Blue To Pass Acid Test At Newmarket

As one memorable jump season comes to an end at Punchestown, attention turns quickly to a summer of high class flat racing and Newmarket will today see Air Force Blue put his massive reputation on the line in the 2,000 Guineas (3.45).

Acid Test
Aidan O’Brien expressed some minor reservations about Air Force Blue (8/13) getting the “tough mile” at Newmarket and he described Saturday’s Classic as the “acid test” for the horse who has only tasted defeat once – at Royal Ascot last year – but there is really no hiding their overall fondness for this latest high class member of the Ballydoyle team.

It is interesting that a tongue tie is fitted for the first time on the son of War Front but we can only go on what we’ve seen so far in his career and that has been pretty exceptional.

A Group One a month from August to October last season were won as he liked and while it’s not a massively exciting start to the flat season from a punting point of view,

…we might all be guilty of backing worse odds-on shots than Air Force Blue.

Second Best
The obvious place to turn for an alternative selection would look to be 12/1 shot Buratino having been the only horse so far good enough to beat Air Force Blue but there was an awful lot to like about Stormy Antarctic when he won at Newmarket just over a fortnight ago at the Craven meeting.

That was over course and distance and the market looks to have it spot on with him being priced up as 6/1 second favourite.

Jim Bolger sends over Herald The Dawn, a full brother to his 2013 2,000 Guineas winner Dawn Approach and 25/1 looks a big price for him.

Bolger was second to Air Force Blue at the Curragh in the National Stakes and disappointed behind Ultra on Arc weekend in Longchamp but he wouldn’t be here unless Bolger expected a bold showing and while it’s impossible to suggest he’ll reverse form with Air Force Blue, don’t be against having a little each-way wager on him.

*Prices correct at time of publication.