FOUR races live on Channel 4 this Thursday. Graeme Johnston (@GraemeJ_83) shares his best bets.
14:10 Newmarket | Channel 4
The July meeting at Newmarket gets under way with the Group 3 Bahrain Trophy run over a mile and five furlongs. Only five go to post for this and the market is dominated by the John Gosden trained Mr Singh.
Mr Singh has the best form on offer so far, coming second at Royal Ascot in the Group 2 King Edward Stakes. That was a weak renewal on paper, but if you take the winner out he was three lengths clear of the field. A repeat of that should see him go close, but I can’t back him at odds on.
Future Empire and Tommy Docc bring the Queens Vase form to the table where they finished second and third respectively. Both run here on merit but I wonder if they will be quick enough to compete and I’m happy to take both on in this.
The one I will be backing is the Sir Michael Stoute trained Horseshoe Bay. He has raced three times in his brief career winning a Newmarket maiden last time out by seven lengths. Sent off as 7/4 favourite he was clearly expected to have improved from his previous racecourse experience and he duly did so.
Though the form is questionable, he won it as he liked and the extra distance here is going to eek out more improvement. Granted he will have to improve to win this but I see him as the most interesting runner in the field and I’m willing to take the 3/1 on offer that he can make the step up in grade a winning one.
14:40 Newmarket | Channel 4
The July Stakes is run over six furlongs for two year olds and this looks wide open! All nine runners have won before and a case could be made for them all. Four of these runners bring Royal Ascot form into the race with them and the most notable performance there was Areen who went down by a nose in the Windsor Castle.
The Windsor Castle was possibly ran at the strongest pace of any race at Royal Ascot with the American raider Ruby Notion setting a blinding early pace. Areen showed a good attitude to run on late in the race to almost snatch victory, but I think the way the race was run flattered him slightly and I’m not sure he will confirm form with steady pace.
Eletzam came third in the Coventry Stakes, where was ultimately well beaten behind Buratino. That’s still very strong form but I think others will have improved past him, including Elronaq whom he beat in his maiden, but he looked good winning a course and distance maiden after that and may reverse the form.
The one I like though is the once raced Experto Crede from the Ed Walker yard. A record of one run and one win, he brings the only unbeaten record into the race and I have a feeling he can keep hold of it.
A winner of a course and distance maiden two weeks ago he won in good style. He was well supported pre race so it was obviously expected, and the fact he is put straight in to a Group 2 shows he is well regarded. The maiden he won was well contested with representatives from most of the big yards, and he looks like a fairly decent two year old. The booking of Ryan Moore is also eye catching and I can see him running a massive race here.
15:15 Newmarket | Channel 4
The Prince of Wales Stakes here over one mile four furlongs and it’s a real head scratcher. Second Step and Gospel Choir probably set the standard on form this year, buy I’m taking both on with a horse of enormous potential.
Second Step won on his seasonal return and if you take the form at face value its red hot. He beat Telescope in a photo finish with the Coronation Cup winner Pethers Moon well back in third. Though he is a seriously talented horse in his own right, that race rather fell into his hands and I think he is vulnerable here.
Gospel Choir made a successful comeback from a 13 month absence getting the better of Dubday in a thrilling finish over course and distance, but I worry this race may come too soon. The “bounce” effect is something I believe in, and I feel that he may not be ready to do himself justice after what was a fairly difficult return to duty. That said he may just be a class act who took that race in his stride, but I’m against him here.
Mahsoob was one of the most taking winners during Royal Ascot and he is being spoken of as a King George horse. He won the Wolferton Handicap in the shape of a horse only doing enough and he gave the impression that there is a lot more left to come. The step up in trip is in his favour and I feel he can add to the list of winners of the Wolferton who go on to win at Group level.
14:10 Newmarket – Horseshoe Bay to win (100/30 Paddy Power)
14:40 Newmarket – Experto Crede to win (9/1 Bet365)
15:15 Newmarket – Mahsoob to win (5/2 Skybet)
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