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Newmarket’s Craven Meeting

Hi all,

Inside today’s main piece I’m looking at the start of Newmarket’s Craven Meeting which starts today.

Tuesday is normally tracker day but I don’t have any for the flat so I will leave the future winner's segment until next week.

Before I get stuck into Newmarket’s Craven Meeting. I quick mention of something that appeared in my inbox on Monday morning. The chances are some of you will have already seen it. However, for those that haven’t it’s worth a download.

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Matt Bisogno & Dave Renham have produced a comprehensive guide to the 20 of the top draw biases in UK and Irish flat racing.

No spoilers from me but I found the flip flop of the draw over Sandown’s 5f fascinating. It will be interesting to see if Andrew Cooper (CoC) has done anything to change things again in 2024.

Newmarket’s Craven Meeting

Forget Doncaster and the Lincoln Handicap; for many punters, the Craven Meeting is the real start of the flat season. The Craven Meeting, running from Tuesday to Thursday, provides the first opportunity to see some of the contenders for the upcoming Classics in action, with the Craven Stakes and the Nell Gwyn Stakes serving as proven trial races for both the Guineas in May

It seems ages since the Lincoln Handicap but now it’s time for the real racing to begin. If you haven’t got your flat head on yet you should have by the end of the week. That said there’s still plenty of life left in the jumps season. We have a two-day fixture at Cheltenham midweek and the Scottish Grand National at Ayr on Saturday.

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It’s a low-key start to the meeting with the better races including the Classic Trials being held on Wednesday & Thursday. That said I’m eager to get stuck into the flat now. Of course, I will still have some NH bets between now and the end of the season. There are just too many good races, starting at Ayr on Saturday, to ignore but it’s essentially the flat for me now.

ITV Racing aren’t covering the first day of the Craven Meeting, but they have a double header on Wednesday & Thursday with the best of the action from Newmarket and Cheltenham.

Anyway here’s a few stats for the Craven Meeting.

Charlie Appleby & William Buick

William Buick has a 35%-win strike rate at the meeting when combining with Charlie Appleby since 2015.  

You could back the Buick/Appleby combination blind this week and likely be head over the three days. However, you can tighten up those excellent stats further by focusing when the pair combine on favourites.

A 55%-win strike rate is some going and shows Charlie Appleby normally has runners ready to win at flat racing’s headquarters in April.

So, if the money is down latch onto the William Buick & Charlie Appleby combination. And, it looks like they will have a fair number of runners over the three days.


The Craven Meeting commences with an eight-race card featuring robust fields, particularly in the five handicaps.

I’ve had a look at three of the handicaps.

1:50 – The Big Board ended last season in poor form but won three times up until the end of July including first time up so could easily bounce back on her return to action. Dream Composer won this race last year and is now 6lb below his last winning mark. Likely needed his seasonal return at Doncaster 23 days ago and should be spot on fitness wise. Shalaa Asker might be better on the all-weather and over 6f, but the booking of Silvestre De Sousa takes the eye. He should be all the better for his seasonal return at Kempton 15 days ago.

2:55 – Bopedro won this race 12 months ago from 3lb lower and finished 3rd of 34 in the Cambridgeshire here in September. Two low key efforts on the all-weather so far in 2024 but he’s better on turf and the top weight looks set to go close at a track he goes well at.

4:40 – Double Jump ended last season with a win at Doncaster nursery handicap in September. He starts the season off 4lb higher but he's capable of better as a 3-year-old. He has been gelded in the off season and should be in the mix if not dependent on soft ground.  Only in Jakarata was progressive on three juvenile starts finishing runner-up at Thirsk twice. Got off the mark when making all in a Newcastle novice 85 days ago. He needs another step forward on handicap debut, from a 2lb higher mark, but it's possible he can, and he should be in the right place at a track that usually favours prominent racer.

Tuesday Selection:


2:55 – Bopedro – 17/2 @ Coral & Ladbrokes.

Good luck with your Tuesday bets.


1 thought on “Newmarket’s Craven Meeting”

  1. Oh John
    not another push for the download from Matt Bisogno…….join at least 6 others who sent out the same push for really an article that says but doesn’t have a clear, direct opinion about the draw. 20 or 23 comments but a lot of them only suggest follow the front runner so no it’s a waste of effort, just like a lot of fluff they publish…..plenty of numbers but very little definite opinion

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