by Stable Lad

You finally realise that the flat racing season is really in when you notice most of the bigger stables in both Ireland and England going nearly frantic trying to find suitable races for their more exalted horses, in an effort to get them ready for the two opening classic races, the 2,000 Guineas for colts, and the 1,000 Guineas for the fillies, which will be run in the coming weeks at Newmarket.

These three year old animals are the almost finished product of the massive yearling sales of around two years ago, when they were purchased for six and seven figure sums by the plethora of the millionaire owners who frequent the modern racing world, all ostensibly looking for what they sincerely hope will be a multi-classic race winner, and an all-round champion racehorse, who will eventually graduate to be a major money-spinner in the breeding world as a top stallion, for it is in this branch of the sport that all the rich returns are to be made.

With this lot in mind, you will notice in the coming days an increasing number of these so-called “trial” races, but, be very careful about betting in them, for the majority of the runners in this type of race are still only in a preparatory mode, and not yet quite ready to put their best hoof forward, with their performances having to be taken on trust.

So, just treat them warily, only do try to keep a crabbit eye on the betting shows.

Nice to see that we are finding a winner here and there, which of course is the objective, so, this Saturday we go to a brilliant mixed meeting at Sandown Park.

This meet is sponsored by the Bet 365 Consortium, so there are sure to be some special type bets and odds on offer, which should make for an interesting day.

I will stay, for convenience sake , with the four races covered by Channel Four,

beginning with the Bet365 Hurdle, in which the Walsh/Nicholls team have a live contender, Cedre Bleu, who should be good enough, although Tour d’Argent will trouble him all the way.

In the Bet365 Chase, look to Somersby for your profit here, with French Opera appealing as a forecast choice.

The Bet365 Gold Cup could go to that stout stayer Le Beau Bai, with Major Malarkey hunting him hard over the last, while, in that “trial” type race I spoke about earlier, the Bet365 race, I will stick with two who have run already, with Rougement fancied as our winner, and Aidan O’Brien’s David Livingston chasing him throughout the final furlong.


The Fab Four:

Sandpwn: 2:00 Cedre Bleu, 2:35 Somersby, 3:10 Le Beau Bai, 3:45 Rougement.