Group 1 action at Newbury today where the Lockinge Stakes is due to be run. It doesn’t look a good event from a purists point of view, though. On the betting front, there was nothing at a price I liked today, but have had four bets. Hopefully they can all go close.
3.35 – Betfair Cash Out King Charles II Stakes
There’s only 5 horses going to post for this Listed race and there is every chance the short-priced 11/8 favourite will run away with it, given his progressive-looking profile. Thikriyaat is the horse in question, but I just wonder will the drying ground over 7 furlongs play to his strengths?
SCRUTINEER may be able to pounce on the back of a lovely seasonal debut run here 31 days ago. Mick Channon’s horse was beaten by a nice type in the Free Handicap, but probably shaped a bit better than the bare form, despite it still looking solid.
With a run under his belt, he should see out today’s race better. He’s a straight-forward-looking colt and the likelihood of him sitting in front of the favourite, may mean he steals an early march and just hangs on.
Race Day must not be given an easy lead by the aforementioned pair. He’s a useful sort and respected.
1.5pts win Scrutineer @11/4 (Bet Victor, bet365, Coral)
2.5pts win Scrutineer @6/5 ‘betting without Thikriyaat’ (Bet Victor), @11/10 (Coral, Ladbrokes, William Hill)
4.10 – Betfair Price Rush Sprint Trophy
He’s not drawn around a whole lot of pace, but I’m still hoping VENTUROS can win despite that small concern. A two-time winner as a juvenile, always looking the type to improve with time, there is a fair chance this son of Raven’s Pass progresses again this season.
He made a lovely start to the campaign at Newmarket 14 days ago when he was probably too fresh and well. His trainer’s horses usually improve for a run and with the edge taken off him, he can hopefully go close in what looks a winnable race.
1.5pts win Venturos @4/1 (bet365, Coral, Paddy Power)
5.35 – Planteur Handicap
ARTHENUS is a horse I have an awful lot of time for, but whether he can concede 12lb to Mustaaqeem is something I’m not sure of. However, betting without favourite markets are alternatives I like to use in such cases and I’m more than happy to take one point less in said market here.
James Fanshawe has his team in good early season order and I’m hoping the yard form continues with this 100-rated handicapper. The son of Dutch Art was most progressive last season and there is every chance he’ll continue the upward curve this year.
He made a lovely comeback at Newmarket last time out where his early track position didn’t suit off what was an ordinary pace. He also had an unlucky passage through, but shaped with plenty of promise.
A return to a stiffer galloping track is sure to suit here today as is the return to slightly softer ground. He could have a couple pounds in hand despite him sitting near the top of the handicap.
3pts win Arthenus @3/1 ‘betting without Mustaaqeem’ (Bet Victor, Coral, William Hill)