Horse Racing News – 24th April 2017

Gosden Golden As Guineas Nears and Vicente At The Double

With the first Classics of the flat season now less than two weeks away, the trainers of the leading contenders will be keen to have their strings in flying form in time for the gates opening for the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on the 5th May.

Trainer form can be something of a fluctuating beast at the best of times, but were the Classics run tomorrow, we know the name of the handler we would most like to have on side. John Gosden is absolutely flying at present!

From maiden affairs to Group class contests, Gosden has hit the target 15 times from 44 runners in the past fortnight, with a further 15 of his representatives finishing in the first three. Having rattled in six winners over the three days of Newmarket’s Craven meeting, he carried his fine form into Newbury where he notched another five.

Focus on the 1000 Guineas?

Those looking to bet that Gosden’s hot streak will continue into the Guineas meeting may want to concentrate on the 1000 Guineas. In landing both the Nell Gynn with Daban and the Dubai Duty Free (Fred Darling) with the similarly named Dabyah, Gosden claimed two of the key trials for the one mile contest at HQ.

Daban was probably the more visually impressive of the two as she could afford to be eased right down close home, a performance which now sees the daughter of Acclamation trading as the 10/1 second favourite for the race with Bet365. In at 12/1 with Sky Bet, Dabyah isn’t too far behind and there may not be much to split them on the day.

And for the 2000 Guineas?

Looking at the colts Classic, it is Aidan O’Brien’s Churchill who continues to look down from his place atop the head of the market. O’Brien doesn’t quite have his string firing on all cylinders just yet, and will need to find a bit of form soon if Churchill is to withstand the challenge of a number of lively contenders queueing up to take him on.

The major movers in the past week came in the form of Barney Roy who made it two from two when taking Newbury’s Greenham Stakes in impressive style for Godolphin; and Eminent from the yard of Martyn Meade who took the Craven Stakes as he bids to follow in the footsteps of his superstar sire, Frankel. 888sport make the pair 6/1 for Guineas glory.

Scottish Glory for Vicente

The weekend’s big race over jumps came with the 2017 edition of the Scottish Grand National. Paul Nicholl’s eight year old Vicente hadn’t shown much of late, with a first fence fall in the Aintree Grand National being just the latest in a string of disappointments. We know from past experience that he likes it at this time of year though, and also that he likes it up at Ayr.

On Saturday, everything clicked into place once again for the Trevor Hemmings owned gelding, as he put on a battling staying performance to defend the crown he won twelve months ago. This victory just about kept the trainers title race alive headed into the seasonal finale at Sandown on Saturday, as Nicholls bids to haul in his long-time rival Nicky Henderson.