A Guide To The Weekend’s Racing – 01/05/2015

Fancy watching some live racing this weekend? Make sure you don’t miss a trick with our guide to the best up-coming meetings of the next couple of days.

Saturday

There are no less than seven meetings taking place across Britain and Ireland tomorrow, these including the conclusion of the Punchestown Festival and the first day of Newmarket‘s Guineas Festival.

Punchestown’s jumps meeting is set to go out on a high with two Grade One races in prospect. The first, the Mares Champion Hurdle (15:50), is set to see reigning champion Annie Power try to defend her title against the likes of last year’s runner-up Jennies Jewel and Vincent O’Brien runner Analifet.

Grade One number two is the Four Year Old Hurdle, 11 entrants set to go to post for this one with many recognisable from their Cheltenham exploits. It looks as though Qualando could go off the favourite in this 16:25, he looking to build upon his Fred Winter success. Don’t expect a one horse race, however, as Gigginstown saddle a trio of plucky players – not just Petite Parisienne but also Thunder Zone and Lettre de Cachet.

The jewel in the crown of Newmarket’s Guineas Festival opener is, of course, the Group One 2000 Guineas (15:45). Aidan O’Brien’s Ante Post fancy Gleneagles is still leading the field of 19 in the betting.

Don’t forget that in the run up to this race there will also be the Group Three Palace House Stakes (14:30) and the Group Two Jockey Club Stakes (15:05).

There’s a tonne more flat options around the country with afternoon cards at Goodwood and Thirsk and an evening card at Doncaster. The pick of the races here has to be Goodwood’s listed Conqueror Stakes (16:05).

The two remaining fixtures are both over jumps, Uttoxeter holding an afternoon card with Hexham‘s card running from 17:25 to 20:30.

Sunday

Whilst there are few meetings to sink your teeth into on Sunday – just four – the second day of the Guineas Festival at Newmarket means that the quality is just as high.

There are 13 fillies declared for the 1000 Guineas (15:40) and this number should make their way to their stalls. Jim Bolger’s Lucida is the current favourite for the Classic after Aidan O’Brien’s shout Found was withdrawn by the handler.

The best of the races bookending this feature race are the Group Two Charm Spirit Dahlia Stakes (14:25) and the listed Pretty Polly Stakes at 16:50. The betting for the former is headed by De Sandringham Stakes winner Fintry whilst the favourite for the latter is Leopardstown victor Zannda.

The other flat meetings to be held in England on Sunday will be at Salisbury and Hamilton Park with another being held in Sligo, Ireland. The preference here would be Salisbury with a lot of small field handicaps in the latter. The most interesting individual race is the 1m 5f Buttonhook Handicap at Hamilton (14:45).

There are no jumps meetings scheduled for Sunday.

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