Two meetings feature on the box today, with Newbury and Market Rasen providing some competitive action.
Starting in Berkshire, we start with the bet365 Stakes at 1.50, for which Cadillac is the 13-8 jolly.
This 4-y-o was purchased for a whopping half a million smackeroos prior to its run at Royal Ascot, when it finished a 3 length second to Dubai Future. Having already won a Listed race when trained in Ireland, Cadillac has to give 3lbs to the other four runners and may not be able to do that, especially to Grocer Jack.
William Haggas‘s runner trumps Cadillac in the silly money stakes by costing £700,000 after winning a German Group 3 last October and, after a close fifth in Riyadh on stable debut in February ran a commendable 4th in a Chantilly Group 2 last month.
Today represents a big drop in class and, provided the ground is not ultra-quick has every chance of getting back a fraction of that purchase price.
We recommend a bet at 15-8.
Next up is the Highclere Castle Handicap at 2.21, a tight little affair with seven runners.
We think this lies between two improving 4-y-os and suggest a ‘dutch’ jobby by backing both Going Gone at 7-2 and Diamond Bay at 4-1.
The Group 3 Hackwood Stakes at 2.56 possible looks more competitive than it is and we consider Chil Chil to be one of the best bets of the day.
Andrew Balding‘s 6-y-o ran with credit in 3 Group 1s after pouching a Group 3 last June, carries no penalty today and will love the ground. Assuming peak fitness for seasonal debut is reasonable for this yard and, at 14-1 must be backed each way.
Man Of Promise, from Charlie Appleby‘s operation is the other we should be interested in. Two wins in Meydan earlier this year proved this 5-y-os ability and the 5f at Royal Ascot (Group 1) used for its come back run was never going to pay off. Group 3 over 6f today is just the ticket and the 5-1 should be taken.
The valuable Weatherby’s Super Sprint at 3.30 has a field of twenty chasing a pot of almost a hundred grand and appears a good opportunity for Royal Ascot third Maria Branwell to earn some more corn. 9-4 is unexciting but should be taken, as she could well outclass her rivals.
The big danger is likely to be Rogue Spirit, who’s second to Chateau at Beverley at the end of May could hardly have worked out better, with the winner easily taking a Listed race yesterday and the third winning a Group 2 next time out.
At 9-2 and with 5 places on offer, we suggest an each way whack.
Three races are being shown from Market Rasen, starting with the Unibet Handicap Hurdle at 2.06.
Our fancy for this is Apache Creek, which pitches up here after a smooth victory at Warwick at the end of May. 4-1 looks very fair – have a win bet.
The Summer Handicap Hurdle at 2.41 could be at the mercy of the Iish raider Cirque Royal, which makes its handicap debut off a really nice looking mark of 123 after easy wins in two Novice events. Take the 11-4 and add in an each way punt on Alan King‘s runner Caramelised at 13-2.
This 4-y-o is also a handicap debutant and tuned up with an easy win on the Flat last month.
Finally the Summer Plate Handicap Chase at 3.14, won last year by Francky Du Berlais, who goes for a repeat.
We are leaving this to the fragrant Emma Lavelle, who runs two and both should be backed.
Manofthemountain (7-1) and Light N Strike (20-1) are the two beasties.
Goodbye and good luck.
Grocer Jack 1.50 Newbury 3pts win @ 15-8
Going Gone 2.20 Newbury 2pts win @ 7-2
Diamond Bay 2.20 Newbury 2pts win @ 4-1
Man Of Promise 2.56 Newbury 1.5pts e/w @ 5-1 (4 places)
Chil Chil 2.56 Newbury 1.5pts e/w @ 14-1 (bet365/Paddy/Betfair) (4 places)
Maria Branwell 3.30 Newbury 2pts win @ 9-4
Rogue Spirit 3.30 Newbury 1.5pts e/w @ 9-2 (5 places)
Apached Creek 2.06 Marker Rasen 2pts win @ 4-1
Cirque Royal 2.41 Market Rasen 2pts win @ 11-4
Caramelised 2.41 Market Rasen 1pt e/w @ 13-2 (4 places)
Manofthemountain 3.14 Market Rasen 1.5pts e/w @ 7-1 (4 places)
Light N Strike 3.14 Market Rasen 1pt e/w @ 20-1 (4 places)