Newmarket is buzzing ahead of first Classic


This weekend Newmarket comes alive. It started last night as racegoers piled into restaurants and bars after the last yesterday. Those who need to get up and ride out this morning will be saving themselves for tonight.

The sold-out signs are just about up and town is going to be heaving tonight as those braving the clubs can move from Tinder to real life when trying to pull. It’s the first Classic of the season and everyone’s buzzing.

How brilliant to see a packed racecourse and everyone generally there for a good time. There will of course be a few who take it too far and over indulge in booze or the marching powder and then start to ruin the fun by thinking they’re Tyson Fury and wanting to box.

There were these scenes at Sandown last weekend and it seemed to have put a damper on things for a few racegoers when letting their fists do the talking.

Call me a purist but this is why I tend to swerve the big days. I’ll make an effort to do them once. Royal Ascot has been ticked off while the Cheltenham Festival and the Derby are on the list but just to say I’ve done it. The thought of having to queue 15 minutes to use the facilities or the same amount of time to stand and wait for an overpriced pint is a major turn off. That you’re then rushed into downing it in order to move to another part of the racecourse adds to it.

There’s nothing more pleasant than an afternoon at the races where people are there for the purest reason, the actual product. That’s why you’ll find me on the Rowley Mile in Autumn.

There was another black eye for racing on the same day as two ladies were turned away from entering one part of the racecourse on account of their footwear. White trainers, no doubt of the Gucci or Prada variety, were deemed unacceptable as a compliment to what reports suggest were fairly serious dresses. These ladies had simply chosen to go slightly more casual despite still looking smart and were denied entry. Come on. What a shame that so many people lack common sense.

Racing makes a song and dance about wanting to attract racegoers, particularly of a younger age, and yet the sport gets so stuck on such minor details. No doubt a good day spoiled for the two ladies who had to suffer the embarrassment of a steward with no dress sense telling them they weren’t properly attired.

Come on.

Anyway, enough ranting and let’s have a look at the Newmarket card, shall we?

The main event seems to be a race for second with Native Trail seemingly nailed on to land the spoils. I’m normally one to look at taking favourites on but I just can’t bring myself to do it. I think this horse is a beast. He won’t have my money but I do think that this is his to lose.

Instead, I’ve opted for two small each way fancies to keep an interest here. The first of those is a 20/1 chance, I got on at 33s earlier in the week, in the form of Eydon. He’s a lovely looking horse and showed a fair bit of class at HQ when hacking up in a listed contest recently. He looks like a good one for the future but I was taken by him.

The other one is Lusail purely because he’s a horse I followed a few times last season and he was pleasing enough in the Greenham although he does have a bit to do to stake a really strong claim. However he comes from a stable that knows what it takes to prep a Guineas winner and he could sneak a place at 50/1.

There are few things greater than a big field handicap and the 1.50 provides just that with a few well tried performers tackling this six furlong contest. Of the main protagonists here I like Tarhib, Jumby and Tactical and all three are at fairly decent odds, at the time of writing, for each way strikes. If I was to pick one it would be a play on Tactical with the booking of Ryan Moore a big plus. The negative is that this horse has been tough to follow but sparked here when reappearing last season.

In the 2.25, Forest Falcon could be the one to side with given he’s likely to have benefitted massively from his run a fortnight ago. You can never discount a horse trained by the Johnstons and ridden by Joe Fanning when they venture down from Middleham.

Came From The Dark was second in the Palace House Stakes (Gr 3) last year and has a massive claim at going one better and the 10/3 chance looks one of the betting propositions of the afternoon. As does State of Bliss in the 4.15. The double pays 16/1.

In other racing, Andrea Atzeni goes to Goodwood to ride Almohandesah in the 2.40 and the 5/1 about this runner appeals in a decent looking listed contest.

Sunday’s 1,000 Guineas seems a lot more of an open contest than the colts’ equivalent and I was taken by Cachet’s performance in the Nell Gwynn and she could be an eachway shout. If the horse mentioned above wins at Goodwood and does it quite nicely, then pay attention here.

Football wise, Liverpool, Aston Villa, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea and Arsenal all to win works out to just over 8/1 for anyone interested in an accumulator.


I was happy enough with the efforts from last weekend’s column picks with a 14/1 winner a particular highlight along with advising those with investments in Inspiral to get out after rumours she’d be swerving the 1,000 Guineas. Fingers crossed for this weekend. Be Lucky!

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