The first major highlight of the flat season is finally here.
Newmarket serves up the prestigious 1,000 Guineas and 2,000 Guineas this weekend – two races every leading trainer desperately wants to win.
Need some 1,000 and 2,000 Guineas tips? Here’s our look at the betting ahead of the weekend’s action…
Rock of Gibraltar. Sea The Stars. Frankel.
The 2,000 Guineas is often the first staging post for some of the most talented thoroughbreds in British racing history to lay down a marker before sealing their place amongst the all-time greats.
Wembley (7/2) looks in good shape to lead the way having looked more than handy in behind St Mark’s Basilica in the Darley Dewhurst Stakes here back in October. Heavy ground ruled him out of his last run of 2020, but he should have no such trouble adapting to the conditions expected on Saturday.
There’s momentum building around the prospects of Mutasaabeq (6/1) in the lead up to the big race. Charlie Hills’ talented three-year-old has genuine Guineas pedigree as a descendant of previous winner Ghanaati, and he could be a strong chance for Jim Crowley to land a first win in a Classic.
The time could be right for Thunder Moon (11/2) to kick up a storm in this race. He was third when favourite in the Dewhurst in a run where nothing quite fell into place, but he’ll be better for that run, and he edged out Wembley at the Curragh prior to that first Newmarket effort.
Three to think about:
Wembley – 7/2
Mutasaabeq – 6/1
Thunder Moon – 11/2
After the excitement of the 2,000 Guineas on Saturday, Newmarket serves up another showstopper on Sunday with the 1,000 Guineas set to be as hotly contested as ever.
The second of Britain’s five Classics, the race is open to three-year-old fillies and has a habit of throwing up some curveballs from a betting point of view, with recent history telling us this race doesn’t always necessarily stick to the pre-race script.
Homecoming Queen (25/1, 2012) and Billesdon Brook (66/1, 2018) were both long-price winners in this one, while 10/1 shot Kameko was first home by a neck last year at a starting price of around 10/1. Minding’s classy run in 2016 was the last time an overwhelming favourite stormed to victory over the Rowley Mile, so it’s worth studying the field closely for any under-the-radar contenders.
First, let’s consider the red-hot favourite, Santa Barbara (5/4).
She certainly merits frontrunner status for Aidan O’Brien given her sensational debut account at the Curragh back in September. While O’Brien has admitted she expects her to be green given her swift rise to these ranks, she’ll be in good hands with four-time 1,000 Guineas winner Ryan Moore on board.
He’s won the St Leger. Can Tom Marquand add the 1,000 Guineas to his trophy collection?
The 23-year-old stands a good chance taking the ride of Sacred (7/1) given the latter timed his run to perfection to win the Nell Gwyn Stakes at this course just over two weeks ago.
Given this is a race often rich on shock value, Fev Rover (20/1) could be an interesting flutter given her fair form last summer, notching wins at Deauville and Sandown before a middling performance in a Group 1 at Longchamp.
Three to think about:
Santa Barbera (5/4)
Fev Rover (20/1)
Check out all our horse racing tips >>>
Odds correct at time of writing but may be subject to change.