If you are a fan of sport then weekends don’t really get much better than what the next 48 hours will throw up. A massive day for thousands of football fans who will be trawling the nation hoping for that vital win or draw that may secure promotion, the playoffs or to see off relegation. I must send a special note to all of my home town pals that have headed up to Forest today to cheer on the Albion. I give them a hard time but for the record, I hope the seagulls will fly today (and if Burnley aren’t too hungover maybe they could beat Reading too).
Racing for me though must take centre stage today with the first classic of the season the highlight as we get to see what could be the strongest renewal of the 2000 Guineas for several years. Without any financial ante-post involvement I thought it would just be a race to enjoy but I have to say that the 2/1 plus that you can get about Kingman this morning does look incredibly tempting. Whilst I respect the chances of several of his main rivals he is surely over priced. I’m hoping we may be treated to something special this afternoon. Whilst talking about the Guineas and being over priced, I do think that Outstrip will do just that to his price this afternoon. Yes he has plenty to find on paper but I’ve no doubt he will be better than what we have seen. My main worry with him is the yard form. They are just not firing yet. Still he should not be 28/1 and might shock a few each way.
OK time for some stats for the day from Proform. These are the trainers with runners today that have a win and place strike rate of over 50% that have had more than 10 runners in the last 14 days….
A P O’Brien 68.42% (19 runners)
Ralph Beckett 62.50% (24 runners)
William Haggas 61.11 (18 runners)
Michael Dods 60% (15 runners)
Nicky Henderson 57.14% (28 runners)
Andrew Balding 56.25% (32 runners)
Clive Cox 55.56% (18 runners)
Dermot Weld 52.63% (19 runners)
The standout stat that today’s report offers is that William Haggas has sent out 18 runners in the last 14 days…… 9 of them have won. A 50% strike rate and a yard that are in scintillating form. Today he sends out Rock Choir (2.05), Ertijaal (3.50), Mutakayyef (5.00), Yenhaab (5.35), Scrutiny (6.45).
The list of eye-catchers running today seems to be endless so we will spin through them quickly.
First up we have STAND MY GROUND (2.05 Newm) who was a real eye catcher on his re-appearance when traveling very well through the spring mile, just failing to get to Brae Hill. He has gone up 5lbs for that effort but that potentially still leaves him on a nice mark for this and the 16/1 is much too big imo. He stayed this trip well in France and Jamie Spencer takes over in the saddle. In the same race I am excited to see BIG BAZ on turf. He is, I am sure, well treated off 85 and may well improve for the switch to turf. I would be luke warm on both of their chances this afternoon.
ZEYRAN (2.25 Thirsk) has always been well-regarded and would have gone close to winning on his first start for Hugo Palmer but for meeting interference on the run in. That form actually has a nice shape to it and I think he will be better than 82. He is a cracking each way bet at 6/1 with SportingBet. Crowleys Law has been very well backed at the head of the market.
ABSOLUTELY SO (2.55 Good) probably should have won 2 of his last 3 on the all-weather. He is nudged up another 3lbs this afternoon but there could be more progression on the turf and he is definitely interesting. In the same race JACK’S REVENGE is a victim of his own consistency as he continues to climb the ratings without winning. His effort in the Lincoln was eye-catching though and he could be ready to pounce. At 4/1 and 7/1 respectively I would take the two against the field.
WASEEM FARIS (3.30 Good) Should not have run last time having got loose on the way to the start. He is out of the weights this afternoon but with Daniel Cremin claiming 7lbs he will feel like he is running loose again this afternoon. The 12/1 about him is an insult to his actual chance. He is a 5/1 shot in my book.
The Thirsk Hunt Cup at 3.40 looks an absolute belter! There are two in here that I am very keen on and we will go two against the field. The first of them is NORSE BLUES who absolutely loves it around here. He would potentially need a career best to win this today but I think he is capable. His re-appearance run was really eye-catching and I am sure you will get a very solid run for your money. The second dart to throw comes in the form of FORT BASTIAN. Formerly with Richard Hannon the son of Lawman is potentially thrown in here off a mark of 91. Now with Ruth Carr this is just the type of horse she excels with. On his re-appearance run here he showed glimmers of returning to form. He was then given an interesting ride at Haydock next time. I think today has been the plan from the get go. They are 8/1 and 10/1 and should both be bang in the mix.
Excited to see BETWEEN WICKETS (4.40 Good) again after a really taking debut. He is odds on now so no sort of price, hope he wins well.
BUTE HALL (5.45 Donc) is edging up the weights but smacks me of a horse on the upgrade. Today’s step up in trip is an interesting move as he travels really well through his races. The market may have again underestimated his chance this afternoon and the 8/1 is worthy.
Not sure if today will be the day but HALF A BILLION (7.15 Donc) remains on the interesting list. The yard is also in very good form at the moment so he should be taken seriously at double figure odds this evening.
As you can see from the above it is likely to be a very busy day. Unfortunately for me I will be watching everything on catch up and the cricket pitch is calling. Hoping for a cracking day’s sport mind and fingers crossed the Guineas unearths another superstar too.
Two wins already so far this season for the hammers over the spuds. A home win today will put a small shine on what has been yet another tough season to be a die hard West Ham fan. Come on boys……give us those bragging rights! COYI
Enjoy a great day