My Branch poised for victory wave




Classics come upon us so frequently at this time of the year that their significance can sometimes be overlooked, but as the Guineas cycle moves to the Curragh, it is time to pay particularly close attention.

Last season, the winners of the first two Irish Classics proved much more successful than their Newmarket counterparts, both going on to further Group One wins. Spectrum, the 2,000 Guineas winner, ended the season with victory in the Champion Stakes, while Ridgewood Pearl's progress was more spectacular still, culminating in success at the Breeders' Cup. Hers may be an impossible act for today's 1,000 Guineas winner to follow, but the beauty of this early stage of the season is that anything is still feasible.

To be fair, Ridgewood Pearl arrived at the Curragh 12 months ago with a seven-length victory in a Listed event to her credit. Today's field offers no such encouragement, while Bosra Sham, the 1,000 winner, is waiting for Royal Ascot. Newmarket form is strongly represented, however, by Matiya, Bint Shadayid and My Branch, respectively second, third and fourth to Henry Cecil's filly.

Since the home defence appears unusually weak, the winner should come from this trio, and the choice must be My Branch (next best 3.55), who suffered a hard-luck story at Newmarket to make grown men weep. Those sobbing most pitifully had backed her each-way, as with a clear run, Barry Hills's filly would have finished third, at least. She would probably have beaten Matiya too, and can prove the point today.

Tomorrow's 2,000 Guineas is a fascinating event which draws together the threads of both the British and French equivalents. Bijou D'Inde, beaten in a three-way photo at Newmarket, and Beauchamp King will bat for Britain, while Spinning World, who looked unlucky when finishing fast into second in the Poule d'Essai des Poulains, flies the Tricolor for the French form. Tagula and Russian Revival must also go to post with some chance, though it is a shame that the Irish are unable to offer a serious challenge.

The one to back is Spinning World (4.10), whose run behind Ashkalani, probably the best three-year-old miler in Europe, is more convincing than the form of the blanket finish at Newmarket. The British abroad may have more to celebrate after tomorrow's Derby Italiano, in which Peter Chapple- Hyam's Heron Island leads a five-strong challenge. Halling, who in spirit at least is one of our own, also makes his seasonal debut tomorrow, in the Group One Prix d'Ispahan at Longchamp.

Today's domestic racing is unusually interesting given the quality available abroad. Kammtarra, a half-brother to last year's Derby and Arc winner, Lammtarra, could make a late move in the Derby betting with victory at Doncaster, but Farasan (4.20), who beat Wednesday's Lupe Stakes winner, Whitewater Affair, on his debut, should have his measure.

Handicaps, and very difficult ones at that, form the bulk of the televised races, though one who could be worth an interest at decent odds is High Pyrenees (Doncaster 4.50). He has not raced for almost a year, but has been let in on a generous mark.

Dashing Blue (2.30) is the value to beat Farahana in Haydock's Sandy Lane Stakes, but the outstanding bet is at Kempton. Promising animals from several leading stables contest the Heron Stakes, but may simply make the market for SORBIE TOWER (nap 4.05), who has improved 30lb already this season and has not stopped yet.

Yesterday's results, page 27

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager / Sales - OTE £45,000

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a solutions / s...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £45,000

£18000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive is required t...

Recruitment Genius: Test Development Engineer

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you inspired to bring new a...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Motor Engineer

£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific