AINTREE DIDN’T QUITE DELIVER with our fancy Cause of Causes finding One For Arthur just that little bit too good, but at an advised 25/1 it still paid over 6/1 for the each way portion. Jamie Codd is a talented amateur jockey who could easily make it in the professional ranks and should be complimented on his jockeyship.
The flat season is now in full swing with the first two classics being run at the start of May, but more later.
May is always the culmination of the football season and hopefully our tip for Atletico Madrid at 10/1 and Juventus, advised at 16/1 in September, will collect for us. But away from Europe there is still much to be decided, most notably in the playoffs for Division One and Two and the millionpound game to decide which team from the Championship gets to play in the Premiership. And this year there is a certain Yorkshire presence among the likely participants. In a contest between Huddersfield Town, Reading, Leeds and either Sheffield Wednesday or Fulham, the 4/1 about LEEDS UNITED to be promoted just has to be taken. They are a big club from a big city with tremendous support and, more importantly, a quality manager in Gary Monk who knows the time of day and a striker who will surely be on the radar of bigger clubs shortly in Chris Wood. After a decade in the wilderness Leeds United are a confident selection.
The Division One playoffs should again go to Yorkshire, as the playoffs are almost certain to involve Bradford City, Fleetwood Town, Scunthorpe United and either Millwall or Southend. And that is the crux because Millwall who are currently in sixth and final position, could easily be ousted by Southend United in seventh and at today’s odds I would rather have a definite runner than one that is not sure to make it. BRADFORD CITY are a top priced 9/4 and whilst I wouldn’t advocate a win single, it should be the second leg of our trixie (three doubles and a treble).
The third leg should be completed by STEVENAGE at 9/2 who are certainly the form team over the last two months. A case can be made for Luton Town but at the prices I’ll take the 9/2. The treble pays a fraction under 89/1 and for £20 (3 x £5 doubles and a £5 treble) the bet could realise £1,510. Nice work if you can get it!
As alluded to above, the start of May sees the first two British classics in the 2,000 Guineas and the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket over the Rowley Mile.
Already a household name in households who know nothing about horse racing, I think the offspring of the mighty Frankel will prove that at stud he might be worth more than he ever would have earned on a racecourse; not that his owners, Juddmonte Farm, are short of a bob or two. And like the mighty Gallileo whose prodigy continued to supply classic winners at all distances, I can see Frankel being the standout name in breeding terms over the next decade.
His first prodigy have now reached three and it will be interesting to see how well they fare in their debut season. My choice for the 2,000 Guineas (the Colts Classic over a brutal one mile) is SWISS STORM, trained by David Elsworth and partowned by Godolphin. His target trial is the Greenham at Newbury, but you will read this column before that trial and the 16/1 currently on offer is the bet. If he fails to deliver at Newbury, he will still be likely to line up at Newmarket and compared to the very skinny 6/4 about Churchill who goes straight to Newmarket, I think Swiss Storm will provide a decent run for our money.
The Fillies Classic also sees a number of Frankel offspring and chief amongst these is FAIR EVA who arrived in a blaze of glory on her twoyeaold debut but never quite reached those heights last summer. Consequently she is now 14/1 for the 1,000 Guineas where once she was the 4/1 favourite. Again Ballydoyle provide the favourite in the admirable Rhododendron at a respectable 7/2 but again bookmakers and the media alike thought at the time that Fair Eva was going to be the next superstar. With her first target the Guineas, it is not the time to desert her yet. See you next month for the US Open, the French and other events.