We draw from the nickname of the US Investment Bank Merrill Lynch for our headline today, which refers to the centrepiece of the action from Newmarket, the bet365 Cambridgeshire Handicap at 3.40.
An original field of 34 has been whittled down to a mere 27 after a raft of going related non-runners, which has reduced our attack to just two darts.
First of these is the apparent ‘handicap blot’ Chichester, which comes here after a 6+ length demolition job at Ayr nine days ago. Penalised just 3lbs for that impressive win, Keith Dalgleish‘s 4-y-o is 9lbs ‘well in’ compared with its future mark and should be backed each way at 15-2.
Our second selection is the Irish raider Fastnet Crown, another 4-y-o, which finished an eye-catching 3rd of 27 in the Irish equivalent at the end of last month and looks to be well suited by today’s extra furlong. At 40-1, we must have an each way tickle.
Televised action from HQ starts with three Group races, all for 2-y-os, which prompts a slight health warning. The trend this season has been for the apparent ‘best’ horse to get completely stuffed in this type of race, with some results being incomprehensible, so we will take it easy on the points front.
First up is the Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes at 1.50, which, on paper, looks a match between Masekela and Coroebus which head the market.
Good though Masekela‘s form is, we feel the greater potential for improvement lies with the Charlie Appleby trained Coroebus, which looks impressive on winning debut on the July course last month.
Factor in the stable strength and the fact that Native Trail, which beat Masekela, resides in the yard, we suggest a win bet at 9-4.
At 2.25 comes the Group 1 Juddmonte Cheveley Park Stakes, which features the unbeaten Sacred Bridge, trained by Ger Lyons.
This daughter of Bated Breath could hardly have been more impressive when quickening away to take a Curragh Group 3 last time out and, although it’s impossible to equate that performance with the English runners, she looks well worth a bet at 2-1.
We are also going to recommend a small each way bet on the consistent, but luckless, Desert Dreamer, who would have gone very close last time out but for a slipping saddle. Mr Murphy keeps the faith and she is overpriced at 14-1.
Last of the Group races is the Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes at 3.00 and we are forced to go for the favourite in this, after Perfect Power‘s victory in the Group 1 Prix Morny, on ground softer than ideal. No problems on that score, so a win bet at 5-2 is recommended.
We also suggest an each way punt on PP‘s old rival Assymetric, with the score between them being 1-1. At 8-1, he can go close.
Two races on telly from Haddock, commencing with the Betway Handicap at 2.05. Just six runners in this and our fancy is Cruyff Turn at an over priced 4-1.
Tim Easterby‘s 4-y-o has already won three times this season and may well have made it four with any luck in running last time out. Will probably be ridden more prominently today and looks a cracking each way bet at the price.
Finally the 2.40, which is another Betway sponsored handicap, this time over the minimum trip.
At the ripe old age of 7, Copper Knight is having one of its best seasons and, with everything in its favour today in terms of ground and trip, we hope it can go close this afternoon under young Ella. At 9-2, we’ll squeeze an each way.
Eso es todo, gente!
Chichester 3.40 Newmarket 1.5pts e/w @ 15-2 (7 places)
Fastnet Crown 3.40 Newmarket 1pt e/w @ 40-1 (7 places)
Coroebus 1.50 Newmarket 2pts win @ 9-4
Sacred Bridge 2.25 Newmarket 2pts win @ 2-1
Desert Dreamer 2.25 Newmarket 0.50pts e/w @ 14-1 (4 places)
Perfect Power 3.00 Newmarket 2pts win @ 5-2
Assymetric 3.00 Newmarket 1pt e/w @ 8-1
Cruyff Turn 2.05 Haydock 1.5pts e/w @ 4-1 (2 places)
Copper Knight 2.40 Haydock 1.5pts e/w @ 9-2 (4 places Hills/Skybet)