UK Horse Racing Betting Preview And Tips For May

Submitted by: Malcolm Heyhoe

There has been more than whiff of cordite about the way the current Flat turf season has burst into life and further fireworks can be expected at Newmarket on Guineas weekend. Jim Bolger’s unbeaten Teofilo should fill more than the eye as he bids to extend his unbeaten run in the 2,000 Guineas on May 5 and banish the temporary blues that greeted the news of a recent training setback for the short-priced favourite for the first colts’ Classic.

The imperious Teofilo has been given a clean bill of health by connections and remains the one they all have to beat but the opposition has grown more potent by the day and includes Sir Michael Stoute’s formidable colt Adagio, an nonchalant winner of the Craven Stakes and arguably the greatest threat to Bolger’s mighty star.

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ay May 6 Newmarket hosts the 1,000 Guineas and the first fillies’ Classic is a demonstrably less competitive heat than the colts’ counterpart. Once again that man Bolger holds all the aces courtesy of his star filly Finsceal Beo, a dual Group 1 winner last autumn and a worthy favorite to land the fillies’ prize.

Reported in the best of form by her astute handler, she should take the world of beating after the failure of Sander Camillo, her main market rival, to run any sort of race at Newmarket in the Nell Gwyn Stakes. It will take something special to stop the 1,000 Guineas crossing the Irish Sea while on the same day Sixties Icon, the 2006 St Leger winner, should begin his season on a high note by lifting the Jockey Club Stakes for trainer, Jeremy Noseda.

Chester’s prestigious three-day meeting follows hot on the heels of Newmarket and the Derby hopefuls will be on show in the Chester Vase on May 10 where John Gosden’s easy Epsom winner Raincoat could bid to put flesh on the bones of his Classic challenge while in the Cheshire Oaks on May 9 the fillies will seek to do the same for their Classic aspirations. Barry Hills boasts a superb record on this turning track and any horse he runs in the aforementioned two races should be worth close inspection.

On Wednesday May 9 the Chester Cup is the meeting’s big betting race and Philip Hobbs may well let the irrepressible Fair Along, his dual purpose National Hunt star, bowl along in front on the Roodeye in a race where four-year-olds often run well. Queen’s Vase runner-up Galient represents this age group while smart northern challengers Halla San and Admiral, a winner in 2006, stir the pot even thicker.

The run of Classic trials continues at Lingfield on May 12 with the Lingfield Derby Trial and the similarly-titled Oaks Trial for the fillies’ on the same day while over at Haydock the Lancashire course stages the valuable Swinton Hurdle, a 2m handicap that invariably draws a high-class field. This year backers should look no further than Charlie Swan’s Empatt for the winner. He comes here bidding for a hat-trick following impressive victories at Fairyhouse and Ayr.

Over in France on the following day, May 13, the European Flat season steps up a gear with the Poule d’Essai des Poulains (French 2,000 Guineas) and the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches (French 1,000 Guineas) on the same card at Longchamp. Ballydoyle and Godolphin have both targeted these prestigious prizes in recent seasons and their runners should be closely inspected while the talented Darjina flies the flag for France in the ‘Pouliches’.

Flat’s racing roller-coaster month pitches up next at York for its three-day Dante meeting and a handful of possible Oaks fillies will run in the Musidora Stakes on May 16 when Henry Cecil’s current Oaks favourite Passage Of Time is expected to go head-to-head with Godolphin’s rising star, Measured Tempo.

On May 17 it is the turn of the Derby hopefuls in the Dante Stakes and all eyes will be upon Peter Chapple-Hyam’s Classic hopeful Authorized who is likely to face a stern challenge from Godolphin’s number one contender, Eastern Anthem. This mile and a quarter Group 2 contest has developed into a key Derby trial and Sir Michael Stoute’s chosen runner should also be noted. He has the best contemporary record in the race with two winners and three placed horses.

On May 19 it is the turn of the season’s top-class milers to strut their stuff in the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury and in recent renewals this has been a good race for Saeed Bin Suroor and the Godolphin team, but given the poor showing of their horses in the recent Dubai Carnival at Nad Al Sheba, the boys in blue will be looking for a lift in this valuable Group1 prize. Intriguingly, Aidan O’Brien may have something to say about the race’s outcome courtesy of George Washington who returns from a barren spell at stud to vex his rivals on the racecourse once more.

In France on the following day, Longchamp’s Prix d’Ispahan regularly draws the top mile and a quarter horses and this is often a contest that exerts a powerful bearing on some of the season’s best ten furlong races. Andre Fabre’s Manduro should be hard to beat here.

The high-class action in May comes to a thrilling climax with the Irish 2,000 Guineas on May 26 followed by the fillies’ equivalent, the Irish 1,000 Guineas on the next day. Both these top-class contests tend to be won by horses that have raced in the Newmarket Classics and British trainers boast an enviable record in both races.

May’s racing roundabout ends with Sandown’s Temple Stakes on May 29, a high-class pattern contest for sprinters that should see Ireland’s Dandy Man bid for a famous victory against a resurgent Tax Free while on the same day the Group 3 Brigadier Gerard Stakes is always interesting. Trainer Sir Michael Stoute is the man to side with in this event. He won it again twelve months ago courtesy of Notnowcato and any runner from Freemason Lodge is worth a close look.



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About the Author: Malcolm Heyhoe is the http://www.gg.com resident tipster contributing a daily "Best Bets" column and a weekly feature called "The Weekend File". He is also a tipster for the Racing Post Weekender, contributor to The Guardian and has written on racing for Sporting Life, Racing Post, Irish Examiner and The Independent newspaper.

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