It's been a long week in the tipping chair for Tony Calvin but he, like all of us, is glad to be back, and our man has two recommended bets for 1000 Guineas day at Newmarket...
"I like the fact that she had plenty of racing last season (though not as much as his 2012 winner Homecoming Queen) and that experience can stand her in good stead here."
This time last week Love and Millisle were on offer at 10/1 for the 1000 Guineas, and I had a very modest wager on the pair - £40 each-way to be precise - but little has changed in the meantime (though we have lost Daahyeh, and Aidan O'Brien saddles just the one) and they are now half the price.
Odds are all in betting, so the question you have to answer is whether they warrant another investment.
Jolly worth opposing in 1000 Guineas
We will come to that in a moment but I do think Quadrilateral is a very opposable favourite at around 5/2 on the exchange.
She looked very good when winning by nine lengths at Newbury and, although she took a step forward on form and on the clock when winning the Group 1 Fillies' Mile, it was that performance that makes me to want to side against her.
It was a strange success in many ways as she looked beaten 2f out - she traded at 75.074/1 in running when she was treading water at that stage - before her late surge saw her pick up Powerful Breeze, who looked the best filly in the race but is sidelined with an injury now.
If the favourite hits a similar flat spot on this quicker ground (though there is more rain around in the next 24 hours apparently) then she could find that her winning chance has gone.
And a first-time tongue-tie for her is not something that I am viewing as a positive. They must have detected some kind of breathing issue.
Lots of Love for O'Brien filly
Millisle is officially the form horse, being rated 115 after her powerful Cheveley Park defeat of Raffle Prize, and the major question she has to answer is her stamina, having not raced beyond 6f before and being by Starspangledbanner.
But she hit the line like a rocket here last year and she is a half-sister to a whole host of winners over 1m2f and up to 1m6f, so I think she will see it out okay. And Jessie Harrington has a very strong hand of 3yo fillies to work her alongside.
She has to be a big player but I believe Love represents the best bet in the race at the current prices. Back her at 5.95/1 or bigger in the Classic at 15:35.
I am not going to say she is an outstanding bet at her reduced odds but you won't go too far wrong backing O'Brien in this race - he has won four of the last eight renewals - and I am hoping it is significant that the trainer relies on just Love.
I like the fact that she had plenty of racing last season (though not as much as his 2012 winner Homecoming Queen) and that experience can stand her in good stead here.
I believe she is seen as more of an Oaks type than a miler, so expect her to be bounced out from stall 14 - that would have been a better draw had the stalls been on the stands' side - and be given a more attacking ride than she was when third to Quadrilateral in the Fillies' Mile here last season. The autumn ground may not have been ideal there, too.
We have seen all week how important being on the front end is.
She has made all on a couple of occasions, and her ¾ length of subsequent Rockfel winner/Breeders' Cup runner-up Daahyeh reads very well, and she just looks very solid.
And the less rain the better for her chances, so I will be keeping a weather watch over the weekend. Quick ground looks preferable for her.
I will be pressing up my 10/1 bet at 9/2+, and it wouldn't surprise me if she went off favourite.
Elsewhere on the Newmarket card
Form horse Communique could take some catching if getting on the lead in the 13:50, and a reproduction of his course and distance Group 2 defeat of Defoe last season, where he was given a great ride from the front, would see him hard to beat. He is not penalised for that success, or his subsequent Group 2 success on the July course. In fact, he is unbeaten in four outings to the two Newmarket courses.
However, I do like the pair of improvers Trueshan and First in Line - the former looks an exciting prospect - but they have not been missed in the market at 9/2, so I will pass.
Given the form of the yard and his exploits last season (and he has been gelded, too) it doesn't surprise me to see Good Birthday top the market at 5/2 alongside Davydenko, with Desert Icon not far behind, in the 1m2f handicap at 14:25 but I thought West End Charmer was the overpriced one at 8/1+ on the exchange.
He looked very good when making all at Doncaster on his final start and I think he has the scope to be competitive off a 10lb higher mark here, but what really concerns me is that there are three other horses in here that like to go forward too, and that could mess up his racing rhythm and tempo.
So I will leave the race alone, especially as I think Good Birthday could be a tough nut to crack, and the other ITV race at Newmarket, the 15:00 looks a total minefield.
There is little between the three form horses, and then you have the small matter of five once-raced winners.
If you can solve that puzzle, then you are a better man than me!
A short price tip for me but he looks rock solid
Luckily, we also have three good Haydock races to go at, though I can't argue with how the market has been priced up in the Group 3 Pinnacle Stakes at 14:05 so I can let any of the first three in the market win without any of my money.
I was looking to side with Elarqam in the Group 3 Brigadier Gerard Stakes at 14:40 but, perhaps optimistically, I was hoping for a bigger price than around 11/4, given the depth of the race and the fact that he disappointed on his first and last starts last season.
However, I was being unrealistic given a reproduction of his third to Japan and Crystal Ocean in the Juddmonte, or his earlier York defeat of Addeybb, would have these gasping for air.
In fact, that soft-ground York victory has been made to look pretty special given the exploits of the runner-up, who has won three of his subsequent four starts (including two Australia Group 1s), with his only defeat coming in the Champion Stakes at the hands of Magical, when he was beaten less than a length.
No, on second reflection, I am going to back him at 3.55/2 or bigger, so I am tipping him. Far, far shorter than the price I normally bet or tip at, but he looks more like a 2/1 chance (the 10/3 in the marketplace predictably didn't last). So I will play small.
He won first time up in 2018, handles any ground (there looks to be plenty of rain in the area over the weekend, so that's a handy versatility - in fact, it was already good to soft by 9am on Saturday after 16mm of rain from Friday night)) and his stable is in good form, so hopefully he will be straight enough here.
Given that the 12-runner Listed race is so tight-knit - only 7lb splits the field on official ratings, and it gets harder with that wet weekend forecast - I am inclined to leave the 15:15 alone.
In fact, the more I look at the race the harder it gets, so just the two short-odds Sunday plays for me.
Good luck. It's been a long week but good to be back in the tipping saddle. We have all missed it.
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Back Elarqam at 3.55/2 or bigger in 14:40 at Haydock
Back Love at 5.95/1 or bigger in the 15:35 at Newmarket