Ben Linfoot looks ahead to QIPCO 1000 Guineas day at Newmarket with three tips for the action at Newmarket.
Recommended Bets: Value Bet
Aidan O’Brien dominated the QIPCO 2000 Guineas on Saturday and he could well take home the fillies’ version on Sunday as well.
Rhododendron has been the favourite for the QIPCO 1000 Guineas ever since she romped home in the Fillies’ Mile and with Hydrangea and Winter holding strong form chances themselves O’Brien could easily train the first three home in this Classic for the second year running.
Last year Minding hosed up in this race on her seasonal reappearance after blasting home in the Fillies’ Mile on her final juvenile start so the blueprint is there for Rhododendron to follow in her hoofprints.
Hydrangea’s juvenile form closely ties in with Rhododendren’s as they faced each other three times last year, the verdict 2-1 in favour of the latter.
However, they were both beaten by INTRICATELY in the Group One Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh in September and Joseph O’Brien’s filly looks overpriced at 16/1 (General) to get one over his father’s team once again this weekend.
The Moyglare has been a good pointer to the 1000 Guineas in recent seasons as both Sky Lantern and Minding won that contest before landing the Newmarket Classic.
Intricately has a similar profile to Sky Lantern as they both ran down the field at the Breeders’ Cup before being beaten in their trials on their first starts as three-year-olds.
Sky Lantern improved significantly with her trial under her belt and the hope is Intricately will too, as she ran a fine race carrying a 3lb penalty when not beaten far in the Leopardstown 1,000 Guineas Trial on April 8.
The daughter of Fastnet Rock finished fourth that day with Hydrangea and Winter first and second respectively, but she wasn’t overly worked in the closing stages when her chance had gone.
She gave the impression she would come on plenty for the run and, considering she wasn’t beaten far giving away 3lb, it would be no surprise if she were able to turn the tables on the pair on Sunday.
Winter was backed down from big prices to 8/1 in the week and that ship has sailed as far as I’m concerned. She could improve on her second start for Aidan O’Brien but Intricately shouldn’t be twice her odds and 16/1 is a big price about a proven Group One winner.
The one thing we are risking is her ability to go on the fast ground, but with such limited evidence to go on I’m happy to chance her on the quick conditions and crucially improvement is expected now she steps back up in trip to a mile.
Everything she did over seven furlongs as a juvenile suggested she’d get a mile well as a three-year-old and her pedigree backs up the theory as her dam is a half-sister to Rock Of Gibraltar.
Another bet I like on the card is Richard Fahey’s EASTERN IMPACT at 15/2 (Coral) in the Longholes Handicap over six furlongs at 2.55.
Projection is the hot favourite for this race after making a good impression on three starts as a three-year-old. He travels well and has more to offer, but he didn’t manage to get his head in front last season and he’ll have to be right on his game to take this first time out.
He could be, but I’d rather back Eastern Impact as he loves this track, is well-handicapped and he’ll be spot on for this following a run at Wolverhampton in March.
Fahey’s horse always seems to run well in Newmarket, whether he’s on the July Course or the Rowley Mile, and he has two course and distance successes to his name including a win in this race two years ago off a 2lb higher mark.
Rated 113 at the end of 2015, he was consistent last year without winning but his mark really dropped after three no shows in Meydan.
Now back down to 102, his lowest mark for three years, he’s handicapped to win again and proved as much when an unlucky in-running third on his all-weather debut at Wolverhampton last time.
That showed us he’s fine after his trip to Dubai and with the fast ground right up his street as well he’s a good bet to get back on the winning trail.
Finally, GOING UP (22/1 Paddy Power) can bring down some horses with bigger reputations in the opening Qatar Racing Handicap (1.50).
Some powerhouse owners are represented in this race but The Going Up Syndicate could have more than just a good day out with this Duke Of Marmalade colt.
He showed some promise in maidens including when stepped up in trip to 1m6f at Wolverhampton last November where he got off the mark in good style.
Qatar Racing’s Adalene was well beaten in second that day to the tune of six lengths, and she’s been impressive herself when winning at Newcastle subsequently albeit in an admittedly bad race.
Still, she looks a solid mid-70s horse and the way Going Up made light work of her is some indication that an opening handicap mark of 85 is one he can be competitive off.
Rae Guest is no stranger to winning a good handicap at this track having saddled Show Stealer to win here at 22/1 almost a year ago, and off a light weight Going Up is interesting enough to take a chance on at a nice price.
Ben Linfoot's Value Bet aim: The Value Bet is designed to generate long-term profit by searching for overpriced horses in the feature weekend races and at the big Festivals in the UK. Running total: +362.14pts to advised stakes/prices (from inception of Value Bet column in January 2010 to current).
Posted at 1700 BST on 06/05/17.