We’re already well into the worldwide G1 pattern racing season, you can track it here, Winx and Beauty Generation top the PRWC Horse 2019 standings after lighting up the early part of the year with three G1’s each.
We kicked off the G1 European season last Sunday in the Prix Ganay and this week we move to Newmarket for Guineas weekend. In America Churchill Downs hosts the Kentucky Oaks and Derby.
Will we see a top-class three-year-old this year?
One capable of bouncing from one G1 to another remaining unbeaten from here to the end of the season, one capable of stepping up from a mile to 10f and then to a mile and a half, one capable of taking on and beating the older generation over those longer trips?
It’s a decade since Sea The Stars.
As is often the case come the 2000 Guineas, there’s a few of those who set the standard as juveniles missing here. Too Darn Hot, Ouorto and Mohaather met with setbacks in the build-up while Calyx and Persian King were rerouted.
It’s led to the not unfamiliar situation where Ballydoyle provides the favourite and second favourite for the Guineas today. Ten Sovereigns a speedy sort by No Nay Never has usurped Magna Grecia as favourite as Ryan Moore has been booked for the ride. He is unbeaten in three juvenile runs over 6F, the last in the G1 Middle Park where he was a classy winner over Jash. Is sprinting his game?
Magna Grecia had a similar end of season campaign, three runs, a Naas maiden win followed by a neck second to Persian King at Newmarket and then a win in the G1 Vertem Futurity Trophy Stakes at Doncaster over a mile.
The Irish presence is boosted by Madhmoon from the Kevin Prendergast stable. Also thrice run, he won a Leopardstown maiden in August and then beat Broome in the Junevile Stakes last Irish Champions weekend in September, both over a mile. Broome boosted the form with a good second in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere over Arc weekend and then bolted up in the Ballysax this term. Madhmoon went off favourite for the Guineas Trial at Leopardstown in April but found the Ballydoyle inmate Never No More who had the benefit of a winning run (entered in the Irish 2000 Guineas) a ½ L too good on that occasion.
Willie Haggas’s Skardu heads the English challenge on the back of his Craven win, he had a neck to spare over Momkin. As a trial, the Craven hasn’t produced a Guineas winner since Haafhd in 2004 though Masar’s win last year and subsequent Derby win has done a lot to reestablish the race’s credentials even if Masar couldn’t win the Guineas. Skardu had the one run last year, he was a shock 33/1 winner of a 7F maiden over this course in September.
Royal Marine and Al Hilalee represent Godolophin. The latter is somewhat of a surprise package, a maiden winner last year here over the July course he followed up with a listed win in Deauville beating Duke Of Harzand a short head who reopposes here. He spent the winter in Dubai and did a racecourse gallop two Saturday’s ago at Meyden arriving back to Newmarket on Sunday and was supplemented for the race on Monday. The former pipped Broome in Paris in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere. A trip on Dirt at Meydan didn’t work, he could only manage fourth, a spot he also filled when going off favourite for the Craven Stakes.
Marytn Meade’s Advertise possibly represents the strongest juvenile form. He was beaten twice in a five-runner campaign, Calyx got the better of him in the Coventry at Royal Ascot when they were split by the width of the track and Too Darn Hot put him in his place in the Dewhurst when leaving him comfortably 3 ½ L in arrears. In between, he won the G2 July Stakes at Newmarket and went to the Curragh to win the G1 Phoenix Stakes over 5F.
It’s an open Guineas with the loss of too many principles to answer the question we posed earlier, will we see a superstar three-year-old this year? Caylx’s win at Ascot yesterday suggests these are an above average bunch and he’ll now go down the sprinting route. The setbacks to Too Darn Hot and Ouorto means it’s too early to give us a definitive answer as to how good this crop is. The suspicion is that they are good, a cut above the norm, the premise built largely on the back of Too Darn Hot.
In the meantime, Madhmoon can put down a marker, his two-year-old form too was very good. He’ll come on a great deal from his Leopardstown seasonal debut in April where the 7F trip was too short for him and the soft ground against him. He’ll relish the step back up to a mile here and he’ll love the fast ground even more.
Recommendation: Mahmoom 8/1 win
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