1.45 Newmarket – Join coral.co.uk And Get £50 Free Bet Handicap
A big field seven furlong handicap gets us underway at Newmarket on Saturday, but it doesn’t look the strongest race for the grade – many horses looking exposed and/or out of form. The selection comes in the shape of Rae Guest’s filly, POISSON D´OR. This daughter was a very good winner of a minor course and distance maiden in June of last year. She handled the track well, which is always a plus here, as she went on to score in good fashion from horses trained in big Newmarket yards. The form looks solid for the grade, maybe a little bit better than solid considering the third horse is now rated in the 90s. From there however, she didn’t go on pitched into Listed and Group company. Soft ground may also have hindered her. She looks capable of better especially in company like this. She returned this year in seemingly ok form – running well in a hugely competitive Ascot handicap. She looked in need of the run after travelling kindly. The drop in class and trip should show her in a better light today. Her handy racing style will be suited to this track and the booking of Mickael Barzalona catches the eye. Hopefully we get off to a good start.
2pts each-way POISSON D´OR @9-1 (bet365), 8-1 (Bet Victor, StanJames & William Hill)
2.05 Newbury – JLT Aston Park Stakes
It’s an opening looking JLT Aston Park Stakes to my eye and it may pay to side with a progressive runner in a field where the market leaders have question marks. Harris Tweed has been somewhat of a disappointment and although he is the class horse in the race his price is on the skinny side. His style of racing may set this up for something else too. With him ‘out’ the race is wide open and the nod will go to VIKING STORM. Harry Dunlop’s charge looked a progressive stayer last season winning four races as he continued to thrive. The wins were in handicap company but he was winning at tracks like Ascot and Doncaster to the end of the year. Those victories were coming at the top end of the handicap so he deserves to test his metal in this company. There are two front runners and a couple of horses who like to race handy so his style of racing may be suited to how the race unfolds. Fingers crossed he goes close.
1pt each-way VIKING STROM @8-1 (bet365), 7-1 (general)
2.40 Newbury – Betfred Mobile Lotto Handicap
There doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of pace on in this six furlong handicap so it may pay to side with horses who like to race handy. Sir Michael Stoute has his string in great form and his Modern Tutor is a fascinating runner. He may well blow this race open, but in a competitive race, first time out we’ll have to take him on. The two early speed horses I like are Poole Harbour and Seeking Magic. Poole Harbour will be suited by this flatter track after a good effort in a top handicap last time out, but he is reluctantly passed over for SEEKING MAGIC who has a thoroughly progressive profile. He was a hugely impressive winner last time out at Leicester from a difficult draw where he showed plenty early speed to tack across. That form has a solid look to it with the second since running well. Clive Cox is proving himself to be a dab hand with these speedsters and hopefully he can get this son of Haafhd to go close today. He has a wider than ideal draw but hopefully he can offset that with his good early pace.
1.5pts each-way SEEKING MAGIC @11-1 (Bet Victor, bet365 & William Hill)
3.50 Newbury – JLT Lockinge Stakes
The final selection on a competitive days racing will come in the big race, the JLT Lockinge Stakes. The phrase ‘it’s an each-way bet to nothing’ will really do many people’s head in and I’m guilty of using it myself, but today I really feel we have one of the best each-way bets to nothing in FARHH. I’ve been banging on about this bet for a while on my twitter account so it’s time to put my money where my mouth is and suggest the first maximum bet on this blog. I still can’t believe he is not favourite or at least joint favourite with Cityscape. Cityscape and Farhh are quite simply the class horses in this race and are 12 pounds clear on ratings of the market leader, Declaration Of War. While the Ballydoyle horse has a progressive profile he simply hasn’t got the form in the book to match the aforementioned pair. Cityscape is sure to go close but at the age of seven with an interrupted preparation we’ll side with the Godolphin runner. This son of Pivotal is only five and given his pedigree there is a case to be made about him improving further this year. Last season he was chasing horses like Frankel, So You Think and Nathaniel home. That class of horse is not around this season and the one mile and indeed the 10 furlong divisions are wide open. It’s his first run back so that may stop him from winning, but I simply can’t have him not finishing in the first three. Here’s hoping.
5pts each-way FARHH @4-1 (bet365, StanJames)