Best bets for the Guineas Festival this weekend at Newmarket, the Kentucky Derby and Bank Holiday Monday!

I have dealt with the two Classics themselves, the 1000 Guineas and 2000 Guineas, on the Classics page: Here I will look at the other bets for the long weekend, at Newmarket, over at Churchill Downs and on Monday and a possible punt at Bath. It is going to be a busy weekend down at Triple G Towers.  

Best bets for the undercard Saturday at the Newmarket Guineas Festival

I tipped Bright Melody to win last time in Dubai and he is fancied again in the 1m1f 'My Oddsboost' On Betfair Suffolk Stakes at 1.50. Top-weight is a concern but as a lightly raced four-year-old hopefully there is a little more to come yet. At 4-1 overnight he is worth a punt in a nice race with a few in with chaces. 

Dirty Dozen member Lazuli will run in the 5f Group Three Betfair Palace House Stakes at 2.25. Third in the Dubai Dash out in Meydan was a little disappointing on his seasonal debut but would have blown away the cobwebs. Appleby and Buick were both hopeful he would be better this year than last and all being well he can gain his first win of his four-year-old campaign in this. He has got to shoulder the 9-9 under the race conditions, giving the rest of the field at least 3lb, but the biggest dangers in the entries to my mind like Liberty beach don’t run and I am confident he is too good for this field. I have the 5-2

Secret Protector would be the bet in the Betfair Newmarket Stakes but he’ll be odds-on.  

On what could be a great day for Godolphin and Charlie Appleby in particular I am on another one of his late on. I have tipped Magical Land before, the colt has three seconds to his name, but can finally get off the mark in the lucky last the Betfair Weighed-In Podcast Handicap at 5.25. I have the 5-2 overnight.  

Best bet for the Kentucky Derby Churchill Downs

It’s going to be a long weekend with plenty of racing and just to add a little razzmatazz I am also having a bet in the Grade One 1m2f Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve out at Churchill Downs in the USA. The race is due off at 11.57pm our time Saturday I believe so it’s one for the insomniacs. Essential Quality is the one for me the colt hopefully making it a cross Atlantic double for the Godolphin operation with One Ruler in the 2,000 Guineas. Unbeaten as a juvenile the colt emerged as a serious contender for the ‘Run for the Roses’ when winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Keeneland in November. He has carried on improving at three and heads into the first leg of the US Triple Crown following a faultless preparation with two three-year-old victories. I have happily grabbed 5-2 about the Grey/Roan (not a colouring you see often). Trainer Brad Cox said on the Godolphin website “My only concern with Essential Quality is getting a good trip. I think if he runs the race he has been running, he is going to be there. It is a 20-horse field, so you have to overcome certain things and have some racing luck. If he gets the racing luck and a clean trip, we should be in a great position. He hasn’t missed a beat in his career. He has run five big races and his work schedule has been extremely steady, so he is a very solid horse in terms of soundness. If you watch him in the mornings, he is not over the top. He is happy and feeling good but he’s a classy horse who knows when to turn it on and off. I think it’s a good quality to have in terms of a Derby horse. It is going to be loud with a big crowd on Derby Day but we are hopeful and confident that he will be able to handle it.”

Best bets for the undercard Sunday at the Newmarket Guineas Festival

No apologies are made for it being another Charlie Appleby one!

At 2.25 we have the 1m2f Listed Betfair Pretty Polly Stakes and I simply had to be on one here. Dirty Dozen member A’Shaari was my long-range ante-post punt for the 1,000 Guineas but (annoyingly for me) she will run in this. I really thought she might be the Godolphin Guineas Filly but clearly the team think middle-distances will be her game and who am I to argue. She is a full-sister to the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf winner Wuheida, also trained by Charlie Appleby, and related to a number of other winners. Carpet 3-1 was about on Tuesday and I have that as if she proves to be as good as I think she might be she will win this hard held.  

Bank Holiday Monday possible punt at Bath

A two-year-old called Lawful Command is due to make his debut and could prove of interest being by my first season sire to follow Churchill out of winning miler Blue Geranium (Dansili). He goes in the 5f Sky Sports Racing Sky 415 EBF Restricted Novice Stake due off at 1.35 over at Bath.  

Be lucky