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Newmarket ITV Racing

Hi all,

In today’s main piece I’m taking a look at the two Group races on Day 2 of the Craven Meeting.

In Wednesday’s column I normally preview Saturday’s big race. But there’s so much good action at Newmarket this afternoon I can leave it alone.

Sorry jumps fans but real horse racing is firmly back from its winter quarters. Given all the rain we’ve had it was hard to believe that the ground was as quick as it was.  To be fair it probably highlights just how much they water flat tracks these days that going was the way it was.

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Despite the return of the flat there’s two good days of racing over jumps at Cheltenham this afternoon. It’s got decent prize money and what seem to be good sized and competitive line-ups.

To be fair, for a midweek today’s action wouldn’t be out of place on a Saturday and betting wise I have treated it as such.

ITV Racing cover four races from Newmarket and two from Cheltenham on a six-race programme on ITV4.

I won’t be covering the Cheltenham card here. However. I do have some selections for that meeting which can be found here.

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It might have been a quiet enough start to the Craven Meeting on Tuesday. That all changes today we have the first of the Guineas Trials the Lanwades Stud Nell Gwyn Stakes (3:35).

2:25 – bet365 Feilden Stakes (Listed Race) (Class 1) – 1m 1f

A potentially informative 3-year-old race with challengers from Ireland and France given the contest an international feel.

Aidan O’Brien brings over Gasper De Lemos who improved to finish 2nd of 4 in a Group 3 on his final start of last season.  I doubt he’ll prove to be one of the better of the O’Brien 3-year-olds, but he might not need to be to win. Will like a sound surface this season and should be in the mix on his optimum ground.

Andre Fabre won this race in 2013 with Intello and he brings over Narkez. The son of Siyouni ended last season with a win and returned to action with success at Saint-Cloud 22 days ago. Both his wins have come on heavy ground but provided it isn’t too quick he should be fine with underfoot conditions.

I mentioned yesterday the Charlie Appleby & William Buick record at the Craven Meeting, and they combine here with El Cordobes. The son of Frankel left his racecourse debut run left well behind when winning at Kempton in January. No reason why he won’t be effective on turf and is a colt open to improvement provided he settles.

Roger Varian saddled the winner of this in 2022 and he runs Immortal Knight. Immortal Knight overcame greenness to win a Kempton novice (1m) on his racecourse debut in December. He doesn’t hold any fancy entries but he’s open to further progress as a 3-year-old and should go well.

3:00 – bet365 Earl Of Sefton Stakes (Group 3) – 1m 1f

We have ten runners for the first of today’s Group races and that’s three more runners than we have seen for the last two years. It looks like a deep renewal too.

Ottoman Fleet won last year’s race and is race fit after three starts in Meydan. Probably doesn’t quite come into this year’s contest in the same form as 12 months ago but has good claims for the Buick/Appleby combination.

Royal Rhyme progressed through handicap company to win an Ayr Listed race last September as a 3-year-old. He found Group 1 company to hot on his final start in the Champion Stakes at Ascot. He could be capable of better as a 4-year-old provided there’s a enough juice in the ground.

Embesto progressed nicely on his five starts as a 3-year-old last season winning a Group 3 at Salisbury last summer. I think he needs a sound surface but when he gets it, I think he’ll win races this season.

Hi Royal was a surprise 125/1 runner-up in last season’s 2,000 Guineas and also ran well when third in the Irish version. Ran poorly on three subsequent start last season and returns with a question or two to answer.  However, he’s had wind surgery since last season and could bounce back.

3:35 – Lanwades Stud Nell Gwyn Stakes (Group 3) – 7f

The first of this season’s Classic Trials is for the 3-year-old fillies is the concluding race on ITV Racing.

Dance Sequence improved to win a Group 3 here in October on just her second career start. She’s a class filly in the making and is just 5/1 for the 1,000 Guineas. A worthy favourite but she is likely to be odds on and faces some interesting rivals. I think if you fancy her for this take the 5/1 about her for the 1,000 Guineas.

Matrika was touched off when runner-up in the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot but went one place better in a Group 2 at the Curragh just 8 days later. She’s another potentially high class 3-year-old filly in the making if she’s trained on and will test the favourite if she has done.

I’m attracted to several of the Roger Varian runners on the card and I’m interested in True Cyan. True Cyanlooked a nice prospect when winning a maiden over C&D in September. The daughter of No Nay Never looks set for a good season if she’s trained on. Has a 1,000 Guineas entry and could go well given she clearly seems to handle the track. One to note going forward that’s for sure.

Newmarket Selection:

2:25 – Immortal Knight – 9/1 Gen.

Good luck with your Wednesday bets.


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