t's time to focus fully on the flat now, and the first Classic of the summer game, the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket today, really whets the appetite.
Ten Sovereigns is obviously very quick, but there are doubts about the trip and whether he is even the main stable fancy. He has only gone clear favourite again since Ryan Moore was chalked up for him and, while clearly deserving the utmost respect, there is plenty of each way value elsewhere.
A few bookies are paying five places so we will treat the race like we do big field handicaps and take two at value prices against those at the top of the market. The two each way snips are Royal Marine and Great Scot.
The locally trained Royal Marine is a serious player, and was a staying on fourth in the Craven Stakes having had to switch left at a crucial stage. He finished up last season an a very high note, taking the high class Group 1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at Longchamp.
The highly regarded Ballydoyle colt Broome finished second with Richard Hannon's smart type Boitron back in fourth. That kind of form puts the Marine right in the mix here. He will stay longer trips in future for sure but in a first time hood he is a threat to all today.
Great Scot is proven in hot company too. He ran up a hat trick last season in totally contrasting ground at Chester and Haydock (twice). In the Futurity he was hampered late on when coming from off the pace to finish a close up fifth to Magna Grecia, a leading contender for today's Classic.
While both horses have undoubtedly progressed apace since then, the huge difference in their prices now is hard to justify and leaves Great Scot as a real value shout. And that lively outsider had an ideal prep for this when second to Mohaather - beaten less than a length - in the Greenham Stakes.
An extra furlong will suit now, a nice draw in stall six will aid his cause and he is hard to resist at current odds.
1/2 Point Each Way Royal Marine (12/1 Paddy Power paying 5 places)
1/2 Point Each Way Great Scot (14/1 Paddy Power, Skybet & William Hill, all paying 5 places)
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