happened to the favourite in the Guineas. Finished sixth came the reply. Harry's retort - never mind, Michael Tabor has told me the horse will win the Derby. This evening St Nicholas Abbey is a best-priced 4/1 shot with Ladbrokes if you're tempted - I'm not.
Pat Eddery's Hearts Of Fire (40/1) was asked for his effort two out but weakened in the final furlong and finished thirteenth.