It’s the start of good mid-week action with Newmarket’s 3-day Craven meeting commencing on Tuesday. The ITV racing team are bringing us four races from flat racing’s HQ and I for one am looking forward to the meeting which should give us a lot of pointers for the rest of the season.
A quick look at the prices will show you how competitive this handicap is with Green Power and Ryan Moore currently heading the betting. John Gallagher thought so much of him, as a juvenile he contested in the Richmond. He was very consistent last season and off this sort of mark and with a run under his belt, he should run well.
Roger Varian always seems to do well in these handicaps and is represented by the lightly-raced Flavius Titus. The son of Lethal Force won on seasonal debut and having been gelded in the off-season he can improve further.
I’ll plump for Tommy Taylor who was a listed winner two seasons ago over six furlongs off a mark of 100 and although he doesn’t win too often, he’s down to a nice mark and with minimal improvement from his seasonal debut, he will take all the beating.
Selection: Tommy Taylor
This race can be used as a trial for some of the classics particularly the Guineas as it’s run over seven furlongs. Azano looks the pick of the runners this year and holds an entry in the 2000 Guineas. The form of his runner-up finish in the Horris Hill looks great after the weekend and he should win.
I think the others, are playing for the places and it’s the top-weight Arctic Sound that’ll chase him home having won his last two starts last season including a Group 3 on his final start.
Another race used as a classic trial but this time for the Derby with previous horses doing the double including Golden Horn. It’s a Ballydoyle inmate that heads the betting and like a lot of O’Brien runners, Western Australia has had plenty of racing. He’s got the best form in the race having finished third in the Racing Post Trophy but there could be some improvers in the field.
Karl Burke runs Kadar and he couldn’t have a more different profile to the favourite. He’s won his only start at Haydock where he showed a nice turn of foot. the quick underfoot conditions are a slight question mark but he looks exciting.
The final two runners of note are Walkinthesand, who was a smart winner of a novice event at Sandown and Hot Kick who finished fifth in behind Western Australia in the Racing Post Trophy and doesn’t need to improve much to feature.
This looks like a very open race with the favourite Main Edition guaranteed to run well. She won the Albany at Royal Ascot and another Group 3 at Newmarket, but some may improve past her.
Mot Juste improved with each run last season and ended up taking the Oh So Sharp Stakes on her last run of the season. I really like her profile and is the one I’ll side with.
The once-raced Qabala was well-supported when winning a Newmarket maiden over seven furlongs. The well-bred daughter of Scat Daddy could just be anything and well worth keeping an eye on.
Others of note include, Angel’s Hideaway, Orchid Star and Look Around.
Selection: Mot Juste