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2019 Guineas Meeting tips - Five horses to side with at Newmarket this weekend

Sergei Prokofiev saunters to victory in the Godolphin Stakes at Newmarket last season.

Our expert takes a look through both cards at Newmarket on Guineas weekend and highlights five horses that punters should keep on side.

The opening Classics of the 2019 flat racing campaign are almost upon us. A capacity crowd of passionate racegoers will flood through the gates at Newmarket this weekend, eager to see who will claim their places in the history books by winning the Guineas. 

Either side of those fabled Classics on Saturday and Sunday, there are plenty of major races for punters to enjoy. Here are five horses who could thrust themselves into the headlines at Newmarket this weekend.

2000 Guineas Day Tips

Last year’s Champion Sprinter, Mabs Cross is massively respected, despite having to give weight away to several dangerous rivals. El Astronaute could be a tough nut to crack should he get off to a smooth start. John Quinn’s front-runner could, however, set the race up perfectly for SERGEI PROKOFIEV, who will look to strike late under his weight-for-age allowance.

After struggling when stepped up to six furlongs, Aidan O’Brien decided to drop this imposing sprinter back to five furlongs and take part in the Godolphin Stakes last autumn. Donnacha O’Brien held the favourite up off the pace. Once he pressed the accelerator, the result was never in doubt, with Sergei Prokofiev overtaking the entire field before easing to a one-length success.

Hold-up tactics were never going to work at Churchill Downs, but Sergei Prokofiev bounced back from that stateside disappointment with a fine victory on his reappearance at Navan last month. Aidan O’Brien described this young sprinter as the “fastest horse” ever to come out of Ballydoyle at the start of last season. If he’s on-song once again on Saturday, Sergei Prokofiev will be very difficult to deny.

It will be fantastic to see St Leger hero, Kew Gardens return to Newmarket on Saturday and, of course, Aidan O’Brien’s Classic winner has the quality to win this Group Two. That being said, it took Kew Gardens several runs to find his stride last term and he could have his work cut out giving so much weight away to CORONET, who boasts a perfect record in races below the highest level.

This five-year-old mare has been a fantastic servant for John Gosden and his team, twice finishing second in the Yorkshire Oaks and securing further placed efforts in the Champions Fillies And Mares and the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud. While a Group One has consistently eluded her, Coronet has secured comfortable Group Two triumphs in the Ribblesdale at Royal Ascot and on her reappearance last year, where Frankie Dettori’s mount handed some decent rivals a sound thrashing in the Middleton Stakes.

Some horses may start to decline when they hit the ripe old age of five, but Gosden stated at the start of the season that a maiden Group One win will be the aim for Coronet this term. She must be showing all the right signs at home to warrant such lofty claims and a third Group Two triumph would set her on course to achieving that seasonal goal.

Frankie Dettori and Coronet canter home after winning the Middleton Stakes last year.

There are some smart three-year-old entered into this Listed contest, with UAE Jewel and Jalmoud travelling to Newmarket with leading claims. Two Aidan O’Brien horses currently feature in the list of entries. So it’s very interesting Ryan Moore confirmed in the saddle of WALKINTHESAND and Richard Hannon’s colt has plenty to build on after an encouraging run in the Feilden Stakes last month.

Walkinthesand was a 14/1 outsider before that Guineas Trial, sweating up noticeably as his handlers ushered him into the stalls. As the likes of Western Australia and Kadar failed to keep pace with Kick On, Hannon’s colt loomed menacingly on the leader’s shoulder with two furlongs to travel and Kick On had to pull out all the stops to hold his rival at bay.

After falling to a narrow defeat on his debut as a juvenile, Walkinthesand impressed with a maiden victory at Sandown three weeks later. It’s fair to say Hannon’s charge will progress after that excellent performance in the Feilden and the experience he gathered on the Rowley Mile that day could prove pivotal.

1000 Guineas Day Tips

Billesdon Brook shocked the world to win the 1000 Guineas last year, carrying a staggering price-tag of 66/1 into the winners’ enclosure. Sadly, for Richard Hannon, his Classic winner was unable to replicate that performance during the rest of 2018 and I think VERACIOUS will ruin the Classic queen’s return to the Rowley Mile on Sunday.

Much was expected of Veracious heading into 2018, following a superb victory on her final start as a two-year-old. What followed was a fairly underwhelming campaign, as Veracious was comfortably beaten in three Group Ones, with her solitary victory coming at Sandown in the Group Three Atalanta Stakes.

Veracious may not have come on as many people would have hoped last term, but she proved she has plenty of class and composure to finish third at Royal Ascot and Glorious Goodwood. This daughter of Frankel has the profile of a typical Sir Michael Stoute improver, so big things are expected of Veracious during 2019. 

Veracious (left) pulls clear to win the Atalanta Stakes at Sandown.

Many of the horses who clashed in last month’s Weatherby’s TBA Handicap will renew rivalries on Sunday and Gifted Master’s presence means most will be carrying favourably low weights. Flavius Titus sprung from the pack to score a deserved victory that day, but SUMMERGHAND can count himself a tad unfortunate and David O’Meara’s runner-up has the ability to go one better this weekend.

As Flavius Titus made his winning move, Daniel Tudhope found himself boxed in along the nearside rail. Once Summerghand was switched right to find some racing room, the top-weight scythed through the field and was only a neck behind the winner as the duo passed the post.

Summerghand improved massively last season, with a run of consistent results helping O’Meara’s five-year-old climb 22 pounds up the ratings. A three-pound rise for last month’s second means Summerghand is once again sitting on a career-high mark of 100, but the Lope De Vega gelding shaped like there was still some improvement left in his locker that day and he certainly has the speed to win this race, given a bit more luck in running.

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2019 Guineas Meeting tips - Five horses to side with at Newmarket this weekend

Our expert takes a look through both cards at Newmarket on Guineas weekend and highlights five horses that punters should keep on side over Saturday 4th May and Sunday 5th May.

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