Here are our Saturday 4 May horse racing betting tips. A week of extraordinary horse racing continues on Saturday and, having enjoyed another thrilling renewal of the Punchestown Festival, we now turn our attentions to a showstopping afternoon at Newmarket. Racing gets underway at 1.50pm with the Spring Lodge Stakes Handicap and takes us through to the finale at 5.20pm, the Qipco Racing Welfare Handicap.
No less than three Group races take place at HQ and that will keep both lovers of the sport and armchair fans entertained throughout the course of the afternoon. The Group 1 2000 Guineas stars as the main attraction and is supported by the Group 2 Roaring Lion Jockey Club Stakes at 2.55pm and the Group 3 Zoustar Palace House Stakes at 2.20pm.
Zoustar Palace House Stakes – 2.20pm Newmarket
Sergei Prokofiev is listed as the favourite for this 5f sprint at the time of writing, with Ladbrokes offering 5/2. That quote is sure to be popular, but it also demonstrates just how open traders expect the race to be and we’re happy to avoid the favourite and take one at a better price. There’s value around, with plenty having claims to the prize, and the race is there to be won.
The runner to carry our stake money will be second favourite Mabs Cross who can be picked up at 5/1, an offer that caught our eye when flicking through the field. This talented five-year-old mare has won five of a dozen starts to date, placing on another five occasions. She won last time at Longchamp when clinching the Group 1 Prix De L’Abbaye over a shorter trip and comes in on the back of a rest. We’re expecting improvement and should see her go close to an upset.
Roaring Lion Jockey Club Stakes – 2.55pm Newmarket
Seven runners are expected for this 1m 4f test as the field look to win a race claimed by Defoe for Roger Varian 12 months ago. Who will come out on top this time? Bookmakers have had their say and are pinning their hopes on Coronet as a 2/1 favourite with Ladbrokes, having been clipped in from 9/4 during the build-up. Another good horse, but another we’re taking on.
Defoe Looking Strong
Having looked at the early betting for this race we’re going to take a punt on more of the same and will be backing Defoe to retain his crown with another strong performance. The 11/4 (Ladbrokes) second favourite has won seven and placed twice from 12 previous starts but hasn’t been seen sticking his head in front for a while now.
Defoe last won when banking this very race, but he did do it in convincing fashion, runner-up Red Verdon finishing almost four lengths off the pace. He doesn’t face anything that scares us off on Saturday and we’ll happily give him the benefit of the doubt to get off the mark for 2019.
2000 Guineas – 3.35pm Newmarket
19 runners printed in the programme for the 2019 2000 Guineas and we’re set for a pulsating renewal of this world-famous race. The Group 1 is decided over the flat mile and with almost £300,000 deposited into the bank account of owners of the champion, it’s no surprise to see some of the sport’s top names in attendance.
Aidan O’Brien has dominated this contest in recent years and rates as the 2000 Guineas leading trainer on nine previous titles. He scored his first back in 1998 with King of Kings and was last seen sending out 2018 champion Saxon Warrior. He has a strong hand this year, consisting of Magna Grecia and Ten Sovereigns and it would come as no major shock to see either end as champion.
Sue Magnier is the leading owner and will take some catching with no less than 10 winner’s medals on her mantlepiece. Entrepreneur did the business in 1997 and that kicked-off a period of dominance, Saxon Warrior the latest. Who will take the headlines this year? Will it be more of the same or time for a change?
Unbeaten Ten Sovereigns Favourite
The bookies have had their say and set-up the 2000 Guineas betting market with Ten Sovereigns at the head of the pile, currently available as a 7/2 jolly with Ladbrokes. The three-year-old colt is a classy horse who has won each of his previous three outings. He got off on the right foot when taking a 6f maiden at Curragh in August and those who watched the race knew they had something special on their hands.
That debut win was followed by another victory around the Curragh when progressing to land the Group 3 Round Tower Stakes in September and he was last spotted adding the Group 1 Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket last summer. He’s not been seen in competitive action since, and that may put a few off, but we’re confident handlers would’ve been working tirelessly to improve him during that time away from track.
O’Brien Can Be Trusted
Many will be after a better price and we fall into that category. Therefore, our cash rests on the chances of stablemate Magna Grecia who is a 9/2 second favourite at Ladbrokes, having been eased from 7/2 as all the early money flooded on the favourite. That doesn’t put us off any as we’re keen on our selection.
The striking three-year-old colt has won two of three, finishing second on the spare. He too made a winning debut when impressing at Naas under the ride of Ryan Moore last September in a 7f maiden and quickly went through the gears. Was runner-up second time out at Newmarket when beaten a neck by 6/5 favourite Persian King in the Group 3 Autumn Stakes over a mile.
Stuck at that distance for his most recent outing, he took the Group 1 Doncaster Trophy Stakes ahead of Phoenix Of Spain. The trip is a slight concern, but O’Brien can be trusted and knows a winning Guineas horse when he sees one.