NEWMARKET – FRIDAY:
1.50 (Listed Rosemary Stakes): William Haggas is the only represented trainer to have saddled two winners of this race, with the trainer having offered the green light to Beshayyir. William’s raider represents the three-year-old vintage which has claimed four of the last six renewals, whilst Haggas has saddled six corresponding winners at the Friday fixture of this meeting in as many years. Only John Gosden (Laugh Aloud) can beat that figure with nine gold medallists during the study period. We still await the first successful favourite of this race to emerge, though six of the seven winners were returned in single figures which is a good ratio, given the nature of this competitive opening event.
2.25 (Group 3 Princess Royal Nayef Stakes): It is somewhat surprising to find that John Gosden has declared just two runners on the card on a day which he has dominated in recent years. That said, just three runners represented the yard on the corresponding day twelve months ago, though did not stop John from saddling a 9/1 winner! John saddles Highgarden at around the 12/1 mark in a bid to win the race for the third time in four years. Star Rock appears to be the potential joker in the pack as far as John and his team is concerned this time around. Favourites of one description of or another have won five of the last seven contests, whilst ten of the winners during the last eleven years scored at a top price of 7/1.
3.00 (Group 2 Rockfel Stakes): Lucida (2014) is the only favourite to have won this event during the last eleven years but even then, supporters of Jim Bolger’s filly subsequently had their fingers burned as the Shamardal filly failed to add another victory via eight further assignments. That said, six of the last eight winners of this race have scored at a top price of 6/1. The prices for this year’s market leaders (around 3/1 give or take) look about right given that last year’s beaten favourite ran off an official mark of 110 when returned as the 2/1 market leader. The relevant pair at the head of the betting at the time of writing run off 107 this time around. I’m taking two ‘outsiders’ against the fancied runners in Dutch Treat (9/1 with Betfair/Paddy Power) and Dandhu (16/1 with Ladbrokes) from a value for money perspective.
3.35 (Group 2 Joel Stakes): Ten contests during the last eleven years have been won by horses returned at 15/2 or less, statistics which include five successful favourites of one description or another. I’m a little surprised that Boylesports still go 3/1 about Regal Reality as I had expected Sir Michael Stoute’s Intello colt to have been returned at around 9/4. There is still time for ‘chalks to be erased’ of course…
4.10 (Class 4 seven furlong juvenile maiden event): As reported last year: A May 21 foaling date is pushing the parameters of the rules almost to boiling point, and such a late birthday might be the reason that Coat Of Arms remains a maiden following five assignments to date. Well exposed in comparison to his rivals as reported at the time, the even money favourite was turned over twelve months ago. Godolphin boast a strong hand with Velorum (Charlie Appleby) and Estihdaaf (Saeed Bin Suroor) having been declared on this occasion, though the 6/1 general quote of 6/1 about Ouzo swayed me away from the blue colours in the dead of night.
4.45 (Listed Godolphin Stakes): The last eleven renewals have been won by horses starting at a top price of 5/1, statistics which include four successful market leaders. I opted for the 13/8 winner Frontiersman last year but this year’s contest looks too tough to call, despite only five declarations having been made.
5.20 (Class 2 ‘Silver Cambridgeshire’): You hold a distinct advantage over yours truly, given that you will have watched races/conditions unfold by the time that this cavalry change is contested. A real pointer could emerge for Saturday’s Cambridgeshire if horses dominate on either side of the track from a draw perspective. Without such knowledge at the time of writing, I will have to adhere to the following stats and react accordingly. Three-year-olds have won six of the eight renewals to date whilst surprisingly, every winner scored at a top price of 14/1. That said, four gold medallists were returned in double figures, whilst two market leaders have prevailed alongside a joint favourite. If pushed for a nomination, I would opt for three-year-old Escape The City over other each way types such as Cote D’Azur and Jazeel. The winning stalls thus far: 12-18-1-11-15-25-1-2, listed backwards (12 last year).