Tag Archives: Newmarket

Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes (G 1)

Alpha Centauri after winning the Tattersalls Irish 1000 Guineas

It looks a one horse race, when Alpha Centauri heard her feet rattle she showed herself to be a cut above the rest. She blasted the field at the Curragh in the Tattersalls Irish 1000 Guineas beating the Ballydoyle inmates Could It Be Love and Happily. She repeated the feat in the Coronation Stakes at Ascot where she was even more impressive giving Mark Johnston’s Treading a 6 L trouncing.

The only issue you could crap about is the depth of the form. The two beaten at the Curragh, Could It Be Love and Happily, have both been beaten since. Could It Be Love ran third in the Jersey at Royal Ascot and was then second in the Browntown Stakes to Xenobia at Fairyhouse the other night.  That an interesting piece of form as it ties in one of the older mares here, Mick Channon’s Opal Tiara. She went to Ireland last time where she sprang a surprise beating another Ballydoyle inmate Hydrangea at G2 level in the Landwades Stud Stakes with Xenobia 12 L back in fifth.

Clemmie was European Champion two year old filly last year and at the beginning of the season she was, you would have thought, numero uno filly at Ballydoyle. She had a setback that meant she missed Newmarket’s Guineas however she did start at the Curragh and at Ascot where she was well beaten both times by Alpha Centauri.

On the plus side she needed her first two run’s last season also before we saw the real Clemmie. She finished her juvenile career with a cracking win in the Cheveley Park but again if your crabby, the form is now questionable as she beat Different League, since purchased by Coolmore, who hasn’t managed a win in five runs this year.

Mark Johnston’s second runner Nyaleti adds some spice having won the German 1000 Guineas last time out and it’s worth noting she was also only beaten a 1/2 L by Laurens in last year’s May Hill at Doncaster, good form now.

Arabian Hope, third in this last year and Altyn Orda complete the field. The latter ran fifth at Newmarket in the Guineas but couldn’t build on that last time out in France in the Prix de Sandringham.

Alpha Centauri is an unbackable price for most trading at 1/3 on however there might still be an opportunity in the place and each way markets for a small interest. Unfortunately there are only seven runners which restricts the play to first and second.

Opal Tiara is having her last racecourse run, she is in foal to Churchill, something that might just tilt the age weight concession here for her. Xenobia’s win last Sunday puts her in the mix and she’s already taken a big scalp in Ireland when beating a double G1 winner in Hydrangea.

She could depart West Issley leaving a big smile on Mick Channon’s face.

Recommendation: Opal Tiara  40/1 ew




Qipco 2000 Guineas Stakes (G1) & Kentucky Derby (G1)

US Navy Flag on Debut at Naas last year

It’s Wednesday before the first classic of the season on Saturday, the 2000 Guineas. It might be three days away but already the forgotten horse in this field is surely US Navy Flag.

On official ratings he’s 9 lbs clear of his stablemate and current 5/2 race favourite Gustav Klimt and 2 lbs clear of his other stable companion and 5/1 second favourite Saxon Warrior yet the market puts him in as a 20/1 shot.

Granted he was beaten 15L by Gustav Klimt on his seasonal debut in the Leopardstown Guineas Trial three weeks ago but that was on heavy ground and his form of last year would suggest he has a strong chance of bridging that gap on ground that could ride good come Saturday afternoon.

He’s obviously a hardy soul having raced eleven times last year improving throughout the season. He was on the go from early May when he made his debut at Naas through to November at Del Mar where he contested the Juvenile Dirt at the Breeders Cup. He didn’t handle the surface and was well beaten there hence the change in the Ballydoyle plans where Mendelssohn became the choice for the Kentucky Derby.

Go back one run and you’ll find he was a good winner of the Dewhurst over 7f where he got the better of Mendelssohn, now joint favourite for the Kentucky Derby and prior to that he’d shown a serious turn of foot to win the Middle Park over six furlongs, the first G1 he captured.

The question is, is he a sprinter or a miler?

His debut at Naas was over 5f which proved too sharp however up to the Middle Park his runs were all then at 6f.

He’s by War Front out of Misty For Me. She got a mile and then some so you’d say he’s likely to find this mile within his compass and when asked he’d no problem in stepping up to 7f in the Dewhurst.

He has something else going for him, besides being a double G1 winner. His stable companions, who lead the betting here, have not yet encountered Newmarket’s famous dip before. It can unbalance a horse who lacks experience. Gustav Klimt did win the Superlative Stakes at Newmarket but that was over the July course and Saxon Warrior will encounter the course for the first time.

US Navy Flag on the other hand bossed both the Middle Park and Dewhurst grabbing the ground and powering out of the dip on both occasions. With the ground drying out and that crucial course experience it’s likely the 20/1 won’t last, come post time he could be a lot shorter.

A few hours later Mendelssohn will take his chance in the Run For The Roses in Kentucky. His prep run in Dubai on dirt was nothing short of stunning winning by a going away 18L and Aidan O”Brien reports him in rude health now. If he reproduces what he did in Dubai and what what he did in chasing home US Navy Flag last year in the Dewhurst he’ll be very hard to stop.

Recommendations: US Navy Flag 20/1 e/w

                                         Mendelssohn 9/2 e/w

                                           US Navy Flag, Mendelssohn  e/w double



The Challenge Stakes (G2)

True Valour at Leopardstown in August

Recommendation: True Valour 25/1 ew

The G1 Fillies Mile is the main event with the G2 Challenge Stakes acting as support on what is a cracking card on this the opening day of the Future Champions Day Festival at Newmarket.

It has attracted four Irish entries, Rehana, Gordon Lord Byron, True Valour and Cougar Mountain.

If one is to win they’ll have to beat a home team headed by Limato. He has not hit the heights he did last year when winning the July Cup and Prix de la Foret and he comes here on the back of a below par run in the Lennox Stakes in early August in what it has to be said has been a below par season.

When he took the July Cup last year he beat Suedois a comfortable 2 L s and in France in The Foret he had him back in third beating him an even more comfortable 3 L s that time. Suedios went to America last weekend and won the Shadwell Turf Mile one of the premier turf races on the American pattern calendar.

Before that Suedois was in Ireland where he won The Enterprise Stakes, the form of which is working out very well. He beat Johnny Murtagh’s True Valour a 1/2 L on that occasion, who’d gone off an unconsiderd 25/1 shot with Phsychedelic Funk back in third and Sir John Lavery back in fourth.

Phsychedelic Funk has won since and Sir John Lavery was second in the Joel Stakes.

The Enterprise was a real step up for Johnny’s colt and if he can match that now dropping down in trip to 7 F he can present a real alternative to the favourite. Again he’s unconsidered and available at 25/1.

1000 Guineas Stakes (G1)

Embed from Getty Images Talaayeb winning at Newmarket last September. Picture courtesy of Alan Crowhurst and Getty Images.


Churchill did the business as expected in the 2000 Guineas and here in the 1000 Guineas Ballydoyle hold a strong hand again.

Rhododendron one of a trio from Fethard is the choice of Ryan Moore and heads the market at 6/4. Like Churchill she was beaten first time out. Rehana got the better of her in a maiden in last June at the Curragh then Aidan sent her to Goodwood to win her maiden. In mid August she contested the Debutante Stakes (G2) where she was a winning favourite by a head from Hydrangea with Intricately a further 1 1/4 L behind in third. Next time out in the Moyglare Stud Stakes (G1) Intricately had a short head over Hydrangea with Rhododendron 1 3/4 L behind in third.

She was asked to turn that defeat around in the Fillies Mile in September (G1) at Ascot which she duly did with a 2 1/4L win over Hydrangea on good to firm ground. She travelled sweetly relishing the conditions and the step up in trip. Both brought out the best in her and it’s no surprise to see her such a short price for this.

Fair Eva trained by Roger Charlton is a daughter of Frankel and will race in the same colours as her father. She is the second choice of the market at 6/1. She was a winner first time out at Haydock following up in the Princess Margret Stakes (G3) at Ascot. She was then sent off an odds on favourite in the Lowther (G2) in August where she was beaten by Queen Kindly and Roly Poly. In her last run she was again sent off favourite for the Rockfel Stakes (G2) where Spain Burg got the better of her by 1 1/4 L.

Closely followed in the market is Daban at 7/1. She’s only had two runs. A winter winner of her maiden at Kempton John Gosden’s filly came back in the spring to win the Nell Gwyn Stakes (G3) here at Newmarket when an unfancied 12/1 shot with Unforgettable Filly 3/4 L back in second and Poet’s Vanity 1 1/4L further back in third.

Talaayeb is a 12/1 shot. Sheik Hamden’s filly trained by Owen Burrows has only had the one run. In September at Newmarket she beat another Sheik Hamden filly who was favourite for the race in impressive style showing a nice turn of foot to win cosily. She could be anything.

Hydrangea has franked the Irish two year old form at Leopardstown in the 1000 Guineas Trial. She beat Winter a head with Intricately fourth beaten 1 1/2L. The form of the race is working out well.

On Monday at Naas Rehana (beat Rhododendron on her racecourse debut) boosted the Leopardstown form when she was an impressive winner of the Athasi Stakes (G3). Drumfad Bay eighth in the Leopardstown race also contributed to the form boost when she ran second to Doctor Geoff in the Tetrarch Stakes. This might explain why the money has come for Winter. She was available at 33/1 on Monday, since then a steady flow of cash has seen her price contract into 8/1.

There’s seems more depth to the Irish form than there is to the English. Hyendgea Leopardstown win stands up with the money suggesting that Winter has progressed best from the race however Rhododendron stands above the Leopardstown form for that Fillies mile performance and that puts her on top of the Irish team.

The home horse who could spoil the Ballydoyle party could be Talaayeb. She lacks experience but the bit she has came here at Newmarket. That day she relished the track and the ground was good to firm. Much like today.

Recommendation: Talaayeb 12/1 ew

Rhododendron and Talaayeb. (Reverse forecast)