The highlight in the UK today and tomorrow is the Guineas meeting at Newmarket, racing’s headquarters.
Derby and Oaks winners will possibly emerge from these races.
The Jersey Race Club also stages its Guineas meeting, on Monday, featuring a championship race over an extended mile.
Again the race is sponsored by the Hemmings family, the patriarch of which owns Hedgehunter who ran such a good race in the Grand National until falling at the penultimate fence.Seven horses are competing for a first prize of £1,600, two of which are running in Jersey for the first time, and are trained in the UK and brought over specifically for the meeting by Jane Southcombe, now a regular UK trainer at the Jersey meetings.Her Meelup is probably the highest-rated horse in the race, and in theory, on form, is the pick of the bunch.However, Joan Le Brocq’s two newcomers, Martins Sunset and Cheeky Girl will surely win races in Jersey, but it may be best to wait until they have had a run under their belt this season before expecting those wins to materialise.
Stable companion Leonara Truce was second in this race last year and ran creditably on Easter Monday.Des Ahier’s Catcando is very effective over seven furlongs, having won with ease on Easter Monday, and providing he stays the extra one-and-a half-furlongs must be the one to pose a threat to the UK challengers.
The versatile Minnie’s Mystery usually takes a race or two before finding winning form, but is worthy of a place.It is pleasing to see a large number of runners taking part in hurdle races, and no fewer than eight are involved.
Last time’s winner Jaskini, from Guernsey, will probably start favourite and should not be troubled by his sharp rise in the handicap, as he was carrying at least one stone overweight last time.
Another Guernsey entrant is Eljay’s Boy, quite up to the Jersey standard and, based on his position in the handicap, is capable of winning this year.Despite being out of the handicap, Casa Rosa and Regal Ali are not without a chance and any of the others could easily run into a place.The Brady and Gallaher Sprint is a rather modest affair with UK entrant Master Raffle heading the weights.
Although sometimes unreliable he is probably good enough to win here.
Alyson Malzard’s horses though, are well, as evidenced by her three winners on Easter Monday.
It would therefore be no surprise to see the family-owned Unveil run well.Peter and Meriel Edwards sponsor the one-and-a-half-mile handicap and last year’s winner, the UK entrant Giko, runs again.
Principal opposition will be the partnership-owned Khuzdar and the evergreen Palala River, both winners last time and trained by Alyson Malzard.
Stephen Arthur is represented by Off Minor and Bold Enough, both of whom will probably have benefited from their initial run.
Colin McCready’s Snow Lark, although out of the handicap, could go one better this time.The final race over nine furlongs is for horses half-way down the handicap and below.
Top weight is Joan May’s Hakham who ran a good race in better company last time and is probably good enough to win this less competitive race.
Favourite, though, will probably be Noble Reef, winner of a similar event last time, and there is no reason to think that he is not capable of a repeat performance.
Guernsey-trained Piccata won this race last year and should be respected.Any one of the other remaining runners have ability to claim minor placings, most of them having won at some time last year.