It’s good to be back! While you might expect a Flat editor to stand down on the tipping front in late October, I certainly didn’t foresee that it would be early June before my services were called upon again. Here’s hoping we can make up for lost time.
The 1000 Guineas takes centre stage on Sunday, but it’s not a race I have a strong view on, with the market looking to have it priced about right. I was almost tempted to put up Cloak of Spirits, but one of the best weapons we have as punters is to choose not to bet and I was happy enough to stake elsewhere at the meeting.
The 2:25 is headed by several progressive 4-y-os and splitting them might not be easy, but at the prices, it’s DESERT ICON that makes most appeal. He’s closely matched with Good Birthday on their form at Beverley last year, while his second on the July course the time before that also looks very solid.
That form looks stronger than what Davydenko achieved when winning at Doncaster and for me, he should be disputing favouritism. Physically he's the sort to have done well from 3 to 4 and should be winning races this season.
My other two bets on Sunday come at Haydock, the first of which is VIVIONN in the 2:05. She was very progressive last year and ran a career-best when upped to a mile and half when second in the Galtres Stakes at York’s Ebor meeting.
That form worked out really well, the two she split winning Group races next time, including the winner in the Irish St Leger. She needs to improve to get to standard setters Manuela de Vega and Fanny Logan, but I’m confident she will.
I’ll also be backing SPACE BLUES in the 3:15. There’s no fancy case to make for him, simply that he’s the best horse in the race, with placed form in Group races and dipping down to listed company, while the strong pace will suit his strong travelling style.
A low draw in a field this size is also more of a help than a hindrance and James Doyle can be expected to have him in the right spot.