Newmarket Guineas Festival Betting Tips – 5th & 6th May 2018

This weekend’s Guineas Festival looks set to be an absolute corker, featuring the first two Classics of the flat racing season as well as an exciting supporting card. Newmarket, the home of flat racing, is once again the venue and the sun is expected to be shining over the two day event. Good going is likely as a result on the Rowley Mile course with its famous dip two furlongs from the line.

Saturday is the day for the boys and the showpiece event is the 2000 Guineas. The one mile contest provides three year olds with a golden opportunity to make a name for themselves. It’s a race oozing with prestige as well as a huge prize purse that stands at £500,000. Although this will rightly attract much of the day’s attention, we will also take a look at the Dunaden Jockey Club Stakes that features directly beforehand.

On Sunday it’s time for the fillies to have their moment in the spotlight. Fillies too old for the 1000 Guineas are able to compete in the Charm Spirit Dahlia Stakes which takes place earlier in the day. Later on, it’s time for the always thrilling 1000 Guineas, one of two Classics restricted to fillies, and this year’s renewal is shaping up to be another competitive one. It boasts the same purse as the 2000 Guineas and it too has a history dating back more than two centuries.

  • Dunaden Jockey Club Stakes – Danehill Kodiac (8/1 at Betfred)
  • 2000 Guineas Stakes – Gustav Klimt (5/2 at Betfair)
  • Charm Spirit Dahlia Stakes – Wuheida (8/15 at Betfair)
  • 1000 Guineas Stakes – Laurens (9/1 at Bet365)

2:55pm, Saturday 5th May – Dunaden Jockey Club Stakes (Group 2), 1m 4f

Defoe has been the strong market leader for this race and the four-year-old is set to begin the race as the odds-on favourite (4/6, Betfair). Five wins from his last six starts doesn’t make this a big surprise and he’s come a long way since his 11th place finish at Newmarket during his debut season. Roger Varian’s colt has been out already this campaign, winning the John Porter Stakes at Newbury in fairly comfortable fashion.

Defoe saw off the challenge of Danehill Kodiac that day although he did enjoy a three pound advantage over the older horse. Two and a half lengths separated the pair at Newbury and on level terms this is a gap you can expect to shrink and perhaps even reverse. Unlike Defoe, Danehill Kodiac has a decent record at Newmarket and his second place finish in the John Porter makes him a very tempting option at his current price.

Trading at the same odds is Algometer (8/1, Coral) but he finished last season poorly and with no appearance since, taking a gamble on him would be risky. Count Octave (10/1, Coral) has been out this season and it was a winning showing too at Wolverhampton. The fact that it was a Class 5 affair on an all-weather surface however does not do a great deal to increase the appeal of the four year old.

Danehill Kodiac to win – 8/1 at Betfred

3:35pm, Saturday 5th May – 2000 Guineas Stakes (Group 1), 1m

As always there are a lot of high quality entrants for this prestigious event and once again Aidan O’Brien has a large presence. The Irish trainer has saddled eight winners in the past and is responsible for two of the strongest contenders this year. One of which is Saxon Warrior (5/1, Coral) who boasts three former one mile victories including one at Group 1 standard. He could perhaps benefit from a longer trip than this though after bulking up considerably over the winter. Six of the last 10 2000 Guineas champions had yet to compete over a mile so don’t value distance experience too highly in this race.

Gustav Klimt made a name for himself when winning the Superlative Stakes at Newmarket last July. He was well fancied for the competitive Group 2 contest and despite being hampered early on, had enough about him to claim a second consecutive seven furlong win. Unlike his stablemate, the son of Galileo has been given a run out this season, a Listed test at Leopardstown. He looked in complete control during the final stages and it was a race that indicates that he is fully ready for his first one mile challenge. Favourites have won five of the last seven renewals and it’s a run that looks set to continue here.

Masar (5/1, BetVictor) has seen his price fall from 8/1 largely thanks to his course and distance victory last month. After being able to adapt to the conditions at Meydan, he was imperious on his return to British soil and thoroughly dominated the proceedings at Newmarket. He benefitted from a fairly uncompetitive field though and had the luxury of being unchallenged as he strolled to the front of the pack. With a quicker pace for him to deal with this time, it’s not hard to see the second favourite having some difficulties.

A final mention goes to the unbeaten Elarqam (11/2, Ladbrokes) winner of the Somerville Stakes. Just two previous runs under his belt though is a concern as it is significantly lower than average for a 2000 Guineas winner.

Gustav Klimt to win – 5/2 at Betfair

2:20pm, Sunday 6th May – Charm Spirit Dahlia Stakes (Group 2), 1m 1f

Wuheida became a Group 1 regular last year with five consecutive starts at the highest level. She’s always performed credibly at this grade too, her heaviest margin of defeat being four and three quarter lengths at Dusseldorf in August. The filly was less than a length from a victory in the Prix de l’Opera but Rhododendron had the edge over the field on the day. Wuheida turned the tables when the pair met at Del Mar in November though when claiming a hugely lucrative win over one mile and one furlong.

With a top class distance win recorded on her last start, the favourite will take some beating even with a five pound disadvantage. Golden Legend (9/2, Betfair) is seen as her largest threat after a string of consistent showings the other side of the Channel. The French bred horse is completed untested on British soil however and has put in her best performances on softer ground. The promising trainer-jockey combo of Henri-Francois Devin and Alexis Badel will aid her chances but a win here seems beyond them.

Elegant Pose (7/1, Betfair) doesn’t offer any greater appeal after being the beaten favourite on her Group debut. If you are looking for longer odds in this race, an each way flutter on Tisbutadream (12/1, Coral) is the way to go. The chestnut filly put in two promising Group 3 showings towards the end of last season and she’s finished in the top three on her last five starts. After enduring a busy campaign last season, she could well come out the blocks flying after a lengthy winter break.

Wuheida to win – 8/15 at Betfair

3:35pm, Sunday 6th May – 1000 Guineas Stakes (Group 1), 1m

Happily (5/2, Betfair) leads the field for this 1000 Guineas renewal despite ending last season on a sour note. She was the 9/4 favourite for the test at Del Mar but ended up running in last during the one mile contest. It’s not fair to discredit her on the back of this showing though as many horses don’t fare well when tested on the other side of the Atlantic.

Her form as a two-year-old in Ireland was superb and saw her win such races as the Moyglare Stud Stakes and Silver Flash Stakes. This is a race which favourites have only won once in the seven renewals though so caution is advised, especially at her short price.

Not only does Aidan O’Brien saddle the race favourite but also the joint second favourite, I Can Fly, as he looks for a third consecutive win in this race. I Can Fly (7/1, Ladbrokes) saw far less time on the track than her stablemate last season but has had the benefit of a recent run. A second consecutive third place finish at Group 3 level isn’t enough to think she has a great chance in this race though. Class is no issue for Wild Illusion (9/1, BetVictor) who won a Group 1 contest as a complete outsider at Chantilly in October. She would prefer softer going through and may not be tried out if things firm up at Newmarket.

The predicted good going will be no concern for Karl Burke whose sole entry for this race is course and distance winner Laurens. The bay filly won her first Group test at Doncaster in September and a month later was out clinching glory in the Bet365 Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket. She held off a strong field that day including the likes of Magical and September and is trading at a generous price for an even more high profile victory. She only just managed the mile last time out but having grown significantly since, jockey PJ McDonald is not at all concerned about the trip this time.

Laurens to win – 9/1 at Bet365