Climax of the Newmarket Cambridgeshire meeting takes place this afternoon, with the eponymous race at 3.40 and three corking Group races preceding it. The demise of the meeting at Haydock, which is under six feet of water means we can concentrate on the action at HQ, which kicks off with the Group 2 Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes at 1.50.
Seven runners stand their ground for this and the market is headed by Andrew Balding‘s runner Kameko at 11-10.
Just touched off in a Group 3 at Sandown 4 weeks ago, there is little wrong with this twice raced colt, but, at the prices, we consider Highland Chief to be a better bet.
Also with just the two runs on his CV, Paul Cole‘s charge won over 5f first time out and then ran third behind the mighty Pinatubo and Lope Y Fernandez at Royal Ascot. Being by Gleneagles out of a Monjeu mare, it’s almost a given that today’s trip of a mile should eke out more improvement and we recommend an each way bet at 4-1.
The Juddmonte Cheveley Park Stakes at 2.25 has Raffle Prize installed as the even money favourite and there is very little getting away from this one in terms of form. Having snaffled a couple of Group 2s, Braveheart‘s young lady crossed swords with Earthlight in the Group 1 Prix Mornay last time out and went down fighting by a neck, form that stands out in this field. We suggest biting the bullet and having a good bash at the price.
One filly that just could outrun her fancy odds is the Ger Lyons trained Nurse Barbara, so we also suggest a modest each way at 25-1.
At 3.00 the most competitive Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes in years takes place with Mums Tipple and French raider, the aforementioned Earthlight vying for favouritism at 5-2.
Mums Tipple caused a minor sensation last time out by winning a valuable sales race by no less than 11 lengths, but, impressive though that was, the horse in second has been well thrashed since and the third has a rating of just 83. Group 1 races are a different cauldron of tuna and we pin our hopes on the unbeaten Earthlight, the mount of Mickael Real Madrid (sorry, that should be Barzalona).
Andre Fabre sends few horses over here, but they usually mean business when they arrive and Earthlight can, hopefully, follow Raffles Prize into the winners enclosure to stamp the Prix Mornay as the dogs.
The bet365 Cambridgeshire Handicap at 3.40 is dominated in the betting by the 3-y-os, which age group has the first five in the market. The one we like the best is Good Birthday, trained by Andrew Balding and the mount of sauce man Hoisin Murphy.
Fresh from winning a valuable event at Beverley and just 3lbs higher, GB is housed in a potentially advantageous Trap 32 and at 10-1 has to be a decent each way punt.
We will throw in two more at artisan prices, those being Beringer at 20-1 and Little Jo at 28-1 to complete our mini portfolio for the cavalry charge.
Get ready to light the candles.
Highland Chief 1.50 Newmarket 2pts e/w @ 4-1 (2 places)
Raffle Prize 2.25 Newmarket 8pts win @ evens
Nurse Barbara 2.25 Newmarket 0.5pts e/w @ 25-1
Earthlight 3.00 Newmarket 4pts win @ 5-2
Good Birthday 3.40 Newmarket 1.5pts e/w @ 10-1 (8 places)
Beringer 3.40 Newmarket 1pt e/w @ 20-1 (8 places)
Little Jo 3.40 Newmarket 1pt e/w @ 28-1 (8 places)