Classic Countdown – An Each-Way Selection In Newmarket And Epsom’s Classics

There is just a week to go until Classic season arrives. The 2000 Guineas heralds the dawn of new superstars and we have an each-way tip in all of the first four Classics.


Bayside Boy (2000 Guineas)

Very useful at two, BAYSIDE BOY could be lurking at far too great a price in the opening Classic of the season.

Roger Varian’s charge claimed a Group 2 victory against the odds, when upsetting short-priced favourite and Derby hopeful Reach For The Moon in the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster. The winning margin was only a head, but the result was clear in his favour.

He backed that up with two excellent placed efforts in Group 1s. The first came when 2½ lengths behind Native Trail in the Dewhurst and the second when marginally closer to Luxembourg in the Futurity Stakes. On both occasions, he was slowly away, causing him trouble in running later on.

If he can be cajoled into a faster break, the 1m trip should be no problem and his debut last season suggests he will go very well fresh. Though the principals have a slight edge over him, a clearer passage could see him make a fight of closing the gap.


Malavath (1000 Guineas)

The daughter of the speedy juvenile Mehmas hails from Francois-Henri Graffard’s yard in France, but could well make the trip over for the 1000 Guineas.

Globetrotting has already been on MALAVATH’s agenda, as she contested the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf last November. She flew home after a slow start, only losing by a ½-length and finishing best of the European challengers.

That came after a Group 2 victory on soft ground in her home country over 6f. That was the trip over which she raced on her first four racecourse outings, but that Breeders’ Cup effort was over 1m. She reappeared at Deauville in Group 3 company, winning over 7f back on heavy ground.

However, with that American run being on firm, she is likely fairly ground versatile. 1m should still be well within her comfort zone and she has as much form over a couple of other principals as favourite Inspiral.


History (Oaks)

It is a good thing Coolmore can afford to splash the cash, because the 2,800,000gns spent on HISTORY are going to take some paying back.

Punters on the Oaks may be able to earn some recuperation of that on their own with this daughter of Galileo. That sire alone gives her strong hopes for handling Epsom, while she is out of a sister to the sensational Group 1-winning miler Mohaather. No wonder she came with a price tag.

There is usually a horse hailing from Ballydoyle who is spotted as having potential for the Oaks. Last season it was Santa Barbara, this term it is Tuesday, but History has arguably achieved as much, with as much hope she will stay. She was second in two very strong 7f maidens at two, before getting off the mark at the third attempt over 1m.

The second and third that day have been disappointing since, but the fourth has won since. There is every chance she will be upped in trip this term and she may be worked back from this race.


French Claim (Derby)

Unlike the Oaks selection, the Derby call is far from a breeding-related angle, nor an expense one at that.

FRENCH CLAIM is by a Guineas runner-up in French Fifteen with Galileo his grandsire. However, he was picked up for just £36,000 as a two-year-old and cost just E9,000 as a yearling. Relative to the big guns in the sport, that is pennies.

Not that you would know it from his performances on the track. Paddy Twomey’s colt won a Listowel maiden on debut, then ran well in Leopardstown’s Group 3 Eyrefield Stakes to conclude his season.

Returning this term, he proved he was in absolutely blistering form. Though the race he won was not a Pattern contest, he defeated horses rated 90, 106, 93 and 100 respectively in exceptional fashion. He put nine lengths between himself and runner-up Sussex.

That was over 1m2f and he saw out the journey superbly. There could be even more to come going left-handed and over further, so he could well be a perfect example of a horse who would be much shorter were he representing more powerful connections.