Doncaster Racecourse

A wonderful weekend of racing to look forward to with the highlight the first British classics of the season and we begin our preview with Saturday’s colts’ race the 2000 Guineas.

Godolphin’s unbeaten Pinatubo was in a different class to the rest of today’s field as a juvenile, but will he maintain that superiority in a race that is often labelled the last two-year-old race of the season? His performance in the 7f National Stakes at the Curragh was Frankelesque and he may not have to improve much from two to three to maintain his superiority over his peers.

Charlie Appleby’s colt is a shade of odds on at 5/6 at the time of writing although I’m sure a couple of layers will offer Evens on the morning of the race. It is possible we will see something special on the Rowley Mile, but I shall look for an each way alternative.

I expect to see a much better show from Kinross back at the scene of his fluent 8L win over 7f here on debut, but he has a bit to find with Kameko (3.35) on Newcastle running in the Vertem Futurity at the beginning of November and it is the Andrew Balding-trained colt who gets the each way vote with the stable in such flying form.

The winner of the Vertem Futurity has gone on to Guineas glory in the last couple of years courtesy of Magna Grecia and Saxon Warrior although it should be noted that those successes were gained on turf at Doncaster. Kameko’s win came on tapeta with Doncaster waterlogged and the race rearranged but he travelled like a class act at Gosforth Park and at 7/1 with Boylesports he gets the each way nod.

In the Group 2 Dahlia Stakes Terebellum (2.25) escapes carrying a penalty as a result of her success in the same grade at Deauville coming two weeks before the end of August and I believe the lightly-raced Gosden filly can make up into a Group one filly this term. This looks an ideal starting point.

Queen Power is another favourite of mine, but she can often hinder her chances by over-racing, and she may have to play second fiddle to Terebellum on this occasion. The selection is 7/4 at bet365.

Earlier in the card I am looking forward to seeing Far Above (1.50) run over the minimum trip of five furlongs for the first time. The colt has won three of his four career starts and is often to be seen pulling hard in rear. He started off over 7f but dropped back in trip after he was well held in the 7f listed King Charles Stakes last May. He has been off the track since winning at Deauville back in July but won first time out last season and should have the race run to suit with Ornate likely to ensure a searching gallop. PJ McDonald has ridden the horse in all three of his successes and is back in the plate today. The each way selection is 5/1 from 8s with Boylesports.

Withhold (2.40) is blinkered for the first time in the Sagaro Stakes which is the Newcastle feature. The race is traditionally staged at Ascot and is a recognised Gold Cup trial and a competitive field of eleven will go to post today. The selection won the 2018 Northumberland Plate on his seasonal debut in 2018 so we know he goes well fresh and has little to fear from runner up Prince Of Arran on the revised terms. The each way selection is 11/2 with William Hill and it was nice to see Imperium give Roger Charlton a welcome winner at Lingfield on Friday.

Palace Pier (3.15) is considered better than a handicapper by connections who were considering a crack at the Guineas for their unbeaten colt. The St James’s Palace stakes at the Royal meeting in a fortnight’s time will be the next stop if he makes it three out of three although he is short enough in the betting at 8/11.      

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