IF YOU CAN’T BEAT ‘EM………..

IF YOU CAN’T BEAT ‘EM………..
July 21, 2018 Lee Bolingbroke

So goes the old adage and it could well apply to a couple of the featured races on a mixed-code day of tiptop racing.

We’ll begin, dear reader, with the meeting at Newbury and the JLT Cup at 2.25, a handicap over 2 miles, which has a field of 18 headed by the Willie Mullins‘ trained Stratum at 5-2.

That may seem a skinny price in a race as competitive as this one, but Stratum is owned by Tony Bloom, whose horses have already mopped up several big handicaps this year and, after a superb ‘warm up’ third in the Ascot Stakes last month, this 5-y-o should be backed to win today.

Not far behind the selection at Ascot was the Andrew Balding trained Cleonte, denied a clear run at a crucial time and 6lbs better off today, so we suggest an each way bet on this one at 28-1.

The first race at Newbury at 1.50 is the bet365 Stakes, a Listed event over 10 furlongs and here we rely on Charlie Appleby to produce the injury-prone Emotionless in the best of health. This 5-y-o hasn’t won since storming away with the Group 2 Champagne Stakes in 2015, but has only had seven races since, the latest in January when a close second to the mighty Benbatl in a Group 3 at Meydan.

This is a massive class drop and the 11-4 on offer should be snapped up.

The Group 3 bet365 Hackwood Stakes at 3.00 looks a good opportunity for Projection to return to winning ways after its fifth in the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee at the Royal meeting. The available 11-4 is good value.

And now to the jumps at The Rasen.

The 188Bet Summer Handicap Hurdle at 2.05, a Listed event, is headed by the prolific Skelton Brothers, in the shape of Fair Mountain, which is trading at 9-2. This novice, making handicap debut off 134, was described as ‘not tuned up’ when second on stable debut, but the horse that it beat into third has since won its next three and achieved a rating of 130. Fair Mountain easily won its next two, so, nudge, nudge, 134 might be OK, eh?

At a quarter the odds, an each way bet is advised.

The other Listed race on the card is at 3.15, when 15 runners are due to line up for the 188Bet Summer Plate Handicap and Paul Nicholls supplies both  the first and second favourites. However, we much prefer the third stable representative Monsieur Gibraltar, available at 16-1.

This multiple winning Pointer/Hunter Chaser has been used to humping 12 stone + around stiff tracks and will think it’s running loose today with just 10 st 6lbs on it’s back. Lorcan Williams, who rides, has already won 11 races on MG‘s back and this has to be the somewhat sporting selection.

That’s it – now back to the golf.

Summary:

Stratum 2.25 Newbury win @ 5-2
Cleonte 2.25 Newbury e/w @ 28-1 (5 places)
Emotionless 1.50 Newbury win @ 11-4
Projection 3.00 Newbury win @ 11-4
Fair Mountain 2.05 Market Rasen e/w @ 9-2
Monsieur Gibraltar 3.15 Market Rasen e/w @ 16-1 (4 places)

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