Final day of the Newmarket Cambridgeshire meeting today, with the race itself taking place at 3.35 and neither Jona Lewie or Mr Churchill will be able to Stop The Cavalry charging home down the straight nine furlong course.
With no less than 35 runners due to take part, we have put together a mini-portfolio to crack it and the obvious starting point is the favourite Thundering Blue.
This 4-y-o has done nothing except improve since David Menuisier’s yard was restored to full health and has shown a devastating turn of foot to win its last three races, saving the best ‘til last when storming away with a hot Sandown event, leaving a subsequent Listed race winner in its wake. A six pound higher mark looks far from insuperable, so we start with an each way bet on the flying grey at a very backable 7-1.
We also recommend an each way punt on Henry Spiller’s ex-French trained Leader Writer at 20-1. This 5-y-o entire took a while to acclimatise since crossing La Manche, but has shown impressive improvement since ‘the pieces’ went on two runs ago. A very easy winner under Fran Berry at Ascot last time and only 4lbs higher today, this could be one for the smaller yards.
We complete our set with a modest each way bet on Roger Charlton’s Central Square at a juicy 33-1. Usually plying its trade at Group level, its best handicap performance came over course and distance at the start of this season and looks well in on its unlucky 9th in the John Smith’s Cup at York in July.
Make sure you place your bets with William Hill or Skybet, as these two are paying eight (yes, eight) places on this race.
There are two Group 1 races preceding the ‘main’ event, both for 2-y-os, one for the girls and one for the boys.
The girly race, the Juddmonte Cheveley Park Stakes at 2.20 has, predictably, the Aiden O’brien trained Clemmie as favourite at 13-8, but lack of a recent run and the softish conditions mean we must oppose.
The unbeaten Threading, trained by Braveheart, looks to have the best form, having won the Group 2 Lowther Stakes at York on only her second run and under similar ground conditions, a win bet at 3-1 is suggested.
The danger, if any, would be the French raider Different League, who could be just that, having put up a sterling performance against the boys in the Group 1 Prix Morny last time out and, at 5-1 could be a safe e/w ‘hedge’ at 5-1.
The Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes at 2.55 is about as competitive a contest as you could get, but before he goes over fences, we recommend an each way bet on Gordon Elliott’s star Beckford. Available at 11-2, this son of Bated Breath was cantering all over his field in the Group 1 National Stakes 3 weeks ago, only patently to fail to stay the seventh furlong. Back to six today, he is the value bet.
After you gave (hopefully) collected your winnings from the above, tune in to Market Rasen, who are staging a Listed hurdle and a Listed chase at 3.55 & 4.30 respectively.
The 188bet Prelude Handicap Hurdle at 3.55 has 15 runners and is 4-1 the field, but we like the chances of two in this at double figure odds. Caid Du Lin is trained by Dr Richard Newland, who has a habit of farming the big races on this course and he may well do so again with this ex-French jobbie. The 5-y-o tuned up for this with a close second at Stratford at the beginning of this month and will be a lot sharper today. At 12-1 we recommend an each way bet.
A potential improver in the field is the 6-y-o Land League, trained by the under-rated Stuart Edmunds. This horse would have run away with a Fontwell handicap in April but for coming down at the second last but made amends in its next race this month when pouching a Bangor novice hurdle by an easy 9 lengths. A mark of 122 may not be beyond capabilities and at 12-1 it should not be missed.
The 188bet Prelude Handicap Chase at 4.30 looks an even more open affair at 5-1 the field of 13, but we think this is at the mercy of Guitar Pete. Very unexposed as a chaser and with a 12lb lower mark over the larger obstacles to play with, this ex-Grade 1 winning hurdler should be backed each way with confidence at 7-1.
I’ve finished now.
Thundering Blue 3.35 Newmarket e/w @ 7-1
Leader Writer 3.35 Newmarket e/w @ 20-1
Central Square 3.35 Newmarket e/w @ 33-1
Threading 2.20 Newmarket win @ 3-1
Different League 2.20 Newmarket e/w @ 5-1
Beckford 2.55 Newmarket e/w @ 11-2
Caid Du Lin 3.55 Market Rasen e/w @ 12-1
Land League 3.55 Market Rasen e/w @ 12-1
Guitar Pete 4.30 Market Rasen e/w @ 7-1