Good morning all,
First day of Newmarket's three-day July meeting and the good news is there's four races on the old terrestrial TV as well. I've previewed them on the main piece.
1.50 Bahrain Trophy
Hard to put anyone off Eagles By Day if they fancy him here, given he has a progressive profile, good recent form (namely a solid third to Japan in the King Edward VII) and looks like an extra furlong wouldn’t go amiss. It might have been on the soft side at Ascot but he hosed up on quicker ground earlier in the season at Salisbury and I don’t think it will be a bother.
I’d like to see Ranch Hand take another step forward as he’s a horse I like a lot and I can see him turning up in the St Leger if he runs well here. A gorgeous looking individual, I’ve been lucky enough to see him at Southwell a couple of times and then he ran perfectly respectably in the Lingfield Derby Trial at Lingfield, just not able to muster speed at the right time before plugging on. Soft ground at Doncaster might well be his thing and with that in mind, I’d like to see him go well today, although I fear the ground may be a little quick for him.
2.25 July Stakes
Visinari was mightily impressive here on debut, beating one I rate a lot in Ottoman Court, but there’s a few too many of these Johnston horses that record a massive figure first time up and then fail to reproduce it second run. With that in mind, Guildsman might be the one to beat after his rock-solid third to Arizona in the Coventry (which is the best form in the race anyway) and it’s hard not to see him running well.
At Pontefract a couple of weeks ago, I was told that Hurstwood was Tim Easterby’s best 2yo this year, info which I promptly ignored, only to watch him win as the outsider of three at rewarding odds. Well done me. That was another step forward for him this year, and although he’ll need another big one to get involved here, I won’t be quite as dismissive this time…
3.00 6f Handicap
Too soon to give up on Dazzling Dan, who has impressed me with his attitude and to be honest, he did at York, despite the fact he seemed not to be happy from halfway. He stuck to the task to finish a respectable sixth and now he’s back on what should be a more suitable track, it would be no surprise if he were to bounce back.
Philipine Cobra hosed up at York two starts back (admittedly on softer ground, although he’ll handle this quicker ground fine) and then found the drop to 5f against him here last time. Back up to 6f today, I’d expect to see him front rank throughout and he may well lead the low numbers. He’d be my saver.
3.35 Princess Of Wales
The more I try and visualise this race in my mind, the more I see De Sousa riding them to sleep on the front on Communique and if he can refind the form that saw him beat Defoe and Coronet when taking the Jockey Club Stakes, then the 16-1 that’s kicking around this evening is going to look a very big price indeed (update – that’s gone, 14s best now, still an acceptable price.) He couldn’t lead at Ascot and I think he sulked a little, so I’m happy to scrub that effort off, and it wouldn’t be the first time he’s bounced back from a bad run to win. Yes, he’s got to give 3lb away and it looks a hard task, but at worst there should be a decent back-to-lay out of this for you in-running boys, and I could see him going all the way.
Today's selection – Communique 3.35 Newmarket
Good luck with all your bets today,