Charlie McCann assesses Friday’s cards including day 1 of Newmarket’s Future Champions meeting
The ITV cameras are at Newmarket today where the feature race is the Group 1 Fillies’ Mile. Aidan O’Brien saddles three including Happily (6/4 favourite at BetVictor) who was last seen beating the colts’ in the Grand Criterium at Chantilly on Arc day. That race was less than two weeks ago, however, and I thought the filly had a hard race on ground softer than ideal in Paris and she is readily overlooked.
This is the first time September (3.35) will have raced on decent ground since winning the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot and I think she represents good each way value at 6/1 with BetVictor. The selection may not have the scope of stablemates Magical and Happily but she missed Chantilly and the return to good ground could be the key.
The stands’ rail looked the place to be on the Rowley Mile in their last meeting and I am concerned about the draw for Gavota (2.25) out in stall two. The selection (3/1 at BetVictor) looked an unlucky loser when third in the Rockfel Stakes over C&D last month, when she didn’t have the clearest of runs, and may not have handled the dip as well as others.
I am convinced she is the best horse in the field and if there is a Guineas winner on show this afternoon, it is possible that it will come out of the Rockfel and not the Fillies’ Mile. If Gavota handles the dip she must go close, the concern is she may be stuck out in the centre of the track while the action unfolds on the stands’ rail.
No such worries about the draw with Limato (3.00) who I hope can bounce back to his best in the Gp 2 Challenge Stakes for Henry Candy. The selection may have found the ground too soft at Goodwood last time, but he is a genuine group 1 animal and he should find underfoot conditions much more to his liking this afternoon. The 9/4 earlier in the week has gone and the selection is 13/8 with BetVictor to return to winning ways.
The Old Rowley Cup is the big betting race of the day and my two against the field are Humble Hero and Winston C (4.10) with marginal preference for the latter. The selection appeared a non-stayer over an extra quarter-mile on heavy ground at Haydock last time but has bits of form, which suggest he might reward each way support at 16/1 with BetVictor.
Humble Hero (8/1 at BetVictor) was a cosy winner at Newcastle last time and a 5lbs rise is fair. Trained by William Haggas the gelding looks an out-and-out galloper rather than having a telling turn of foot and he should be helped by the fact that he is drawn next to favourite BetVictor’s 6/1 market leader Torcello who likes to make his own running.
At York, there is a £100,000 handicap over the Ebor C&D and Gold Star (3.55) will have to be Group class to win from a lofty mark of 101 but this Nathanial colt oozed class at Wolverhampton last time and might be a Cup horse next season for Godolphin. David Egan keeps the ride, stall three looks ideal and at 9/2 with BetVictor I will be disappointed if he doesn’t run a big race.
There is a top class jumps card from Newton Abbott and I many will give the frustrating Bramble Brook another chance to get his head in front having attracted support at Stratford last time. It will be interesting to see if connections try to recoup losses stepped up in trip, but Doitforjoe (4.55) landed a touch when stepped up in trip at Plumpton last time, and is taken to follow up with Noel Fehily keeping the ride.
At Kempton Sula Island (9.15) makes her handicap debut for Alan King and must go close given she remains open to considerable improvement on what will be just her fourth career start. The selection is well drawn on the inside and the hope is that Pastoral Music makes it a decent test, which should enable the filly to settle and make her challenge late.
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