On to Day Two of the July Festival at Newmarket and, despite a slow start, we managed to hit 11/1 and 9/2 winners on Thursday to leave us well ahead after the first day of play.
We’ll quickly move onto selections for Friday, where we have the first Group One of the week and although it perhaps doesn’t look like the strongest for the top level, it is competitive.
1:50 Bet365 Handicap (Class 2) 7f
Parfait is currently the shortish priced favourite for this and you can kind of see why judged on his fourth in the Jersey at Royal Ascot and an impressive victory over course and distance prior to that, however at 5/2 in a competitive handicap he isn’t one I could back unless there was a drift to a bigger price. With that in mind it might be worth taking a chance on the top-weight MAKZEEM who won well over course and distance last time, has a style that suits the track and could still be progressive under a penalty. At the general 9/1 available he looks like the value bet.
2:25 Duchess of Cambridge Stakes (Group 2) 6f
This race doesn’t look to have a great deal of depth to me and although Nyaleti, who was second to the impressive September at Royal Ascot, will be a threat, I can’t see this going any other way than CLEMMIE. A sister to Churchill, it has taken a little time for the penny to drop fully but she won last time which was her third start and I expect her to make quick progression now.
3:00 Bet365 Handicap (Class 2) 1m2f
This isn’t a race I’m that enamoured with and it seems to be giving me more questions than answers. Titi Makfi has to be seriously considered having won four on the bounce but I’m leaning towards DAAWY for the in-form William Haggas. He won convincingly on his second start before losing at odds-on last time out, however, that was on soft ground and the return to a sounder surface could see improvement off a mark that doesn’t seem harsh.
3:35 Falmouth Stakes (Group 1) 1m
It doesn’t look to be the strongest of Group One’s, with no real standout performers, but it does look competitive and there is a chance there could be one in the line-up who could go onto better things. On her two year old form there was great hope for Wuheida but her season has been interrupted by injury and although she could be top class, I think it’s best to keep a watching brief for now. Roly Poly was a good second to Winter at Royal Ascot and could bag another Group One for Aiden O’Brien but I’m going with SEA OF GRACE here. She showed a good level of form for John Oxx last season and there was high hopes for her this season; after a disappointing debut she finished a good second in the French Guineas on ground that would’ve been softer than ideal. A return to better ground and some progression expected on just her third start of the season can see her secure victory.
4:10 Nursery Handicap (Class 2) 7f
This isn’t a race I have a great amount to say about. It looks a fairly open affair and I don’t think any of these will be going on to conquer the world, but I’m going to take a chance with RED ROMAN who didn’t show a great deal at Royal Ascot last time but is the highest rated on RPRs and previously won well on the Rowley course.
4:45 Maiden Stakes (Class 4) 7f
Only three of the eleven in the line-up have prior experience and although there could be some quality lurking in among the debutants, BEING THERE looks a safe bet for Charlie Appleby who has such an impressive strike rate with his two year olds. Second on debut, although to an unfancied 80/1 shot, the form of that looks solid enough with the third having won since.
5:20 Maiden Stakes (Class 4) 7f
Division two of the maiden has a similar feel to it as the first serving with Charlie Appleby fielding one who finished second on debut. Tribal Quest would be the obvious one having finished second to Invincible Army, who was fourth in the Arqana on Thursday, with the look of that performance suggesting a step-up in trip would suit. But searching for a bit of value the other Appleby horse FALCON EYE might be the one to side with. He’s well-bred and a half-brother to Outstrip who won The Breeder’s Cup Juvenile Turf, so take a chance on him being a precocious type and beating his shorter priced stablemate.
5:50 Chelsea Waterfront Handicap (Class 3) 1m
Finishing Touch is likely to go off a short priced favourite and you can easily see why, however, at the prices I’ll take a chance on PRIVATE MISSION. He won his first start of the season before defeat in a decent handicap when fairly well supported in the betting. I have a feeling the ground may have been a little too quick for him that day, so off a break, down in grade and on a return to more suitable going he should be good enough to hit the frame.
1:50 MAKZEEM @ 9/1 (Bet365, Coral)
2:25 CLEMMIE @ 2/1 (Bet365, Betfair)
3:00 DAAWY @ 11/2 (Stan James)
3:35 SEA OF GRACE @ 3/1 (Stan James)
4:10 RED ROMAN @ 7/1 (Bet365, SkyBet, Ladbrokes, Coral, Paddy Power, Betfair)
4:45 BEING THERE @ 7/4 (SkyBet, BetVictor, Paddy Power, Coral, Betfair)
5:20 FALCON EYE @ 7/1 (Betfred)
5:50 PRIVATE MISSION @ 5/1 (Bet365, William Hill, BetVictor)