Saturday 29th April 2023 – 15.35 p.m.
Quite a lot still entered in this have either run in the Grand National or Scottish National (the latter runners not confirmed at the time of writing), and I can’t see any Grand National runners turning up here, and with the Scottish National and bet365 Gold Cup just a week apart this year, I can’t see any of those turning up either. That leaves the door open from an ante post perspective.
Mucho Mas is a stayer very much on the upgrade having won his last two chase starts, coincidently they were also his first attempts at three miles. He makes a really nice shape over a fence and is a completely natural jumper.
In his last win which came here at Sandown, he sauntered through the race and got over the last pretty much on the bridle and when a horse came to him, he was always just doing enough. Those horses that do the minimum often have a bit up their sleeve from the handicapper.
I’m confident he’s a better horse than his rating of 129 suggests. He’ll need a lot to come out to get a run, but that’s certainly possible.
Back Mucho Mas @ 16/1
Saturday 6th May 2023 – 3.40 p.m.
There are lots of horses in here who I really like and are going to have hugely exciting careers. The problem is, I’m not sure any of them are milers.
Little Big Bear is a supreme talent, but he is quick and the way he races suggests he’s going to stay fast as well.
Noble Style is the same, a really promising horse, but he’s keen and quick who I’m also not convinced will get a mile in the Guineas.
Sakheer is an imposing colt and looks really exciting, but again, is he a miler?
I hope at least one of them is able to stretch out, but I’d want to see evidence of that before backing them here.
You have to go back to Night Of Thunder in 2014 to find the last horse to win a Guineas that hadn’t even tried at least 7f as a juvenile, but even he ran in the Greenham over 7f at Newbury in the April before the 2000 Guineas.
At the time of writing none of the above horses have gone that distance.
Chaldean got better and better last season and won the Dewhurst at Newmarket to end his prosperous campaign. He also has a lot of speed on his Dams side of the pedigree and even though he gets 7f well, I’d say he lasts it rather than powering through it.
Silver Knott would be an interesting one if the ground were quick as he’s a course and distance winner at Group 3 level.
It’s not an exciting play, but on all we know I’m not sure anything is going to be able to go with Auguste Rodin in the final furlong here.
The Vertem Futurity Trophy at Doncaster has a formidable record in producing 2000 Guineas winners in recent times with Saxon Warrior, Magna Grecia and Kameko completing the double three years on the bounce from 2017 (Luxembourg came close to enhancing that record last year too).
Auguste Rodin won that Doncaster contest in 2022 in relative ease in desperate ground, travelling well, picking up and showing a really good attitude to run right through the line, winning by almost four lengths. He has all the attributes to win this race and then tackle further as the season progresses.
I think it’s a really exciting classic generation of colts, but in this particular race, Auguste Rodin will have too much power late in the day.
Back Auguste Rodin @ 3/1
Saturday 20th May 2023 – 3.35 p.m.
As Baaeed has been retired, there isn’t a standout miler this year and the door is ajar.
Inspiral looks the obvious one to take advantage, but a couple of times now she has shown her inconsistency and there’s a nagging doubt there for me at the moment that I’m not sure which Inspiral is going to turn up.
A horse that could take off this year is My Prospero for William Haggas.
He won his maiden over this course and distance before taking the Heron Stakes at Sandown. Continuing to improve he was third in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot before stepping up to a mile and a quarter to win in France. However, his best performance was still to come in the Champion Stakes, when running a close third amongst Bay Bridge, Adayar and Baaeed – that form sticks out like a sore thumb. It was a huge run.
Tom Marquand has been very complimentary about him coming into this campaign, so I don’t think that run was a fluke. He’ll be down in trip here, but he won over it last season and a straight mile brings stamina into play, so I can’t see that being an excuse if he doesn’t win.
In a division that lacks a star, his last piece of form gives him a massive shout.
Back My Prospero @ 6/1