Simcock runner can Eclipse rivals in opener
The Suffolk Stakes kicks off Guineas weekend and Roger Varian's Sharja Bridge is a short price at 3/1 to take this competitive handicap. He showed a strong level of form last season, not least when finishing runner up on debut to Addeybb - now a Group 2 winner - but he'll have to have stepped up and be pretty straight first time up to claim victory here.
I'd prefer the chances of Another Eclipse who finished in the money in all of his six starts last year and should be a double figure price. He ended the campaign with a good run behind Euginio who went well in the Earl Of Sefton a few weeks ago and has been gelded over the winter. David Simcock has also moved to book Silvestre De Sousa who has a 25% strike rate for the trainer and has seen 19 of his 36 rides for the yard placed or better.
I wouldn't be in a rush to take on either favourite in the Palace House or Jockey Club Stakes. Havana Grey is some way clear on ratings in the former and while a few have race fitness on their side, Karl Burke's three-year-old should be well up to taking this prize en route to better things this season.
Favourites can oblige in Palace House and Jockey Club
In the Jockey Club, Defoe was hugely impressive on his return in the John Porter last month and the 4/9 currently on offer actually looks a tad on the generous side if anything. His main opposition comes in the shape of Count Octave - very nearly beaten at Wolverhampton on reappearance - and Khalidi who hasn't shown the same level of form for his new yard
Look for Classic potential in 2000 Guineas
Night Of Thunder and Makfi aside, class usually wins out in the Guineas and for all that this year's renewal looks somewhat competitive, I wouldn't be veering too far away from the top of the market.
5/2 favourite Gustav Klimt won well in ground that was clearly far from ideal at Leopardstown last month. He's obviously a high-class horse but I'm struggling to fathom why his stable-mate, Saxon Warrior, is twice the price. A good winner of the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy last year, he's 7lb clear on ratings and while the form of that race looks a tad patchy now, he's one of two horses in this field with real 'Classic' potential.
Elarqam would be the other runner worth mentioning alongside him; much has been made of his flashy pedigree but he's answered every question posed on the track so far and Mark Johnston hasn't been shy in his praise for the horse. Whether he'll make a mockery of the opposition like his father (Frankel) did, is up for debate but the 11/2 on the Betfair Sportsbook is sufficiently enticing.
Wuheida should have too much class in Dahlia
It'll be strange to see a winner of the Dahlia Stakes that isn't trained by Stoute or Fabre and while another French raider, Golden Legend, is likely to go well, she'll struggle to lower the colours of Wuheida.
Charlie Appleby's filly really shouldn't have any issues giving 5lb away to a comparatively moderate field and if short prices are your bag, 10/11 looks well worth taking advantage of.
1000 Guineas just what Varian & Dettori Orda'd
In the 1000 Guineas, I'm happy enough to swerve Happily, her form of last season is hard to knock but this looks a strong renewal of the race and I'd rather side with a filly at a bigger price. Richard Hannon's Anna Nerium - 25/1 - couldn't have been more impressive when taking the Free Handicap at the Craven Meeting. She finished well down the field in last season's Oh So Sharp Stakes but I suspect that race could be a good pointer towards this.
Altyn Orda, the winner of that race, finished second in the Nell Gwyn behind Soliloquy on re-appearance but there was a lot to like about that run and assuming she comes on from that, rates a solid each-way bet at 14/1.
Both Tony Calvin and Tony Keenan have flagged up Willie McCreery's Liquid Amber in their respective ante post columns and I'd very much row in with them, for all that the 25/1 available earlier in the week is now a distant memory. How she handles the better ground this weekend is an unknown but her Group 3 win in the Flame Of Tara looked really special and US bred fillies have a good record in the race respective of their representation.