On the first day of the Craven Meeting there will be plenty of Guineas and Classics clues in the Nell Gwyn, European Free Handicap and Feilden Stakes
As the season starts at HQ, trainers and connections dreams may be lost or fulfilled when their charges take the stage in this weeks’s Classic trials.
Today sees the turn of the fillies in the Nell Gwyn. The winner of the recognised 1000 Guineas trial tends to start favourite for the big race in a fortnight, so punters are certain to see one of the leading contenders price shorten for fillies Classic later today. Sandiva is currently 20/1 for the 1000 Guineas and has the form last season to suggest she has Classic potential.
The unbeaten Folk Melody for Godolphin and Dorothy B for the in form Gosden are both quoted at 33/1 for the Guineas with another of today’s runners Along Again at 40/1.
In the European Free Handicap, the impressive Hannon colt Shifting Power takes on a good field that includes the highly regarded Parbold. If Shifting Power can continue his winning ways he is certain to come in from his current price of 20/1 for the 2000 Guineas. However, if the whispers are right Parbold will be victorious and will shorten from 33/1.
The strongest whisper surrounds the ability of True Story who takes his chances in the Feilden, where he is set to show his Classic quality. The Godophin horse is currently 33/1 for the 2000 Guineas and 40/1 for the Derby but will have to defeat the well regarded Somewhat and Ger Lyons’ Obliterator to win today.
Crockford’s Dead Cert – True Story (Newmarket 4.40)
The talk of the gallops is that this horse has Classic potential and such whispers should not be underestimated. A winner last season as a two-year-old he should have the measure of today’s rivals.
Crockford’s Whisper – Ventura Mist e/w (Newmarket 5.40)
Some very credible efforts last season including winning the Two-Year-Old Trophy at Redcar and the Hilary Needler at Beverley. Given the double price on offer it is certainly worth an each-way investment.
Archer’s Selection – Sandiva (Nell Gwyn – Newmarket 4.05)
The shrewd Archer would have not missed how highly regarded this filly is and her form of last season. In the Nell Gwyn he would have trusted upon the ability she showed last year.
Crockford’s Craven Meeting Gambles on Nell Gwyn Day:
Newmarket – Provident Spirit (1.45), Portamento (2.20), Wedding Ring (2.55), Parbold (3.30), Sandiva (Nell Gwyn 4.05), True Story (4.40), Munjaz (5.10) and Ventura Mist e/w (5.40)
Cheltenham – Oscars Den e/w (2.05), The Romford Pele e/w (3.15) Carrick Boy e/w (3.50), Be Bop Boru e/w (4.25) and Pantxoa (4.55)
(Featured Photograph – The Rowley Mile at Newmarket by Stuart Rice)