Let the real flat season start! Until now, apparently, the flat season doesn’t count. Let me expand. The BHA have decreed that the flat season jockey’s championship begins on Guineas Weekend. It seems crazy that nearly a month of racing doesn’t count towards a title but that’s what has been decided.
So onto Guineas Weekend and a look at both the 2000 Guineas and 1000 Guineas.
I am a sucker for two 2yo races, The Acomb at York and the Champagne at Doncaster. I have no idea why I revere these two races more than any other race but it must be something to do with Gorytus! Anyway, when I’m researching, they are my starting point.
Last season, these races were won by Dutch Connection and Estidhkaar. Surprisingly they are the last races each horse has won, but there are probably excuses for recent defeats. Let’s start with Dutch Connection. Steadily improved at 2 and then ended up travelling to Ireland to take on Gleneagles, the current fav, but probably did too much in the small field and ended up running out of juice. A bigger field should see more cover and allow W. Buick time to get into a nice rhythm and finish off strongly.
Estidhkaar looked a potential superstar when winning the Champagne. He impressed me with his frame and stride and I genuinely thought I had seen a Classic winner that day. He had already created a favourable impression when winning the Superlative and unless I’ve lost my mind, he was always going to make a better 3yo. His 2 defeats are easily explainable. The Dewhurst was a messy affair on the softest ground he’d run on and a line should just be put through it. And although he was expected to run well in the Greenham, it was clear he wasn’t fully wound up. Don’t forget that last year, his trainer R. Hannon, saw Night of Thunder beaten in the Greenham, before his 2000 Guineas victory.
In the 1000 Guineas I like the look of Fadhayyil. I remember watching the Rockfel last year and thinking she looked very green. It was only a week since her maiden win and clearly she had a lot to learn. In the race itself, she travelled powerfully and quickened smartly before being gunned down by the favourite Lucida. I felt if they met again she would reverse the places.
The topspeed figure suggests she is in the upper echelon of fillies and if, as her trainer believes, she has improved over the winter, then we could just see the start of a stellar 3yo career.
The Guineas Weekend heralds the start of the 2015 Flat season, I think it may well herald the dawning of 2 very good careers of horses under the Maktoum ownership.
Guineas Weekend – Best Bets
2000 Guineas – Saturday – Estdihkaar @ 6/1 with bet365
2000 Guineas – Saturday – Dutch Connection @ 25/1 with bet365
1000 Guineas – Sunday – Fadhayyil @ 8/1 with bet365