1:50 -Spring Lodge Stakes
Dolphin Vista put in a great performance when reappearing this season in the Lincoln at Doncaster and the deadly duo of Hanagan & Fahey have stepped him back up in trip for this. Gelded in the winter he could continue his progression in this very hot race to open 2000 Guineas day. A runner over the course back in 2016 behind Folkswood he won’t be fazed by the dip and could easily land a place. Next Stage is a very lightly raced four year old for Godolphin and he remains a full horse so they must be expecting something from him this year. Jim Crowley gets the leg up ahead of William Buick and that is noteworthy also. His return to the track was a winning one over this course earlier last month when clearing away from the field, this shows us that he does retain plenty of ability and the handicapper responded by putting him up 6lbs to 96 and that mark looks rife to exploitation in this race. Saeed Bin Suroor and Godolphin have made a habit of reaping the rewards from this kind of race and he is a big place danger. Sir Michael Stoute sends two runners to the race with Ballet Concerto (4)  the better of the two and he is our selection. Ryan Moore gets the leg up for his old boss and the Spring Mile winner looks primed to run a big race here. Lightly raced like his main rival he holds narrowly more experience and his trainer has plenty of form in progressing horses like him. The small step up in trip may be an issue as he has never raced over the distance before but he could still progress and whilst he has to give some weight away we think he is capable of doing that. Playful Sound is his other runner and he could pick up the final place should he get a soft lead early on.

2:20 – Palace House Stakes
Speed is the name of the game in the Palace House and the best sprinters have their shoes on ready to run!
Profitable took this race at a big price last year and he is returning to the scene of the crime, he then went on to take the Temple and King’s Stand in what was a stellar season for him. Clive Cox has come into decent form and his draw in stall 1 could be beneficial with plenty of pace around him to aim at. Marsha and Washington DC got the better of him in the Abbaye at Chantilly and both take him on in this again. Marsha was the winner of the aforementioned Abbaye and did it in fine style for Sir Mark Prescott so she could easily be good enough to take this. The track should represent no problem to this filly as she was beaten just under a length on her season debut last year, there is not a great deal of pace around her and she seems to prefer to be dropped in so this may be a problem for jockey Luke Morris. Washington DC has become a very frustrating horse for Aidan O’Brien and Ballydoyle, he racked up a string of seconds last year and narrowly got off the mark two weeks ago at Navan. There is plenty of talent under the bonnet of the son of Zoffany, it is just waiting to be released. Cotai Glory (2) is our selection for Charlie Hills and Jamie Spencer. The five year old is in rude health at home and putting in stellar performances. This horse is a bit of a rogue and can be difficult to work out however he has contested the biggest and best of sprint races putting in decent performances along the way. A large field like this means we can be a bit more adventurous when it comes to selecting a horse to be placed and we think he should be the one to get it done in Leg 2.

2:55 – Jockey Club Stakes
Galapiat has become one of the early stories of the season for Mark Johnston and Joe Fanning, two wide margin wins at Leicester and Epsom has put his name firmly in the talking points since his move from Andre Fabre. Almost certain to be fit and ready to race, that could hold an advantage over a few of these who are coming off longer breaks. Universal won this for the Middleham based trainer back in 2013 so there is also form in the book. Across The Stars is one of the horses coming off a long break aiming to land a big prize early. Well beaten in the Derby last year he returned to win the King Edward VII before finishing his season third behind Idaho at York. The form of those races is some of the best around and he started his season off with a win last year so he does go well fresh but this is a bigger test than that. Seventh Heaven (6) looks to be the one to beat for us and she is our selection. Last season was spectacular for her winning the Yorkshire Oaks beating subsequent Arc winner Found and also taking in the Irish Oaks, she floundered towards the end of the season putting below par performances in at Ascot and the Breeders Cup. We are willing to forgive her those after such a long busy season. On her reappearance she finished second to Jack Hobbs in the Sheema Classic and that will have set her perfect for this race. Aidan O’Brien has yet to win this race and he may never have a better chance than with this filly.

3:35 – 2000 Guineas Stakes
The feature race on the card and the first Classic of the 2017 season!
Eminent was a superb winner of the Craven last month for Martyn Meade and he even posted the fastest Craven time in recent history. A tall gangly son of Frankel he is bred to be special and after posting that run over almost the course and distance on only his second start is something very noteworthy! He seems to have a huge stride but lacks a little in speed and that could be his downfall. We think he may be better over an extended trip and with the trainer saying this is a “bare minimum” for him that too is a worry. Richard Hannon has attempted to play down the chances of his runner Barney Roy but has so far failed to do so. The recent Godolphin purchase looked very quick at Haydock when scoring last year and put up another great performance in the Greenham coming home with a wet sail to beat Dream Castle. Only raced twice and yet to see the Rowley Mile those may be his shortcomings however his speed will be a real asset and he could easily be in the frame. Aidan O’Brien is hunting a seventh win in the 2000 Guineas and unbeaten Churchill is the best of his runners. Destructive in the Dewhurst last year, the son of Galileo won the four races previous to that so winning is the only thing he seems to know. He has been off the track for quite a while but it was reported earlier this week he is “well ready” for this race. It would be folly to ignore any runner from Ballydoyle given their record but this is a hugely tough test first time up. Al Wukair (1) is our selection for the Placepot. Andre Fabre doesn’t come for the weather and he holds an incredible record at Newmarket. His recent run in the Prix Djebel showed that even when things go terribly wrong for him, he has the class to come out on top and that is the reason he is one of our six. His trainer is a maestro and has been very vocal about his chance in the race, it would be back to back Guineas for owners Al Shaqab if he were to win also.  

4:10 – Hot Streak Handicap
Victory Angel was a very comfortable winner over course an distance on his season reappearance for Roger Varian and Andrea Atzeni. The handicapper has handed a hefty 11lb rise but he could defy that once again and prove to be a Listed horse in a class race. The horse in behind him at Newmarket has since franked the form by going in at Doncaster and for some he will be a Placepot banker. The Wagon Wheel (9) dead heated with Mazyoun (who also runs in this race) in the Two Year Old Trophy at Redcar last year and that represents some of the best form in the book. Richard Fahey has been cautious with this horse running her in just four high quality races with a view maybe to landing a handicap down the line. She is a fast starter and if she can preserve energy better then we think she is a perfect candidate to place. Eqtiraan drops back to six furlongs after not seeing out a mile on his last run and Group 2 participant Exmouth is to be respected also for Sir Michael Stoute and Ryan Moore dropping back in class.

4:45 – Newmarket Stakes
A small but select field for the final race in the Newmarket Placepot.
Speedo Boy has been strutting his stuff over in France and has shown real progression so much so he won a very hot race against decent opposition last time out. Horses beaten that day are set to contest Group 2 races this year and therefore he cannot be dismissed easily. Stepping up a furlong could be his downfall but if he continues to progress there could be an upset. Khalidi ran on well under the Dettori drive to win the Feilden over almost course and distance beating the well regarded Salouen on his prep run for this and John Gosden is in fine form to start the season. He along with Speedo Boy have to give 3lbs to the opposition and that could tell late in the race. Night Circus (4) has only seen the track once in his career to date but that didn’t stop him from making a big impression in the Wood Ditton. Edging left at the finish he looks like he will appreciate every inch of the extended trip and could be a very nice horse for Godolphin this year. Some may question the experience but his performance over the course should put those fears to bed and bring up the Placepot.

Straight line Placepot:
Leg 1 –
 Ballet Concerto (4)
Leg 2 –
Cotai Glory (2)
Leg 3 –
Seventh Heaven (6)
Leg 4 –
Al Wukair (1)
Leg 5 –
 The Wagon Wheel (9)
Leg 6 –
Night Circus (4)