WELCOME to the Times’ brand new racing column from industry expert Victor Chandler.
Each week, Victor will bring you the best tips from the top meetings as well as a few other occasional sporting gems.
The column launches in next week’s Times, out May 5, but here is a sneak preview of what you can expect from Victor’s view.
Classic match – Victor’s View
The first Classics of the season hold centre stage this week, with all eyes on Newmarket. If Frankel’s popularity has deprived the Qipco 2,000 Guineas of some of its normal competitiveness, then the same cannot be said of the Qipco 1,000 Guineas – the Fillies Guineas’ - which looks wide open.
And if neither of the Newmarket contests tickles your fancy, then there are decent competitive cards at your local track, sunny Donny, on Friday afternoon and Saturday evening.
Starting off then at Doncaster on Friday, all enclosures have been sold out for the Royal Wedding Raceday. It’s a free raceday under the national ‘Racing for Change’ initiative, with all tickets having been pre-booked online.
I have been asked to stress that anyone without a ticket for Friday will not be admitted. There’s a limited number of upgrades available to purchase on the day only – for existing ticket holders.
Gates open on Friday at 10.30am and racegoers will be able to watch the Royal Wedding on the giant screens and closed-circuit television system. Racing on Holiday Friday is set to begin at 2.30pm. The action this Saturday evening – ‘Ladies Evening’ – gets underway at 5.35pm.
And so to Newmarket and the Guineas. There could not be a more popular winning trainer of this race than Henry Cecil. Without an English Classic winner since 2007 (Light Shift’s Oaks), you have to go back to 1976 for his last 2,000 Guineas triumph (Wollow). Frankel looks set to take Henry’s English Classic tally to 24.
Although Frankel’s racecourse appearances have been convincing at the very least, there are challengers. Considering he was only 85 per cent fit, Ed Dunlop’s Native Khan looked impressive at Newmarket two weeks ago. He is the each-way punt of the race, even if he dips into single figure odds on the day.
Frankel was as short as ½ earlier in the week, and he is not a punting proposition at such cramped odds. Look at our website (www.victorchandler.vcint.com) for specials such as match-betting on the race and betting without Frankel.
Sunday’s 1,000 Guineas is much harder to solve. My French contacts will not hear of defeat for the French filly, Moonlight Cloud. At the same time, home-trained Memory and Havant are gaining support. We could have joint favourites come post-time on Sunday.
Don’t rule out a Yorkshire success. Richard Fahey’s Barefoot Lady was re-introduced to our list at 25/1 this week and there may not be a lot of 25/1 on the day. The Fahey yard has been in phenomenal form so far this term and his every runner deserves respect.