Ante-post: four things to note when looking for value in the Guineas markets
The one thing we know about the opening Classics of the delayed season in Britain is that they will be run with a reduced European challenge.
Last week Ger Lyons outlined his intention of keeping Siskin in Ireland for the time being at least while Jessica Harrington on Monday revealed that Albigna will not join Millisle in the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket.
There remains a certain element of having a bet blindfolded on either race right now as Aidan O'Brien has yet to decide on what colts and fillies he will handpick to run at Newmarket on June 6 and 7 respectively.
Nevertheless, here are four important things to factor in when looking ahead to Newmarket.
The Ballydoyle conundrum
It was no surprise to see some bookmaker reaction after O'Brien spoke about some of his Guineas contenders on Monday, but just because the likes of Arizona and Wichita were on Ballydoyle's Newmarket A-team doesn't necessarily mean they will be the chosen ones in three weeks' time.
O'Brien also mentioned that Love, So Wonderful and Peaceful were on the original shortlist for the fillies' event but the field of play has changed considerably since that plan was hatched.
Not only does O'Brien have to factor in the Irish Guineas at the Curragh less than a week after Newmarket, the master of Ballydoyle has to factor in Royal Ascot, not to mention his options being significantly curtailed by the fact he can't run horses in the French version.
Add travel restrictions into the mix and you have a logistical nightmare, which makes it understandable that plans won’t be firmed up in Ballydoyle until late this week.
In a nutshell, the waters are muddy and while Arizona remains the most likely colt to take on Pinatubo, with the thinking he would continue on to the St James's Palace Stakes, nothing is set in stone.
The same can be said for the fillies. Along with Love, So Wonderful and Peaceful, O'Brien has a clatter of classy fillies to factor into his plans. It is very much a moveable feast in Ballydoyle at the moment, which makes wagering on any of their Classic contenders a risky proposition.
Jessica Harrington has a provisional plan in place to run Millisle, last season's champion two-year-old filly, at Newmarket and to keep Albigna for the Irish equivalent.
Harrington also revealed that Alpine Star had been pencilled in for France but, given that option no longer exists, she could slot in at Newmarket or the Curragh, depending on a few variables closer to the time.
One has to assume that, the thinking behind sending Millisle to Newmarket, along with the fact that she is proven at the track having landed the Cheveley Park there last season, is that if she didn't stay the mile in the 1,000 Guineas Harrington would have an extra week to prepare the speedster for the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot.
That would appear the most logical rationale in splitting up those two fillies while Alpine Star, winner of the Group 2 Debutante Stakes last season, may well be more of an Oaks type but should not be underestimated if rocking up for either race.
There is no secret about the fact that opposition to Pinatubo and Quadrilateral will be reduced due to the condensed programme and Covid-19 travel restrictions but, even so, odds of even money and 3-1 don't appeal as value at this juncture.
Pinatubo set the world alight last season but there have been many exceptional two-year-olds that have failed to train on.
Given Pinatubo's size, it has to be a real worry that we have already seen the best of him, which makes his odds look unappetising, even in the absence of Siskin and some Ballydoyle runners.
If word comes through later in the week that Arizona is definitely on course to take him on, he would look the most obvious danger at a double-figure price.
There won't be the same worries about Quadrilateral training on but like Pinatubo, whether she represents value at 3-1, it remains to be seen.
Love has attracted some each-way support but Alpine Star could be something of a forgotten filly. While odds of 33-1 appear to factor in the doubts about her participation, it seems a risk worth taking.
The French raider
British and Irish runners will not be permitted to run in France for the time being but it appears as though French participation will be allowed at Newmarket, which makes the Andre Fabre-trained Alson potentially interesting.
However, it worth noting that, when Alson was with Jean-Pierre Carvalho last year, the trainer thought he was essentially a seven-furlong horse who got outstayed by Victor Ludorum in the Lagardere.
Many horses who didn't quite stay a mile at two can strengthen up and get the trip at three but it could be something to factor in when considering the French raider.
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