After a dry, sunny weekend, the going on the Rowley Mile ahead of the £1-million UltimatePoker.com Guineas Festival on Saturday and Sunday is GOOD-TO-FIRM, FIRM IN PLACES. The firm parts are between the one and a half furlong and three furlong markers and between the one and a half mile and two mile starts.
Whilst more than half an inch of rain is forecast for the coming week, Clerk of the Course, Michael Prosser expects the ground to take that amount of rain well. After walking the course this morning (Sunday), he said:
"It is certainly quick out there, but there is a fantastic cover of grass on ground that we haven't raced on since October 30 last year. We could get a lot of rain this week but, after such a dry spring in East Anglia, the course will take it very well and I would still expect good, fast ground for Britain's first two Classics even if all the forecast rain materialises.
"Monday is expected to be predominantly dry, but rain is set to sweep into the area on Tuesday. Sunshine and showers are forecast for Wednesday with much heavier rain to follow on Thursday. It is expected to clear up by the weekend but, with that kind of forecast, watering is obviously out of the question."
Over 10,000 tickets have been sold already for the most important race meeting of the year at the Home of Racing, when one colt and one filly will emerge from the £320,000 UltimatePoker.com 2000 Guineas on Saturday and the £320,000 UltimatePoker.com 1000 Guineas on Sunday with a first taste of Classic glory.
Anyone still wishing to book in advance can avail themselves of a 10% discount if they book online at www.newmarketracecourses.co.uk by Thursday.
Tickets for all Enclosures will also be available on the day:
Day Members £35; Grandstand & Paddock £20 and Family Enclosure £7.
All accompanied children aged under 16 admitted free to all Enclosures.
Silent Witness all the way for 17 straight wins
In a class of his own once again, Silent Witness eased to a 17th consecutive race success in the Queen's Silver Jubilee Cup (HKGr.2) at Sha Tin today.
Tackling 1,400m for the very first time, the world's top ranked turf sprinter made light work of defeating quality opposition by a length and three quarters. But ignore the margin; it could easily have been three or four lengths.
Silent Witness latest conquest takes him beyond the record established by his European ancestor, Ribot, and the American champions, Cigar and Citation.
Boisterously supported by a 50,000 crowd, the champ broke best from the inside gate and always maintained a length lead down the backstretch, racing relaxed and with his ears pricked.
“He was just cruising and turning for home I was very, very confident. I didn't get to the bottom of him in the straight. He just did it very easily,” said his jockey Felix Coetzee.
As has long been the plan, Silent Witness will next tackle the Champions Mile (HKGr.1), the first leg of the Asian Mile Challenge on May 14. The second leg of that series is the Yasuda Kinen (Gr.1) in Tokyo on June 5.
There is also the tantalising prospect of a clash with Ghostzapper, the world's top ranked horse and last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic champion.
“We have yet to meet with the American representatives so we don’t know what distance it would be at or surface, whether it’s turf of dirt. If it’s turf we’ll beat him but it was on dirt we could run that, too. But let’s wait and see as nothing has been decided,” said owner Archie da Silva.
“The next race is the Champions Mile and if we win that we will go for the Yasuda Kinen so we have enough to focus on for now,” he added.
Town Of Fionn and Planet Ruler stayed on from off the pace for second and third respectively with former Horse of the Year, the nine-year-old Electronic Unicorn, racing with credit to take fourth place.