I’m very excited about racing on this beautiful day. The reason? I’ve been working on producing a list of well-handicapped horses that I consider are better than their current ratings, with the intention of wagering on them when they next get the conditions they require to do their best.
But first, the Two Thousand Guineas.
I really hope that FRANKEL wins and becomes the horse that carries the Flat season forward. Every season needs a hero and FRANKEL could be this years. However, I don’t think he’s as far ahead as the betting makes out. In my opinion, he’s about 4lb ahead of this field on 2yo form; so what could challenge him today? I’m looking at 2 in this, purely based on the odds. They are CASAMENTO @ 12/1 and NATIVE KHAN @ 18/1 (and drifting). On form, Casamento is as good as any of the Irish challengers and so should be on 7/1 along with Pathfork. Trainer, Al Zarooni will have this horse at his peak and he has perhaps the best flat jockey currently riding in the saddle in Dettori. If this horse is good enough, it won’t be out of the 1st-3 and that makes 12/1 eachway a good value wager. Ditto Native Khan, who has the benefit of a run this season already when winning the Craven over C&D. If, the 15lb of improvement that trainer Ed Dunlop reckons was still to come arrives today, then he will be a very strong finishing horse. Odds of 11/2 and 13/2 without the fav look good to me.
From my alert list (public and private) comes:-
CAI SHEN (Newmarket 4:55) and I marked this horse out as one with exceptional promise when he ran away with his race LTO. He showed acceleration, stamina and tenacity that day and I expected him to be the 9/4 (or shorter) fav today – yet, he’s 9/2 with Corals as I write (4’s generally). This has to be a wager.
At Thirsk, both Justonefortheroad and Snow Bay are on my list, but I fear they will cancel each other out in this an set the race up for a finisher. As such, I’ll pass on this race, but the 4:10 sees KARAKA JACK return to the track. He runs off OR75 and showed he’s recapturing his form (was 2nd in Esher Cup off OR90 in April last year) with a good run LTO over an inadequate 6-furlongs. The easier “good” going will help him today, as will increase in trip to 7-furlongs. I was hoping for longer odds, but 4/1 looks fair enough for a small stake.
At Doncaster, FRONTLINE PHANTOM (running in the 5:35) was one I had on my list, but the value in him has gone now as he’s 9/4 (from 4/1) this morning. Later, in the 7:45 runs CAPE VALE. Now, I am not a big fan of these sprint races over 5f & 6f as so much can go wrong at the start, but CAPE VALE made all from the worst of the draw LTO to win like a horse going places. He has improved with every run since returning from Ireland to the Nicholls stable, and he can take this race. Odds of 11/2 look good as the fav Internationaldebut has only won twice from 39 starts on turf.
Newmarket 4:55, CAI SHEN, 2pts win @ 4/1 (available generally with a best odds guaranteed bookmaker).
Thirsk 4:10, KARAKA JACK, 1pt win @ 4/1 (available generally with a best odds guaranteed bookmaker).
Doncaster 7:45, CAPE VALE, 1pt win @ 11/2 (available generally with a best odds guaranteed bookmaker).
Total = 4pts staked
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