Andrew Balding: We've got a live chance in the 1000 Guineas
The Betway ambassador previews all his runners at the Guineas meeting at Newmarket, as well as Goodwood on Saturday and Salisbury on Sunday.
Sunday Newmarket runners
It’s fantastic to have a horse with a live chance in the 1000 Guineas for Jeff Smith. He’s been a big supporter of our yard for many years and it would be a very special moment if Alcohol Free were to win.
It’s no secret that we thought she’d really come on for her prep run at Newbury, which she happened to win. She seems in good form, she’s looking a bit better in her coat and, if she stays the mile, she must have a good chance (15:40). It’s all systems go!
Berkshire Phoenix had been working very well before he went to Bath for his debut, but absolutely nothing went right for him. He needs to step up as I have no doubt this will be a good race, but he does have the experience of a run, which will help (16:15).
Bonnyrigg won at Newmarket last year but, after his run at Chester, had a slight niggle, so he hasn’t been seen since. We’ve gelded him over the winter and hopefully that will help eke out some improvement in him (17:20).
Sunday Salisbury runners
Opera Gift would ideally like a touch of rain. His form is rock solid and I’m pleased enough with him at home, but he really wouldn’t want the ground too fast (14:05).
Mellow Magic went better than we’d expected on her debut at Newbury. While we can’t work out how good that race will turn out to be, it usually is a nice race. The extra 2f shouldn’t be a problem for her and I hope she could be competitive (14:35).
Achelois is on a fair mark. She’s pleased me of late and, although I think she’ll go well, she won’t want it too fast, so she’ll appreciate any rain that may fall (15:45).
Saturday Newmarket runners
Bell Rock loves Newmarket – he’s got some very good course form there. He seems very well in himself and has run well fresh before so, with Will Carver’s 5lb claim, I can see him being competitive (13:50).
Mystery Smiles takes his chances in the 2000 Guineas (15:40). I thought he shaped really well in the Craven and the winner that day, Master Of The Seas, must go close in this.
Ours has definitely improved from a fitness point of view since that run and we’d be thrilled if he were able to finish in the placings.
Chil Chil ran well last time. She looks to be on a competitive mark and, if everything goes right for her, she must have a good chance (16:15). She is a course-and-distance winner, too.
Saturday Goodwood runners
I’m very happy with Nebulosa , who runs in a four-runner race at Goodwood (13:30). She won a novice race well at the back end of last season and, although her fitness levels are good and she seems in great form, I do have a slight reservation about how she may handle a very fast surface.
Stone Of Destiny was really keen in the early stages last time and I think this drop back to 5f will suit him well (15:10). He does prefer a big field and a very strong pace to aim at, so this smaller field could be a disadvantage to him.
Rushmore has been very disappointing considering what he cost as a yearling, but I’m happy with where he is currently at. This is probably his most suitable assignment to date, so a good run wouldn’t be a total surprise (16:20).
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