The first classic of the 2014 Flat-racing season is upon us, and it will be a big surprise if one of the four market leaders can’t claim it.
Kingman has been favourite since his Greenham win three weeks ago, and it was hard not to be visually impressed as he quickened clear inside the final furlong to win by 4½ lengths.
His form is hard to equate, but it’s been notable that the usually conservative John Gosden has been consistently bullish about his charge since he won his maiden in the style he had obviously been expecting. That race was at Newmarket, which also proves he acts on the track, and you have to imagine it will take a good one to lower his colours.
Such a horse may be second in the market Australia, and Aiden O’Brien’s charge was favourite and a big talking-horse over the winter. Being the progeny of equine superstars Galileo and Ouija Board, it’s not hard to see why he could be the best horse that Aiden O’Brien has ever trained, though strictly on breeding, he looks more likely to come into his own over trips around 10-12 furlongs – making him a better bet for the Derby.
The unbeaten Toormore is another whose form is impossible to tie into with the other protagonists, but there’s no reason to believe he isn’t as good as Toronado who was a star for the same connections last year. However, he doesn’t seem to have been talked up quite as much and this may prove an above average year in the mile-division.
Aiden O’Brien’s second string War Command is the mount of Ryan Moore and shot to favouritism for this after his 6 length Coventry Stakes win at Royal Ascot last year. He also won the Dewhurst in his final start of 2013 and will be hard to keep out of the frame. He may be the one for forecast backers.
Kingman 2/1 or better
Horseracing – Newmarket – 2.40pm
Sole Power may not have won since Royal Ascot but is officially the top-rated horse in the field. He also won last year’s renewal and, like last year, arrives here fit from running in Meydan. Ryan Moore is yet to win on him in two attempts – but should make it third time lucky if the ground remains on the fast-side of good. Should the ground ride on the soft-side – change your allegiance to Pearl Secret who is the biggest danger.
Sole Power each-way 4/1 or better
Football – Premiership – Saturday/Sunday/Monday
The Premiership can’t be won this weekend, but defeat for either Liverpool or Manchester City should gift wrap it to the other one – and neither have an easy task.
Liverpool are only 2/5 to win away at Crystal Palace, but bookies seemed to have completely forgotten that Palace won five games on the bounce before succumbing to Manchester City 2-0 on their last outing.
Meanwhile, Manchester City have to travel to Everton whose Champion’s League aspirations have crumbled recently. However, it’s hard to believe that Martinez’s men won’t be up for this and City will undoubtedly have to fire on all cylinders.
City are 4/5 to be champions, Liverpool 11/8 and Chelsea 16/1, however it been a season of twists and turns and you have to think they’ll be at least one more. With City having such a superior goal difference, and the last matches looking easy for all three teams, Chelsea will need both Liverpool and City to lose this weekend to have any chance of taking the title. It’s around 40/1 that Palace and Everton respectively defeat Liverpool and City – and it looks worth throwing a few quid at.
Everton and Crystal Palace double – best available prices