ITV Races - Tony Calvin

Sunday Racing Tips: French raider has strong claims in 1000 Guineas says Tony Calvin

Betfair Ambassador Tony Calvin
Tony Calvin has two tips on 1000 Guineas Day at Newmarket

"...maybe you will agree with me that Zellie shaped equally as well as Malavath. And possibly even better."

Zellie at 12.011/1 or bigger in 15:40 at Newmarket

Rounding off a Classic weekend of racing the 1000 Guineas is the highlight at Newmarket on Sunday, and Tony Calvin fancies an overseas radier can take the prize...

I don't think the ITV races from Hamilton and Salisbury on Sunday bring much to the party - I'd much rather the terrestrial mob concentrated on analysing the Newmarket contests in more depth rather than venturing elsewhere - so I make no apologies for focusing solely on the action from HQ here.

Strong seasonal reappearance suggests more to come

And I'll jump straight in with the 1000 Guineasat 15:40, a race in which I think Zellie is overpriced at 12.011/1 on the exchange.

I have a lot of time for the three fillies towards the top of the market - those being Tenebrism, Discoveries and Tuesday - but it could well be that the French bring the best form to the table going into this Classic.

It sounds like Andre Fabre was surprised by how much Zellie showed him last season - "I never thought she would be a 2yo" - and she ended up showing him plenty, never being out of the first two in six starts at two, and rounding off her campaign with a Group 1 success on heavy ground in the Boussac.

That wouldn't have been the strongest renewal of that race but she was dominant and I loved her comeback run when a 1 ½-length second to Malavath in the Prix Imprudence over 7f at Deauville at the start of April.

For starters, that looked a very strong Group 3 and the winner, who also runs here and is a shorter price than the selection, was an excellent runner-up from a wide draw at the Breeders' Cup last season, and those in behind also numbered Group 2 and Listed race victors.

Newmarket head on 1280x720.jpg

Go and take a look at the video of that comeback race on France Galop, and maybe you will agree with me that Zellie shaped equally as well as Malavath. And possibly even better.

Zellie travelled liked a dream throughout but Olivier Peslier was at pains not to give his filly a hard time, and I loved the way she was coming back at the winner under minimal assistance close home.

Given that race was over 7f, and Zellie won her Group 1 last season over 1m on heavy ground, and the promise was abundant.

I'd be certain you will see a more vigorous finishing effort from Tom Marquand here, and Fabre clearly has no issues with his horse on what will be quick ground. She simply wouldn't be here if Fabre had any significant doubts on that score, and one of her juvenile successes did come on good ground.

The Betfair Sportsbook are paying four places if you want to back her each way, but I am happy with a win-only bet.

I toyed with a saver on Malavath (or even a reverse forecast on the French pair) and Minding's sister Tuesday, but I am relying on Fabre and Zellie.

Verdon can outclass rivals if turning out quickly

To be honest with you, the only other race on the ITV rota that interests me from a betting point of view is the 1m6f handicap, and I am not even sure my fancy for the race is even going to run.

Red Verdon picked up over £6k for finishing an 11-length fourth at 66/1 in the Group 2 Jockey Club Stakes at Newmarket on Friday, so whether he runs here - and it will be the quickest turnaround he has ever done in his seven-year racing career - is anyone's guess.

But he is entered in the race as of now, and I am putting him up at 17.016/1 or bigger, I imagine he could well drift, but 16/1+ is fair.

The reason I am willing to risk him is that he has so much going for him.

A mark of 104, back up to 1m6f, and on quick ground, are a potent betting combination to these eyes, and of course we have the talked-up Harry Davies (I am big fan of his after Shine So Bright on Friday, mind you) claiming 7lb, too.

Red Verdon is off the same mark as when just touched off by a neck over 2m at Wolverhampton under today's pilot at the start of April, and I can really see him outclassing this opposition, few of whom I liked.

He has to be a win-only bet, though.

Good luck. A quieter punting day than Saturday, but we should not be looking for bets that do not exist.

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