29 April 2009
It is time to start looking ahead to the Classics. The weekend after next we have the two Guineas races at Newmarket and The Derby and The Oaks follow shortly after in the first week of June.
Trainer Brian Meehan is talking a big talk about his plans to land a 2000 Guineas and Derby double with Crowded House in the former and Delegator in the 2000 Guineas after his impressive win in the Craven Stakes last week.
Crowded House no longer retains the position of ante post favourite for the Derby, having been demoted by the wave of professionals' cash coming in for Aidan O'Brien's Fame And Glory. Undaunted by this turn around in the market
Meehan if anything seems to have more confidence than ever in the Racing Post Trophy winner.
He said on Monday that he expected Crowded House to win the Dante Derby Trial on May 14th and added that he could see no reason to doubt success at Epsom 24 days later.
Meehan worked Crowded House over the rarely used Derby gallop at his Manton training HQ and stated that the Manton gallops were a true test of his colt's suitability to hand the undulations and camber of the Epsom course.
As for Delegator the trainer was if anything even more positive about his chances in the 2000 Guineas.
He said that the Craven Stakes had no real pace and that the Guineas would be faster but considered that his colt would be suited by a more truly run race.
Asked to name a danger to his colt he would only say that Aidan O'Brien's pair and the Sir Michael Stoute runner were bound to be stiff opposition. A Brian Meehan double of the two colts' classics is presently 30-1 or more with most bookmakers. Meanwhile the money keeps pouring in for Fame and Glory.
The winner of the PW McGrath Memorial Ballysax Stakes is following in the footsteps of two previous Aidan O'Brien Derby winners High Chapparal and Galileo winning last Sunday's race and his pilot Johnny Murtagh is full of praise for the Montjeu colt. Murtagh has won the Blue Riband three times already so his judgement of a Derby hoss must be sound. Blue Square have Fame And Glory at 5-1 and the other big bookmakers have him at 6-1 joint favourite with Crowded House.
The other live contender for the 2000 Guineas is Sir Michael Stoute's Evasive which had to bypass the Newmarket trials with pus in a foot but he is back on the gallops and moving most satisfactorily. The Cheveley Park Stud which owns Evasive had plans to work the colt at Newbury last week but were put off by the soft going.
This hoss could represent very good each way value if he has to line up for the 2000 Guineas without a prep race.
So much for the classic hopes and I must now turn to our own much more modest hopes for our Racing Club two year old filly Southwark Newshawk.
She still remains on course for a racing debut at Yarmouth on Thursday 30th April in the 5.30 evening race.
She is currently having hers stalls training and barring mishaps will be in fine fettle for her debut.
As for our new baby addition to the Racing Club string, she continues to make satisfactory progress.
I have only one bet for you this Saturday and it is in the 3.40 at Leicester. It is Winker Watson in the Leicestershire Stakes.
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