Catching Pigeons: Go for Stars
Our Catching Pigeons column brings you the best messages from the training centres ahead of QIPCO 2000 Guineas day.
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Guineas weekend brings out the big-money boys in Newmarket, not only for the racing but for the sales where the figures being turned over were buoyant to say the least
On a big-money weekend, there was no more appropriate horse for Sheikh Fahad Al-Thani's racing guru David Redvers to be watching in action on the Limekilns on Friday morning than Hydrogen, the as-yet-unraced three-year-old trained by Peter Chapple-Hyam who set connections back a cool £2.5million as a yearling.
Having had his problems at two, Hydrogen now finally looks to be ready to dip his toe into the racing water in the weeks ahead and there's a chance he might just be all right, despite the genial Chapple-Hyam doing his best to keep expectations realistic.
Back on the track, even greater amounts of money will be won and lost in the two Newmarket Classics this weekend, with the future bloodstock value of every horse lining up - and all of their siblings - having the potential to soar or sink on the strength of the results.
Plenty of the pedigree experts say that Kingman simply won't see out the mile in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas, but on the basis of his work both before and after the Greenham, there are no negatives to pass on about the favourite. He worked nicely last week and again on Sunday morning and continues to put solid older yardsticks comfortably in their place.
Is he a bet at the prices though? That's up to you to decide, especially given that the pigeon's Irish cousin has been waxing lyrical over Australia for a good couple of months. Should you be looking for a longshot, there's a decent word from the Hannon camp for Night Of Thunder too. He has worked very well since his distant second to Kingman at Newbury.
It is always tricky for three year olds to beat the older generations in sprints at this time of year, but that will not prevent some having a decent dart at Hot Streak in the Group Three Pearl Bloodstock Palace House Stakes.
Kevin Ryan's colt was one of the very best juveniles over the sprint distances last season, and has from all accounts, been in great heart in his preparatory work this spring. He showed he was top-class with his second to stablemate Astaire in the Middle Park Stakes and had clockwatchers salivating after his subsequent Cornwallis Stakes success.
Stars Above Me should go well for Roger Charlton on her return to action in the Harbour Watch At Tweethills Handicap. The Beckhampton trainer has a very good record in this type of race over the past few seasons, and Stars Above Me is expected to do well after showing plenty of promise in just two outings as a juvenile.Her work has been of a high order, and she starts the season on what looks a decent mark.
Born In Bombay, like Stars Above Me, missed Sandown last week because of the soft ground, and he looks worth an interest in the closing Qipco Supports Racing Welfare Handicap. An impressive winner on his latest start on the Kempton Polytrack, his debut effort when only just beaten by the classy Passing Star, gives more of an insight perhaps, to his talent. He has been working particularly well on the Kingsclere gallops since his win and looks well handicapped off a mark of 84.
Cloudscape made a big impression at the Craven meeting and would have been a confident pick in the Makfi Newmarket Stakes, but for the presence of the William Haggas-trained Mutakayyef in the same race. Both horses could yet prove legitimate pattern-race performers this season and are hard to split.
The opening Qatar Racing Suffolk Stakes is likely to be remembered by most punters for being the race in which their Scoop6 perm got off to a losing start, but Bold Sniper should give his backers a run for their money. He works in the hood he wears here at home too and looks on good terms with himself at present.
Up at Thirsk, some Newmarket eyes will be on Tacticus, who worked in midweek under today's jockey Ted Durcan.
He's missed a couple of recent opportunities as connections have waited for the right opening, but he has looked a good prospect all along - impressing in his homework last season too - and patience should be rewarded in the Exclusive Ticket Giveaways Maiden Stakes.