After 10 weeks of replayed World Cups and endless top 10’s ranging from classic races to premier league goalkeepers across all forms of media entertainment, the armchair sports fan can finally breath a sigh of relief.
Televised live sport, albeit behind closed doors and with stringent social distancing rules, returns to our screens this weekend!
The 2020 horse racing flat season leads the charge with ITV boasting a fabulous 21 race card through Friday to Sunday, including the delayed staging of the first classics of the season, the 1000 and 2000 Guineas.
Premier League and Championship football follow suit in a couple of weeks (look out for our exciting previews coming soon) but in the meantime, the focus of every sports fan in the country will be spotlighted on and celebrating some top class racing this weekend.
We’ll take a look at the main Group One races for the three days. The Coronation Cup is the feature race for the first day on Friday.
FRIDAY: The Hurworth Bloodstock Coronation Cup, 1535 Newmarket
Rerouted from its traditional slot at Epsom, this 1m 4 furlong Group 1 race boasts a fantastic field and therefore be a fitting way to showcase the first major honours of the flat season.
Ghaiyyath trained by Charlie Appleby leads the market (6/4 Paddy Power, Betfair, Unibet) who despite a below par run in last year’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, is expected to put in a bold show and has confirmed form over the Rowley Mile.
However, there are dangers aplenty from the likes of legendary stayer Stradivarius (7/2, Coral) who drops in distance for the first time, last year’s Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck (15/2 Coral) and current Coronation Cup holder, Defoe (100/30 William Hill) trained by Roger Varian.
Despite taking on an unfamiliar distance, the calibre and guts of Stradivarius cannot be ignored and although he might just need the run, he is worth the punt at 7/2 with Coral.
SATURDAY: THE QIPCO 2000 GUINEAS STAKES, 1535 Newmarket
The first classic of the season features one of the most talked about horses in recent seasons in the shape of Pinatubo (5/6 Paddy Power, Betfair).
Charlie Appleby saddles for Godolophin this son of Shamardal and he looks a hot prospect based on his scintillating juvenile form whereby his 6 straight wins included two Group 1’s in the Dewhurst and National Stakes at The Curragh. He is also the highest rated juvenile since 1984 at a rating of 134.
Dangers have to come from the Ballydoyle team who saddle Arizona (6/1 Coral) and Wichita respectively, who looks good each way value at 14/1 (William Hill).
SUNDAY: The Qipco 1000 Guineas Stakes, 1535 Newmarket
Market leader Quadrilateral (5/2 bet365) trained by Roger Charlton certainly has excellent course and distance form, however, favourites records in this race have not been particularly memorable in recent years.
Aiden O’Brien has a formidable record in this race having saddled three winners out of the last four renewals.
His chief hope lies in the second favourite Love who despite losing out to Quadrilateral last autumn over course and distance, looks to have a live chance based on his excellent Group One win at The Curragh last September.
Love will appreciate any lively ground and represents good value at 5/1 (bet365) to overturn the form with Quadrilateral.
Love to make it 4 out of 5 for Ballydoyle. 5/1 with bet365.
OTHER VALUE BETS OF THE MEETING
Flavius Titus, 1350 Newmarket, Friday
This Jedd O’Keefe trained 5 year old has some useful course and distance form and should go well at decent odds of 9/1 (Coral).
Lord Tennyson, 1500 Newmarket, Friday
It will be interesting to see how much more this Gosden trained 4 year old has developed since his debut earlier this season. With Dettori on board also, this could be good value at 10/1 (Coral, Betfair)
1535 Newmarket: Love, 5/1 bet365
Please note all odds are correct at the time of publishing (5:30pm 3rd June 2020) and are subject to change.