Day 2 of the Newmarket Craven meeting and, although the eponymous event doesn’t take place until tomorrow, there are plenty of things to get our gnashers into this afternoon.
Centrepiece of today’s action is the Lawnwades Stud Nell Gwyn Stakes at 3.35, a Group 3 race over 7 furlongs of the Rowley mile.
Favourite in all books is the once raced Pamplemousse, trained in France by Andre Fabre. This Syouni filly made her racecourse debut just 15 days ago when running away with a donkey race on the All Weather track at Chantilly and there is no doubt that this horse is favourite only because of the trainer’s reputation and record with Newmarket runners. Additionally, although her name sounds attractive in her native language, you wouldn’t back any horse called ‘Grapefruit’ in a Classic Trial – well you wouldn’t, would you?
This brings us smoothly to the second favourite, the William Haggas trained Sea Of Grace. Trained as a two-year-old by John Oxx in Oireland, Grace ended her season with a Group 3 success at the Curragh, beating a useful and consistent yardstick in the process.
The news and vibes are all positives from the yard and if the filly is to justify her entry in the 1000 Guineas, then she must win today. With the French jobbie making the market, we can have a semi-serious e/w punt on Sea Of Grace at 4-1 (10Bet).
The other Group 3 race on the card is at 3.00, when the bet365 Earl of Sefton Stakes takes place over 9 furlongs and the worthy favourite is the Charlie Appleby trained Folkswood at 11-4 (bet365).
This 4-y-o has been plying his trade in Dubai of late and comes here fully fit and with a close 2nd in a Group 1 to his name just six weeks ago. Nothing in this field has the form to match that and, with the stable being unlucky not to land a treble here yesterday, look no further for a decent win bet.
Preceding this race is the bet365 European Free Handicap at 2.25, which was a ‘dead eight’ race but is now a ‘dead seven’ after an early defection. Notwithstanding (but probably with sitting) our recommendation is an e/w wager on Simon Crisford’s Rodaini at a juicy(ish) 11-2 (Winner Sports). This Exchange Rate boasts a verdict over yesterday’s unlucky loser Salsabeel at this trip last September and was thought worthy of a trip to the Breeders’ Cup in November. Running off a mark of 106 this afternoon, there may be plenty more to come from this likeable type and he represents the value in the race.