Is Positive a live contender for the 2000 Guineas? And who are the horses to watch this week? Chad Yeomans reflects on the weekend's racing at Sandown.
Positive for the 2000 Guineas?
Positive is now a shot for the 2000 Guineas after winning the Betway Solario Stakes by a nose on Saturday.
However, I certainly wouldn’t be nailing my colours to the mast with him just yet. Though there are plenty of nice races to be won with him, I do think that he’ll fall short of being top-class.
He’s clearly got an engine and looked gutsy at the weekend, so I don’t think he’ll have a problem with going up in trip in time, too.
The Betway Atalanta Stakes was won by Lavender’s Blue on Saturday, who is apparently heading for the Sun Chariot Stakes next.
Rather frustratingly, she’s been on my radar all season following her victory first time out where she looked to have all the makings of a Group 1 filly. I just managed to convince myself that she was going to need this run and perhaps some softer ground, and that Jubiloso was going to be tough to beat.
The Oaks takes a lot more out of a young horse than most people think, and it was good to see that she’s had a break after that excursion to Epsom at the end of May.
She travelled so well and, watching the head on replay, it was just a matter of time before Jim Crowley found a gap and took control of the race. Had the gap had come sooner, then I’m sure she’d have won by more.
The two Palaces
Friday saw the maiden race that got everybody talking after Frankie Dettori went to Sandown Park for just the one ride on newcomer Palace Pier, who duly obliged.
When sitting down to watch this weekend’s racing back, that was the race I went to first.
The horse was well-supported overnight and again throughout the morning and, after going off at 11/8 in a big-field maiden, it was no surprise that he won in the manner he did. He’s obviously got many gears and is a name we’ll be hearing about a lot in the future.
The same goes for Cape Palace, who John Gosden saddled to win at Newcastle on Friday to continue his fine record with newcomers starting their careers at that racecourse, including his wonder mare Enable.
One to watch this week
I’m really looking forward to seeing Montanari run at Goodwood on Tuesday for Betway ambassador Andrew Balding.
He has been given time to mature since being pitched into Listed company on his debut at Royal Ascot.
He runs in a maiden race with only four runners, though he does have to contend with Celtic Art, who has finished second in two good maidens in his last two runs.
I’d also love to see Dream of Dreams run in the Sprint Cup at Haydock on Saturday. I think it will be much more to his liking than Newmarket’s July course and, if he does line up, I expect a huge run.
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