AHEAD OF THE GAME (NOT)

AHEAD OF THE GAME (NOT)
May 14, 2022 Lee Bolingbroke

We hope for better fortune today after three of yesterday’s selections were in the lead 20 yards from the line and all three were beaten by a head.

Newbury and Newmarket provide the televised action and we start in Berkshire, where the Group 1 Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes at 3.20 is the highlight.

The unbeaten (6-6) Baaeed is the hot favourite for the race at 2-5 and is clearly not a betting proposition but racing needs its superstars and we hope to see an impressive performance from Willie‘s 4-y-o.

Action starts with the Listed Carnarvon Stakes at 1.35 and this could be another for Mr Haggas with Tiber Flow.

Campaigned exclusively on the All Weather so far, TF lost his unbeaten record at Newcastle last time out when going down by a short head on Finals Day but can prove equally adept on turf and can go in under Tom Marquand. Let’s have a win bet at 9-4.

The Al Rayyan Stakes at 2.10 has a small but select field of six and the 4-y-o Foxes Tales is our selection.

Andrew Balding‘s colt pouched a Group 3 at Haydock last season before a close second on this track and produced an excellent performance at Sandown in April when second to the potentially mighty Mostahdal. That run should have put him spot on for today and he rates a bet at 3-1.

Newbury coverage is completed by the London Gold Cup Handicap at 2.45, in which it is hard to look past the credentials of Israr from the Gosden camp.

Making his handicap debut last month, Israr ran a bit of a stormer despite hating the Newmarket undulations and did exceptionally well to finish third.

The flatter track this afternoon should suit perfectly and, off the same mark, this promising sort rates a fair bet at 100-30.

The other potential improver in this race is Wineglass Bay, trained by James Ferguson, which looked in need of a step up in trip when a close third at Goodwood at the end of last month. Gets exactly that today and we suggest an each way bet at 8-1.

Over to HQ, where the first race is the Listed Fairway Stakes at 1.50. This looks a two horse race between Groundbreaker and Zain Sarinda and, at the prices, we favour the latter at 5-2.

The TRU7 Handicap at 2.25 is a competitive sprint, but the market leader Haymaker looks well worth a bet at 5-2. Up 6lbs for its latest win but down 7lbs owing to the booking of Harry (next big thing) Davies, there seems no reason to oppose, so we won’t.

However, there is a potential improver in here in the shape of Ernie’s Valentine, which should put up a much better performance today after an adequate tune up. Have a bit each way at 15-2.

Finally the Birketts LLP Handicap at 3.00 over seven furlongs.

Two against the field in this – Wizard D’Amour at 7-2 and the rather unexposed Natural Path at 12-1.

And tomorrow? At last, a day off.

Summary:

Tiber Flow 1.35 Newbury 3pts win @ 9-4

Foxes Tales 2.10 Newbury 2pts win @ 3-1

Israr 2.45 Newbury 2pts win @ 100-30

Wineglass Bay 2.45 Newbury 1pt e/w @ 8-1 (4 places)

Zain Sarinda 1.50 Newmarket 2pts win @ 5-2

Haymaker 2.25 Newmarket 3pts win @ 5-2

Ernie’s Valentine 2.25 Newmarket 1pt e/w @ 15-2 (4 places Hills/Skybet)

Wizard D’Amour 3.00 Newmarket 2pts win @ 7-2

Natural Path 3.00 Newmarket 1pt e/w @ 12-1 (4 places)

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