I ENJOYED Saturday's racing immensely. It's great to have the top class racing back and I even managed to get a winner with the smart-looking Daarik at Newcastle.
Sunday brings another slate of top grade fare and we have 7 races televised live on ITV from Newmarket and Haydock, culminating in the 1,000 Guineas at 3.35pm. It would be brilliant for the sport to have this quality of racing more often on a Sunday and it's surely something that the powers that be will look at moving forward.
Have a listen to the second half of the Gambla racing podcast for some of my Sunday tips if you haven't already:
The tips from the podcast plus a few extra are as follows:
This is a great opportunity for COMMUNIQUE to get back to winning ways. His record at Newmarket is 4 wins from 4 races and we can forgive him two poor runs in Germany last autumn in Group 1 races. He knows the job here, Mark Johnston has them bang in form and Communique has the benefit of probably the greatest flat jockey on the planet in the shape of Ryan Moore. There has been money for him since I tipped him up on the podcast but he is still value at 9-4 in my book.
Another one who has been backed since the podcast was released on Friday night is FANNY LOGAN for the Gosden and Havlin combination. That's no surprise because they were banging the winners in on Saturday and look to be in top form. Fanny Logan ran really well at the Breeders Cup at the end of last season and was a good winner on various underfoot conditions in the UK last season. She looks rock solid to me whilst there are questions over her two main challengers Manuela De Vega (trainer form) and Vivionn (needs to improve a good chunk) so despite the shorter price since Friday night I am still keen on her.
This is a competitive handicap with quite a few who look capable of improvement. Davydenko looks good but got a hefty bump up in the weights for his last win which isn't ideal and West End Charmer has potential but he has been off the track for a year. The one that I fancy is GOOD BIRTHDAY who finished 3rd in the Cambridgeshire when last seen and he was rattling home from a seemingly impossible position that day. He wouldn't have beat the winner Lord North who was a class above them but the extra furlong today will be a help and Good Birthday is allowed to run off the same handicap mark as he did that day. He looks like the winner to me.
I was torn between ELARQAM, Lord North and Sangarius in this but when you look at the consistent level of form that Elarqam has in the book you have to side with him. He is well clear of the rest on ratings for good reason and has conditions in his favour here. His two defeats at the end of last season were in world class Group 1 races and none of his opponents have form that gets anywhere near that.
No selection for me in this race. Quite a few are in with a chance and there was nothing that jumped out as good value.
I recommended a bet on SAFE VOYAGE on the Gambla racing podcast that went out on Friday night but he was as big as 7-1 at that time and has now been punted in to 11-4 favourite. Whilst I still think he has a strong chance and is unlikely to be out of the top three that is a fairly short price. With the shape of the market now I think D'BAI is a cracking each way alternative at his current price of 10-1 with Bet365. Snap that up if you can and if Safe Voyage drifts back out to around 5-1 then I would back him too if you haven't already done so. Both horses are consistent and should run well first time out.
The 1,000 Guineas looks like being a great race this year and you can make a case for quite a few of them, especially Millisle, Love and Quadrilateral. The one that I fancy at a bigger price though is RAFFLE PRIZE. She has done me proud before, winning at Royal Ascot last year when I tipped her at 18/1 in the Queen Mary stakes. It's not often that a sprinter will go from a 5 furlong race like that to the 1,000 Guineas over a mile (8 furlongs) but I think she has what it takes to make that transition. She ran very well in her other five runs as a two year old, all of which were over 6 furlongs, including an impressive run in the Group 1 Prix Morny at Deauville. She lost that day by a short margin to Earthlight who is an unbeaten multiple Group 1 winner. That was on testing ground and the two of them pulled clear of the rest of a classy field so in my view Raffle Prize will stay a mile. The other big factor in her favour is the form of trainer Mark Johnston. His horses are running so well this week and he clearly has them all at peak fitness which is a big bonus. Raffle Prize looks a great each way shout at 11-1 and there are plenty of firms going 4 places so take advantage.
12:00 Sedgefield - Race: 1
12:20 Yarmouth - Race: 1