Always one of the real mid-summer racing highlights, Newmarket’s excellent July Meeting moves into its second day this coming Friday. It’s hard to see past the favourite in the days big Group 1 of the Falmouth Stakes, but likely to start odds on, Alpha Centauri tips herself really. There does potentially look to be a decent bit of value around elsewhere on the card though, and here we pick out our three best bets.
1:50 bet365 Handicap (Silver Bunbury Cup)
A really competitive 7f handicap to kick off the days action with a race for those who didn’t quite make the cut for Saturday’s Bunbury Cup. There are a few who make plenty of appeal in what looks an ideal race for an each way punt, including the consistent Portledge and David O’Meara’s Hajjam.
The one we like best though is The Feathered Nest from the yard of Richard Fahey. Nothing really went right for him last time out at York when stuck away from where the main action unfolded, and we are happy enough to ignore that run. It is his sole previous outing at this track which really catches the eye though. That came at the back end of June last year and saw him reel in his rivals inside the final furlong to hit the front right on the line. Only 4lbs higher here and with the extra furlong expected to be firmly in his favour, he can go close.
Tip: The Feathered Nest each way
4:45 Gordon’s Handicap
The stayers take to the stage in out penultimate race with the weights unsurprisingly being headed by a stamina packed individual from the yard of Mark Johnston. A six-length winner of his only previous run over this course and distance, Hochfeld undoubtedly possesses the ability to take a hand on what will be his first outing since a gelding operation. He has however been off the track for 273 days now, and may just struggle to give a weight and a beating to another in this field who looks to have the potential to prove a class apart.
Alan King has plenty of previous when it comes to campaigning a talented performer under both codes – with Who Dares Wins being just one who springs immediately to mind – and the most interesting runner in this line-up is easily King’s Champion Hurdle fifth, Elgin. Having reached the lofty rating of 161 over hurdles, he brings a perfect one from one flat record into this, and there must be a chance that an opening flat handicap mark of 98 may prove on the lenient side.
Tip: Elgin To Win
5:20 Saeed Suhail Saeed Handicap
As we reach the finale on day two its time to take our Vitamin’s. Specifically, the Richard Hannon trained daughter of Camelot named Vitamin. Following a promising juvenile campaign which culminated in a two-length beating of the highly regarded Soliloquy, this one was pitched straight into the 1000 Guineas on her first start at three. That proved to be all too much for her, whilst she appeared to hate the all-weather surface at Chelmsford on her next start. She bounced right back to form over this course and distance last time out though, doing really well to quicken up past her rivals, in spite of the fact that the slow pace ought to have suited the frontrunners. That took her record to two wins and a half-length third from three starts over this track and trip, and whilst she is 5lbs higher here, we suspect we may not have seen the best of her just yet.
Tip: Vitamin to win at SP