NEWMARKET SPRINT IS ONE FOR THE BOYS: Daqman notes that Balty Boys has targeted the big sprint today and he hears bullish words about Redact from Richard Hannon. The Nell Gwyn could contain Classic clues.
3.00 Newmarket (Tattersalls Millions Sprint): We have three edges here. If they add up to one horse (at a price!), we have a bet. I’m talking about pace, class and trainerform.
Balty Boys (from the 12 draw) and Jacob Cats (14) are the known front-runners, so the pace seems to be with the high stalls.
Balty Boys, Samitar and Swiss Spirit are the class horses, having all three raced at Group level, Samitar in fact having attacked Balty Boys’ lead over today’s very CD in August and beaten him three lengths, with Jacob Cats left trailing 11 lengths.
Current trainers in form: Mick Channon (Samitar), Mark Johnston (Switzerland best of his?), Richard Hannon (Jacob Cats?) and Jermey Noseda (Valbchek).
And the front four in the market? Come on, surprise me: yes, Samitar, Valbchek, Balty Boys and Swiss Spirit.
Balty Boys (colt) and Samitar (filly) are nearly a stone ahead of the rest on official ratings. Valbchek and Muarrab (seems ‘big’ at 15.5) are unexposed but last year’s inaugural winner of this race had run seven times.
The significant trainer’s comment this morning must be that of Charles Hills (the yard was beaten in a photo-finish for this last year), who says that this is a target for Balty Boys not a prep and, taking a colt to beat a filly (his old rival Samitar) at this time of year, his 6.6 on BETDAQ this morning looks backable.
3.35 Newmarket (Free Handicap): Richard Hannon has won this twice in seven years off 100 and 101; his Strategic Prince colt, Redact, second in the Mill Reef Stakes, is officially on 109 yet the 106-rated winner Red Jazz had the same weight in 2010.
So Redact (4.6 on BETDAQ as I write) must surely go close. The Hannon stable is bullish, saying that he’s been working really well.
B Fifty Two was a promising second to Dabirsim in a Group 3 at Deauville last July but couldn’t cope with Group 1 and Group 2 after.
Sir Michael Stoute’s Acomb Stakes third, Zumbi, could be an improver, though the handful of Stoute runners on turf so far this season haven’t managed to get within six lengths of the winner.
Telwaar was the only other runner for serious money this morning but his stable has a patchy CV and, until it strikes some form, is best left alone.
4.10 Newmarket (Nell Gwyn Stakes): John Gosden has won this twice in the decade with lightly-raced fillies, one of them with one run, one win, like Starscope.
Mick Channon also likes the race (two wins in eight seasons) but has scored with fillies having four or five races under their belt, like Lady Gorgeous and Nayarra are here, not with a once-raced, like Muaamara. Such are the different training methods.
However, Starscope has two black marks unless the rains come: she’s a daughter of Selkirk (needs it soft) and she’s wearing a hood (anathema to breeders looking on at a Classic animal).
The pace appears to be from the low side: from Excelette and What’s Up. The betting? It’s absolutely wide open on BETDAQ, with the front four listed a point apart but at 6.0 the field and not one of them installed below six.
The key stats here are that 8 of the last 10 winners had run in Group races or won a Listed. None had raced more than six times; 9 out of 10 had raced three-to-six times.
These stats suggest that Essentepe, Excelette, Lily’s Angel, Pimpernel and Nayarra were too exposed as two-year-olds, and that the maiden wins of Muaamara and Starscope need improving on in this company.
Russelliana stepped up on her maiden win to run second in the Cherry Hinton and her odds-on flop in the Princess Margaret Stakes suggests that the race came too soon or she didn’t like the soft ground; or both. She was put away after.
Regal Realm was a close second in that Princess Margaret, and she had Nayarra and Lily’s Angel (last) behind her when she won a Group-3 at Goodwood.
But Regal Realm was down the field in the May Hill and then the Rockfel, in which Pimpernel was second; fifth was Sunday Times, who had earlier had Lady Gorgeous well behind her twice.
Godolphin have two massive shouts, with Pimpernel fit from Meydan for a Frankie Dettori leap from the saddle, and the Street Cry filly Minidress ‘could be anything’ for a Mickael Barzalona ‘stand-and-deliver’ finish.
I’m mindful of the massive success of the US sire, Street Cry – best known for super racemare Zenyatta (19 wins in a row) – and the amazing ability of Sir Michael Stoute with fillies, and how his Classic horses always stand out on form even when his yard is in the doldrums.
So it is that, from their near-perfect draws in five and six, I’m taking Russelliana (6.6 on BETDAQ as I write) and Minidress (12.5).
4.45 Newmarket (Feilden Stakes): Mark Johnston has nothing running in the Nell Gwyn but, even worse, the Middleham Moor yard blanks this Feilden Stakes, which it has won four times in six years.
The omens are not good for their three-year-olds, if all they can raise in the class contests today is Bannock (3.35), who was last of 14 in the Cammidge Trophy on the last day of March.
You would expect Derby entries Jungle Beat, Pembrey and Perennial to have their say in this, but be warned not to take anything out of the race with the Classics in mind: no winner of this in the last decade has managed to score at Group-1 level, except two who raced in Germany and America.
6.05 Kempton (Win With Betdaq Multiples Median Auction Maiden Fillies’ Stakes): As I expected, Distant Love has stepped over the paper favourites and leads the market on BETDAQ. It’s a poor race on known form and Andrew Balding’s animals usually improve for the run, as she should do, and, as a Halling she isn also entitled to make general improvement in her second season.
6.35 Kempton (Back or Lay At betdaq.com Classified Claiming Stakes): There were only five runners in this last year but it was run hell-for-leather; and the half-dozen here will be towed by Dark Ages and Miss Purity Pinker.
Russian Bullet drops to this level from handicaps, placed six from eight with three wins to his name, including one over today’s course.
7.05 Kempton (Betdaq Mobile Apps Handicap): The usual guesswork in a biggish-field three-year-old handicap, with Larwood likely to do better now gelded and Auntie Mabel the alternative.
Auntie Mabel is missing from the ‘Handicap debut’ list in the Racing Post but stablemate Amphora (9.05) is there. Interesting that Andrew Balding sneaks them both in off bottomweight.
7.35 Kempton (Betdaq Casino Games Handicap): My first race of the day that doesn’t contain enigmatic three-year-olds. Old Hundred is a stand-out as the only class-2 winner and a horse who wins when fresh: 6.2 on BETDAQ.
BET 3.5pts win BALTY BOYS (3.00 Newmarket)
BET 5.5pts win (nap) REDACT (3.35 Newmarket)
WIN-30 JACKPOT: BET 5.3pts win RUSSELLIANA and 2.6pts win MINIDRESS (4.10 Newmarket)
BET 10pts win DISTANT LOVE (6.05 Kempton)
BET 5.4pts win RUSSIAN BULLET (6.35 Kempton)
BET 3.8pts win OLD HUNDRED (7.35 Kempton)
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