Friday, May 1, 2015

Racing, Football and Boxing Galore

The first week-end of May promises to be spectacular with the usual football being eclipsed by the Guineas, Kentucky Derby and above all the fight of the century between Pacquiao and Mayweather. Some quick thoughts on those events.

In the EPL, I expect Chelsea to be officially crowned champions on Sunday. They need to beat Crystal Palace and I believe they will have enough in them to do so. I also see wins for Liverpool, Swansea, West Ham, Man Utd and Tottenham. The rest are draw selections (obviously).

The 2000 Guineas looks wide open but a few names stick out; Estidhkaar, Gleneagles, Intilaaq, Territories and Ivawood. Sheikh Hamdan looks to have a strong pair in Estidhkaar and Intilaaq; the former was a good second in the Craven and has reportedly improved since then according to connections. Intilaaq was an impressive maiden winner a fortnight ago and has been supplemented for the race. He's got unusual speed for a Dynaformer colt and the mile will be his minimum trip. Gleneagles was the best 2-year old of the lot and the main question regarding the Ballydoyle representative is his fitness as this will be his seasonal reappearance. If he has progressed accordingly during the winter season, he could be the best of the Classic bunch. Territories represent the Godolphin stable under the care of Andre Fabre. The manner he won his first race of the season indicates that a strong showing can again be expected of him. After all, master Fabre does not usually cross the Channel unless the potential for success is there. Finally, Ivawood is another from the Hannon yard backed with confidence by connections. He was clearly beaten by stable companion Estidhkaar on his seasonal reappearance and I find it difficult for him to reverse the places. I will go for Estidhkaar to prevail, with Territories and Intilaaq pursuing him home.

The Kentucky Derby also is a strong and open affair. I will retain this quartet; American Pharoah, Dortmund, Carpe Diem and Mubtaahij. The first two are from Baffert's barn and will probably go as the market leaders before the stalls open. AP was arguably last season's best 2-year old in the US and missed his Breeders Cup date due to injury. He has mightily won his 2 races this year which means that the ability is there. Unless he encounters traffic problems, I expect him to play a big part at the finish. Dortmund is battle-hardened and undefeated in 6 races. He's had to duke it out a few times to keep his record intact and has so far come out on top every time. He's most dangerous if given a soft lead and it will be interesting to see the tactics between him and the other front-runners in a race that usually livened by a suicidal pace on the let go. Carpe Diem is the main hope of leading trainer Pletcher. I think this son of Giant's Causeway is one of the best of the Classic lot but am intrigued as to his aptitude in a big field as this; a strong contender on paper but he might show his limits in this race. Mubtaahij hails from the de Kock stable and booked his ticket to the big race after winning the UAE Derby in an impressive fashion. For certain, what he beat in Dubai is nowhere as good as what he will encounter at Churchill Downs. He has shown tough resilience though and looks sure to figure among the best of the day rather the trailers. I think the best horse will win this and it will be the Pharoah.

Pacman v/s Money, the fight of the century. Bigger than Ali v/s Frazier, Sugar Ray v/s Hearns, Lewis v/s Tyson. The best 2 fighters of their generation, although both are at the twilight of their careers. Mayweather is un-defeated in 47 matches. He's quick, evasive and hard to be caught. Pacman is a punching machine. The heart says Pacman because he's the better person, by far. The mind says Money because he's the agile boxer with the perfect movement and deadly connect. It looks to be one for the ages. Go Pacman!

No comments:

Post a Comment