Weekend Racing: Authoritative Masar Well Placed to Win 2000 Guineas6 min read
The first classic of the season, the 2000 Guineas, is the highlight of Saturday’s Newmarket card and Irish handler Aidan O’Brien has every chance of training a record ninth winner of the colts’ classic and his third win in the race for the last four years.
Newmarket – Saturday
Gustav Klimt is the favourite and this well-bred son of Galileo is unbeaten since his racecourse debut winning the Gp 2 Superlative Stakes on the July course as a juvenile. He made a winning reappearance when scoring at Leopardstown on heavy ground last month and must go close but preference is for the recent Craven Stakes winner Masar (3.35) such was the authority of his success.
The clock-watchers will tell us the winning time was nothing special over today’s C&D but he is drawn near to the stands’ rails and I will be disappointed if he does not go close. The selection is – remember that we are betting 1/5th odds first four – and I will be surprised if he does not make the frame.
It does not look a vintage Guineas at this moment in time but the unbeaten Frankel colt Elarqam could be anything for Mark Johnston and by the end of the season, we may have a very different opinion in what is always a fascinating and intriguing first classic of the summer.
Sharja Bridge – – looks short enough in the opening nine-furlong handicap and the each way vote goes to Cote D’Azur (1.50) who finished third in the Cambridgeshire over today’s C&D back in September. The selection disappointed when last seen at Lingfield back in February but he has run two tremendous races over C&D and 16/1 might be a shade too big.
I thought there was a big handicap to be won with Tribal Quest (4.10) this year and I hope there is plenty of pace in the six-furlong handicap. It was not much of a race that the selection won at Kempton back in February, but I liked the way he travelled and I felt he won with a bit in hand. She is a shot and is another each way recommendation.
In the finale, Sam Gold (5.20) might be the only maiden in the seven-runner field but he looks sure to appreciate the step up to 10f for the first time and receives a fair amount of weight from a number of the principles.
Newmarket – Sunday
I hope to see Breeders Cup winner Wuheida (2.20) make a winning reappearance in the Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket on Sunday for William Buick and Charlie Appleby. The selection has picked up a 5lbs penalty for that win at Del Mar over Sunday’s nine-furlong trip and I will be disappointed if she cannot give the weight to her seven rivals.
Ryan Moore is flying back from Kentucky – where he is riding Mendelssohn in the Kentucky Derby on Saturday – to ride Happily (3.35) in the 1000 Guineas and I cannot oppose the market leader.
The filly finished last of 14 in the Breeders’ Cup when last seen back in November but she is best judged on her beating of the colts’ in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagadere at Chantilly on Arc Day back in October.
Lah Ti Dar (4.45) created a very favourable impression at Newbury on her racecourse debut and in the immediate aftermath of the race trainer John Gosden suggested she would go for an Oaks trial although that was only sixteen days ago and I presumed it would be Chester or York. The selection is for the Oaks at Epsom next month behind favourite Happily.
Lah Ti Dar