U.K. 2000 GUINEAS (Markham’s Race 18; Newm; 1m; good to firm; 9.50 am)

Thirteen are declared to contest the season’s 1st Classic over the Rowley Mile (straight) but it’s all about 2 unbeaten colts namely Dewhurst winner, #3 Dawn Approach, and Craven Stakes winner, #12 TORONADO.

Godolphin’s Dawn Approach, trained by Jim Bolger in Ireland and 6 for 6 as a 2yo, has been the short-priced favourite for this race since winning the Dewhurst and, like New Approach from the same stable 5 years ago, will go for the Guineas without a prep race.  New Approach was beaten a nose by Henrythenavigator and Dawn Approach could suffer the same fate especially as the Irish winter was very severe.  He might need more time.  Although Dawn Approach ‘s Dewhurst was a decent race on the clock, his pacemaker Leitir Mor finished 2nd, less than 3l away thus casting doubt on the form. 

On the other hand, TORONADO (4 for 4 lifetime) has not put a foot wrong and has the advantage of his Craven win as a prep.  Traditionally, Craven Stakes winners haven’t won many Guineas and this year’s Craven was a muddling four horse affair but TORONADO gave 3lbs and a beating to some classic aspirants.  At least we know he´s done well physically from 2 to 3.  Also, he’s not short of speed and is a straightforward type.  After the Craven, Trainer Richard Hannon, who knows a thing or 3 about winning a Guineas said

                   “He´s a machine. He quickened, and he quickened again.                                    He´s a very good horse. He´ll come back here for the Guineas                            and whatever beats him will win.



KENTUCKY DERBY (Markham’s Race 69; Churchill Downs; 10f; 5.24 p.m.).

A full field of 20 have been declared and English Racing fans will have an interest as Ryan Moore rides UAE Derby winner #11 Lines of Battle for Aidan O’Brien.  The form of the UAE Derby was below what’s usually required to win a Kentucky Derby and Lines of Battle tries dirt for the first time but his dam, Black Speck (Arch) is a half sister to Dynaformer so the surface shouldn’t pose any problems. 

There are concerns the pace will be slow but I doubt that with the likes of #2 Oxbow, favourite #14 Verrazano and Santa Anita winner, #8 Golden Cents, unlikely to hang about.  I expect Oxbow (Gary Stevens) to set a strong pace from Golden Cents/Verrazano who should be moving as a team to take it up over 3fo.  The resulting duel could set the race up for the closers, including #3 Revolutionary; #5 Normandy Invasion #16 ORB . 

Florida Derby winner ORB is a most progressive sort who has improved with each race.  He should outclass bridesmaid Normandy Invasion  (has only won a maiden) and give Hall of Fame trainer Shug” McGaughey his 1st Derby win.  Revolutionary  and Verrazano could be next best.  Oxbow’s stable mate #17 Will Take Charge another closer, is an outsider with a great chance.


Then, you can back HEERAT (Race 8; #5; 8.35 am) and ROBOT BOY (Race 23; #8; 10.25 am) to complete a Newmarket triple.  In Sunday’s 1,000 Guineas (9.50 a.m.), I like #5 JUST THE JUDGE.

Tomorrow’s Markham Overseas Racing Bets are Race 8 (5) Heerat; Race 18 (12) TORONADO (BET OF THE DAY); 23 (#8) Robot Boy; and 69 (16) Orb  


A tale of 2 teams heading in different directions and when you add the extra edge that Sam Allardyce, Andy Carroll and Kevin Nolan should enjoy against their former team, you have Banker material

EPL BANKER BET;   WEST HAM (Markham’s odds $2.30)

Close the footy treble with 2 draws between Norwich/Aston Villa and Fulham/Reading between teams not playing for much.

FOOTY TREBLE; WEST HAM (BANKER; $2.30); DRAW (Norwich/Villa; $3.25); and DRAW (Fulham/Reading; $3.65). 

As usual, back the BANKER BET to ensure profit if it wins then buy three singles and a treble.  Odds on the treble at Markham = $27.30 for a $1 bet

Good Luck!



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