All the talking stops in May as the first two Classics of the year take place at Newmarket on the weekend of May 5th and 6th.

After the early-season trials it is the real thing with the QIPCO 2,000 Guineas for colts on May 5th, and the first fillies' Classic that is the QIPCO 1,000 Guineas 24 hours later.

Once again the question will be who can stop Aidan O'Brien's annual Group 1 gallop as the Ballydoyle trainer is due to send over the favourites for both races in Leopardstown's 2,000 Guineas Trial winner Gustav Klimt and last year's Jean-Luc Lagardere winner Happily.

Impressive Craven Stakes winner Masar and Elarqam, the son of Frankel out of Attraction, are others prominent in the market in the QIPCO 2,000 Guineas at the time of writing, while the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Veracious will have plenty of supporters in the fillies' race as British trainers try to keep the prize at home.

There is hardly time to draw breath after that as Investec Derby and Oaks chatter starts at Chester's popular three-day May meeting on May 9th. Such as the Chester Vase and Dee Stakes attracts that man O'Brien to test his less experienced three-year-olds before the meeting climaxes with the 188Bet Chester Cup on the closing Friday.

France takes the spotlight on May 13th with its equivalent Guineas Classics that are the Poule des Pouliches (1,000 Guineas) and Poulains (2,000 Guineas) at the rebuilt Longchamp.

The following week it is the turn of York to host the big races, starting on May 16th with the Oaks trial that is the Tattersalls Musidora, followed by the colts' trial that is the Betfred Dante.

Stayers will be attracted to the Betway Yorkshire Cup on May 18th as it is one of the qualifying races for the new £1 million bonus for stayers who go on to win the Ascot Gold Cup, Goodwood Cup and then the Lonsdale Cup back at York in August.

A day later and it is Newbury and the Group 1 Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes that holds centre stage.

Heading into the spring bank holiday there is another raceday that is worth remembering for top names as Sandown hosts the bets evening meeting of the year, featuring the Matchbook Brigadier Gerard Stakes, on May 24th, which also contains the National Stakes for possible Royal Ascot two-year-olds, and another of the top staying races in the Henry II Stakes.

by The Racing Post at Rewards4Racing

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