Adagio to hit classic note

Adagio can land the Stan James 2000 Guineas at Newmarket tomorrow to give Michael Stoute his sixth victory in the colts’ Classic.

Adagio can land the Stan James 2000 Guineas at Newmarket tomorrow to give Michael Stoute his sixth victory in the colts’ Classic.

The race may have lost some of its gloss with the enforced absence of ante-post favourite Teofilo but Adagio had been challenging him pretty hard in the betting since his win over the course and distance two weeks ago.

That came in the Craven Stakes, a race Stoute had used as the ideal prep race for two of his Guineas winners, Shadeed (1985) and Doyoun (1988).

And Adagio put up an extremely eye-catching performance to take the Group Three prize.

Slowly away, he struggled to get a clear run two furlongs but once the gap came he quickened away in great style to beat Sonny Red by a length and a half.

A bump from one of his rivals failed to stop him and such guts will stand him in good stead in the big field he will be up against back at Newmarket.

He had finished only seventh to Teofilo in the Dewhurst Stakes last October but he ran better than the bare form suggests and was still terribly inexperienced.

He now appears to be the finished article and can stamp his authority on what appears to be a wide open 2000 Guineas.

His rider Kerrin McEvoy should be able to manoeuvre Adagio into a good position from stall three and gallop to glory.

The Stoute team can also be on target with Echelon in the Group Three Dahlia Stakes.

This smart filly won twice at this level last season and has also run with credit in stronger company.

She finished second to Soviet Song in a Group Two at Royal Ascot last summer and was fifth to Ouija Board in the Group One Nassau Stakes at Glorious Goodwood.

Eastern Anthem, a son of 2002 1000 Guineas and Oaks winner Kazzia, can make a successful reappearance in the Newmarket Stakes.

Godolphin’s colt won his only start at Nottingham last autumn in highly-promising fashion by five lengths and is prominent in the Derby betting at around 16-1. He is an interesting prospect for the boys in blue.

Wind Star went into many notebooks when making an encouraging seasonal debut at Pontefract and can come good in the Thirsk Hunt Cup at the North Yorkshire venue.

Alan Swinbank’s four-year-old looked a little bit ring-rusty when third to Robustian and that run will have put him spot on for this competitive handicap.

At Goodwood, Expensive can follow up her recent Kempton success in the EBF Begbies-Traynor Conqueror Stakes.

Chris Wall’s filly reaped the benefit of a spell in Dubai during the winter when slamming Dont Dili Dali by four lengths in a Listed contest on the Sunbury track’s all-weather surface.

She also has smart form on turf as she showed when beating Flashy Wings at Newbury a two-year-old so she merits the highest respect here.

There is plenty to keep jumping fans happy with three meetings taking place.

Always Waining, a winner at Ayr two weeks ago, can carry on where he left off in the Handicap Chase at Uttoxeter for his trainer Peter Bowen.

Matthew Sheppard’s Knightsbridge Hill, a faller at the second last when still leading at Chepstow, can make amends in the Myson Premier Contact Handicap Hurdle at Worcester.

At Hexham, it may pay to side with the Nicky Richards-trained Prince Among Men in the Arup Handicap Hurdle.

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