Newmarket Craven Meeting Preview – Wednesday

The ITV racing team are bringing us a nice mixture of action on Wednesday with four races from Newmarket and a Grade 2 from Cheltenham. This should satisfy both lat and jump racing enthusiasts. The opening day’s action was very exciting with Qabala looking impressive in the Nell Gwyn to provide trainer Roger Varian with a nice double.

We have taken a look at the key races tomorrow both at Newmarket and Cheltenham, with the exception of the maiden at Newmarket which sees all twelve starters including hot-favourite UAE Jewel make their racecourse debuts and looks like a lottery.


Newmarket Handicap

Breath Of Air looks like the standout horse in this 6f furlong contest for Charlie Hills and Ryan Moore/ The thrice raced son of Bated Breath beat Guineas fancy Mohaather on his second start at Newbury and came up just short in a listed event on his final start. All of this makes him undoubtedly the horse to beat.

The others look to be running for the places with the Mark Johnston trained Chapelli looking most likely to follow him home. He’s already had the benefit of a run this season when finishing a close second and must run well.

Another interesting runner is Top Breeze who is 2-3 thus far in his career/ This is going to be his first start on turf and he’s a very interesting contender.

Selection: Breath Of Air

Abernant Stakes


This is a nightmare race for bookies with the dead eight runners and a hot-favourite in the form of the classy Brando. Kevin Tyan’s star had a somewhat luckless campaign last season after winning this very race on seasonal debut. In fairness, his last five starts were at Group 1 level and if he runs to form he should win this.

Dreamfield was one of the talking horses last season and was the subject of a monster gamble in the Wokingham at Royal ascot, where he came up just short. He ran ok in the July Cup but was then very poor on his final start in a listed event. He’ll need to put those runs behind but that very doable.

I think Equilateral is the each-way play in the race with Ryan Moore in the plate. He ran well in a listed race on seasonal debut and has still got potential to improve.

Selection: Equilateral – E/W

Craven Stakes

Royal Marine

Royal Marine was a Group 1 winner as a juvenile in France last season but was very poor on the dirt in Meydan. I think a line can be ut through that run and he’ll go close.

Another leading Godolphin contender is Zakouski who won his only career start thus far. It’s hard to know how good he really is but must have a strong chance.

Skardu is another that comes into this on the back of one run/one win, which came in a Newmarket maiden over seven furlongs. He has lots of potential and in a somewhat open contest, he may improve enough to feature.

Others of note include the unbeaten Set Piece and Watan.

Selection: Zakouski


Silver Trophy Chase

Rene’s Girl

This race is run over 2m 4f on the new course and sees one of this season’s most likeable horses; Mister Whitaker turn out again. Mick Channon’s charge has got excellent course form having won at the festival two season’s ago. However, he was a big flop in the Ultima when last seen and the addition of cheekpieces need to have the desired effect.

Rene’s Girl looked to have a Grade 1 at her mercy last season only for the ill-fated Finnian’s Oscar to chin her in the final strides at Aintree. Dan Skelton’s mare ran well on seasonal debut at Carlisle behind Mister Whitaker where she lost all chance at the last. She has only been seen twice since this run and looks to have been laid out for this race.

Nicky runs Wenyerreadyfreddie who is pretty lightly-raced and looked very progressive early in the season until proving very disappointing at Newbury in December. He was given a break since then and although he’ll run well, I don’t see him winning.

Selection: Rene’s Girl


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