2000 guineas preview plus Doncaster tips for Saturday
Air Force Blue may not be an original selection but he does appear to have all the credentials needed to win the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket.
The son of War Front was the leading juvenile in 2015, notching up a Group One hat-trick in the Phoenix, National and Dewhurst Stakes.
He looked a cut above his contemporaries and the only possible unknown is that he has to tackle a mile for the first time.
However, all the signs are he will do so in style, as he pulled clear of his rivals in the closing stages over seven furlongs beating Herald The Dawn by three lengths at the Curragh and Massaat by three and a quarter lengths at Newmarket.
He is said to have had a perfect preparation and could not be in better hands as he bids to give his trainer Aidan O’Brien a record eighth success in the race.
With Air Force Blue likely to go off at odds-on, an each-way saver at a big price may be a betting alternative.
One that appeals as a lively outsider is the Richard Fahey-trained Ribchester. Godolphin showed faith in the Iffraaj colt by purchasing him from owner David Armstrong after he finished second in the Gimcrack Stakes at York on only his second start.
He went on to open his account in the Group Two Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury and has had the benefit of a run already this season.
Though that was a bit of a shambles as he was disqualified after finishing second in France, it will have brought him on and any cut in the ground will be to his advantage. He looks the type to run into a place.
* Selections -
Newmarket: 2.00 Arthenus, 2.30 PROFITABLE (NAP), 3.05 Jack Hobbs, 3.45 Air Force Blue, 4.20 Venturous, 4.55 Tathqeef, 5.30 Tawakkol.
Goodwood: 1.45 Sweet Selection, 2.15 Bateel, 2.50 Solar Flair, 3.25 Intense Style, 4.00 Blond Me, 4.35 Destroyer, 5.10 Captain Peacock.
Doncaster: 5.15 Willsy, 5.45 Soie D’Leau, 6.15 Foresight, 6.45 Breaking Free, 7.15 Candelisa, 7.45 Rock On Bollinski, 8.15 Craggaknock.
Hexham: 5.25 Roja Dove, 5.55 Central Flame, 6.25 Divine Port, 6.55 Get Involved, 7.25 Ardea, 7.55 Sakhee’s City, 8.25 Pekanheim.
Punchestown: 2.35 Josies Orders, 3.10 Bonny Kate, 3.50 Limini, 4.25 Apple’s Jade, 5.00 Gallant Oscar, 5.35 Desoto County.
Thirsk: 2.10 Wheneverwecan, 2.45 Casterbridge, 3.20 Sunnyside Bob, 3.55 Glenalmond, 4.30 Tumblewind, 5.05 High Bridge, 5.40 Rita’s Boy.
Uttoxeter: 1.50 Dexcite, 2.25 Upsanddowns, 3.00 Bruce Almighty, 3.35 Doctor Harper, 4.10 Brownville, 4.45 Bally Lagan, 5.20 Heresmynumber.
Double: Profitable and Air Force Blue.