Monday, we start at Newcastle with the return of racing in the UK. It was of course behind closed doors. Zodiakos wrote his name into the record books with victory in the opener– the first race in Britain since meetings were last held on March 17. Art Power trained by Tim Easterby looked a very nice prospect when taking a division of the six-furlong Novice Stakes by five and a half lengths. The three-year-old won by a similar margin at York last October and will now step up in class for the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot in two weeks time for which he is a 20/1 chance. Frankly Darling was an impressive winner for John Gosden taking the maiden by five lengths.
Victor Ludorum reversed early season form with The Summit to land the rescheduled Poule d'Essai des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas) at Deauville this afternoon and provided trainer Andre Fabre with a ninth victory in the first Classic of the season. Victor Ludorum was beaten at odds-on in his prep race behind The Summit at ParisLongchamp on May 11 but made no mistake in the big race today, coming from off the pace to record a very easy win in the hands of Mickael Barzalona. The Summit, which raced prominently throughout, stayed on under pressure to take second place behind the 5/4 favourite. The French 1000 Guineas (Poule d'Essai des Pouliches) was won by the narrowest of margins by Dream And Do at odds of 10/1.
Tuesday, we start at Kempton. Ryan Moore recorded his first winner of the new season as First Receiver proved a cut above his rivals in carrying the colours of the Queen to glory. It was one bet today and its a winner First Receiver 355 Kempton (2pts win) 7/4 (rule 4 deduction 15%). First Receiver looked impressive and it was a very decent time. Sir Michael Stoute has his team in very good form. Frankie Dettori was straight back to business as he steered Galsworthy to victory at Kempton on his first ride following the resumption of racing. There was a double for Mark Johnston and Joe Fanning with Army Of India and Meraas.
At Newcastle, Hollie Doyle wasted no time in picking up from where she left off before the lockdown as Canagat showed plenty of determination to hold on in the Betway Casino Handicap Stakes. Hollie Doyle completed a double with Medal Winner. Sir Michael Stoute completed an across the card double with Mubakker. There was an across the card treble completed by Mark Johnston with Pelekai.
On the syndicate horse front. Trading Point is guaranteed a run in the Irish Lincoln, he has a big week ahead as the race approaches on Friday, June 12th. Trading Point finished second in the race last year when the race was held in Naas. The Joseph O'Brien trained maiden winner Patrick Sarsfield has been installed as the 6/1 ante-post favourite with sponsors Paddy Power ahead of next week's Irish Lincolnshire Handicap at the Curragh. The total prize money on offer for next week's race is down from €100,000 in recent years to €75,000.
Wednesday, we start with Mark Johnston who continued his flying start to the new season thanks to a double at Yarmouth initiated by a first victory for the regally-bred Maydanny. The double was completed by Mountain Dreams. Another person in form is Hollie Doyle who bagged another double with Lalania and Inhalation. A day of doubles was completed at Yarmouth by John Gosden with Celestran and Haqeeqy.
Berlin Tango was given a quote of 25-1 for the Investec Derby after landing the Unibet Classic Trial at Kempton. This completed a double for Andrew Balding and David Probert who also took the opener with Never Dark. In the nightcap, David Probert completed a personal treble onboard Sepahi. It was an across the card treble on the day for John Gosden thanks to Nazeef who took the Snowdrop Fillies Listed Stakes race. On the Syndicate horse front, Parkers Hill is entered at Naas on Monday 8th of June. It as you can imagine very competitive with 50 entries. It looks like our youngest horse (Parkers Hill) and our youngest trainer (Leanne Breen) will lead the Galaxy team into battle first up following the resumption of racing.
Thursday, we start with silence from the stands greeted runners on the track at Newmarket on Thursday – but there was still a sense of delight from the few in attendance at the sport’s first meeting back at Flat racing’s Headquarters. Eye Of Heaven provided trainer Mark Johnston with his third juvenile winner of the week to set up a tilt at the Norfolk Stakes with an impressive victory in the Betway EBF Stallions Novice Stakes. At Newcastle, Guipure under Ben Curtis picked up the new season where she left off the last one with a victory in the Heed Your Hunch At Betway Handicap.
Away from the track, Ascot Racecourse today confirmed that prize money for Royal Ascot, 16th to 20th June 2020, will total £3,680,000. This represents a significant drop from last year of almost 50% with 2019 prize money totalling £7.3 million. Irish horse racing is to resume at Naas Racecourse on Monday after a gap of 76 days due to the Covid 19 pandemic. Under new protocols compiled by Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) and the Irish Horse Regulatory Board (IHRB) the racecourses will be limited to essential personnel only. A week extension to the Flat turf season and an increase of five in the number of fixtures scheduled at Dundalk in November are among the changes to the fixture list announced today by HRI for the remainder of 2020, with a new schedule published for August through to December.
Friday, we start at Lingfield. Royal Ascot-bound Mighty Gurkha continued Hollie Doyle’s hot run of form as he provided the highlight of a Lingfield treble for the record-breaking rider. The treble was completed by Igotatext and Badayel. Miss Yoda finished with a flourish to claim the Betsafe Top Price All Runners Oaks Trial Fillies’ Stakes for John Gosden. English King shot into the Epsom picture after showing an impressive turn of foot to secure a taking victory in the Betsafe Derby Trial Stakes for trainer Ed Walker. At Newmarket, Ghaiyyath made every yard of the running to claim Group One gold in the Hurworth Bloodstock Coronation Cup.
Saturday, It was 2000 Guineas day at Newmarket. Kameko proved too good for red-hot favourite Pinatubo as he lifted the Qipco 2000 Guineas. Those in attendance at Newmarket on Saturday may have been few and far between – but that failed to stop Oisin Murphy from celebrating his first Classic victory. I thought this was a really good performance by Kameko who picked up really well in the final furlong. Kameko is a fine stamp of a horse, I could see him staying in the Derby. It's hard to know about Pinatubo he just flattened out his next race will tell a lot.
At Newcastle, Thunder Of Niagara added himself to Mark Johnston’s growing team of Royal Ascot juveniles with an impressive display. Nayef Road started his four-year-old campaign in the best possible fashion when holding off his stablemate Mildenberger to win the Betway Sagaro Stakes giving Mark Johnston a double on the day. In different circumstances, Palace Pier could have been running in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket rather than here at Newcastle – and the manner of his victory suggests John Gosden will not be waiting too long for major success with him. At Lingfield, Dartington landed a very decent punt (16/1-6/1) for Marcus Tregoning.
Sunday, we start at Newmarket it was 1000 Guineas day. Love breezed away from the opposition to give Aidan O’Brien a sixth victory in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket. The Ballydoyle handler fielded just one runner and Love emphatically turned around last year’s Fillies’ Mile form with Quadrilateral to win under Ryan Moore. This was really impressive this daughter of Galileo will have no trouble getting the Oaks trip in my view. Run Wild galloped her rivals ragged to win the Betfair EBF Pretty Polly Fillies’ Stakes. Modern News set up a trip to Royal Ascot when leading home a one-two for trainer Charlie Appleby in the Watch Racing For Free On Betfair EBF Stallions Maiden Stakes.
At Haydock, Last year’s Cambridgeshire winner Lord North proved his progression has not stopped yet by winning the Betway Brigadier Gerard Stakes. Robert Hornby was seen to great effect as he made every yard of the running on Manuela De Vega in the Betway Pinnacle Stakes. At Lingfield, Sands Of Time gave Mark Johnston yet another two-year-old winner.