Yesterday certainly didn’t disappoint with what was a very entertaining days racing. The blog did well and it would have been even better had Son Of The Stars remotely handled the dip, he went down a head in the end but was value for more than that.
1:50 Newmarket – Qatar Racing Handicap (Frontiersman 9/2)
There is a chance that Big Country is still very well handicapped after his win at Kempton last time, that has been boosted with the second winning next time out and the third Prince Of Arran running second in a Group 3 at Ascot during the week. But he’s gone up a further 10lb and to be honest I would like to think there is a better horse in here than him. Frontiersman in my opinion is a Group horse and his pedigree could hardly be any better, by Dubawi out of 7 time Group 1 winner Ouija Board and therefore is a half brother to Epsom Derby winner Australia. He didn’t set the world alight as a three year old by only getting his head in front twice, but I have no doubt that the key to this horse is quick ground. Both his wins have come on Good To Firm and the second of those was over this course and distance where saying he bolted up would probably be an understatement. His reappearance wasn’t ideal as himself and Muntahaa took each other on far too early and emptied the tank a couple of furlongs out. That form has been boosted with the aforementioned Muntahaa and the winner Chemical Charge fighting out the finish of a Group 3 subsequently. He does have to shoulder top weight and that will make it difficult, but if he’s not better than a 101 rated horse I would be very surprised.
2:20 Newmarket – Charm Spirit Dahlia Stakes
2:25 Newmarket – Longholes Handicap (Eastern Impact 5/1)
This is by no means a strong fancy but he certainly has as good a chance as any. He won this race in 2015 of 2lb higher than todays mark and is 2 from 3 over course and distance (His other runs at Newmarket have come on the July course). This ground should suit him and having put in an encouraging run on the all weather last time that should have put him spot on for this. I would imagine he’s been trained with this race in mind and if he can rediscover some old form he is in with a bold shout.
3:35 Newmarket – Qipco 1000 Guineas Stakes (Urban Fox 50/1 Each Way)
Rhododendron will be bidding to emulate her stablemate Minding in winning the Fillies Mile and following that up with 1,000 Guineas success. If you got on at a reasonable price prior to today then good luck to you, but I wouldn’t be touching the 11/8 on offer now. I’d like to see Fair Eva win as I think James Doyle deserves a Guineas success after a couple of near misses and she looked so good when winning the Princess Margaret last season, if she has done well over the winter then she’s got a great chance. But if anything has a chance to place at a huge price it’s Urban Fox. She is super consistent and her comeback run in the Fred Darling was very encouraging when second to the promising Dabyah. This shows she may have improved over the winter and trainer James Tate said he was extremely happy with that last run as she had an interrupted preparation. Obviously the price gives you an idea of her chance and she has plenty to find with the favourite, but she could land a place.
4:10 Newmarket – Havana Gold Maiden Stakes
We have five unraced horses against one that has raced once, I don’t much about these at all and your guess is as good as mine.
4:45 Newmarket – Tweenhills Pretty Polly Stakes (Horseplay 5/1)
This race has produced some decent horses in recent years, most notably the great Taghrooda back in 2014. John Gosden is aiming to win it for the fourth year in a row and has hot favourite Astronomy’s Choice, but nothing has come out of her maiden win and I prefer Horseplay. She was behind the reopposing Kazimiera on debut but came on bundles for that and hosed up by 13 lengths next time out, albeit on soft ground. This step up in distance will definitely suit and if she handles the quicker surface then I think she could play a big part.
5:20 Newmarket – Qipco Supporting British Racing Handicap (Mister Manduro 2/1)
The form of Oasis Charm’s Leicester win looks pretty good to me, but the way Mister Manduro’s reappearance at Bath is working out I simply have to go with him. He finished runner up and the third, fourth and fifth have all won impressively since and he should prove to be better than a rating of 86. He was caught late in the day in that race and if this drop in trip doesn’t pose any problems then he has to go close.