It was good to see some competitive action at Newmarket on Saturday. Especially after much of the dross served up on the July Course over the summer. Inside today’s main piece you can read my thoughts on the best of the action from Cambridgeshire Day at Newmarket.
The bubble was burst on my Derby ante post selection Flying Honours in the Royal Lodge Stakes. Granted the race turned into 3f sprint which was unsatisfactory and just 1 ¼ length separated the four runners at the line. However, if a horse has Classic pretentions, he would still have managed to find a way to win.
Lezoo Lands Cheveley Park
The first of the two juvenile Group 1 races. Lezoo proved too strong for favourite Mediate to gain a well deserved Group 1 success.
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Lezoo, a likeable filly, had too much pace for the runner-up in the final furlong. Returning from a short summer break she was fresher than Mediate who probably had a hard race in the Moyglare Stakes and needs further than 6f.
The well backed second favourite Trillium who was bidding to follow up here recent Flying Childers success but she refused to settle stepped back up to 6f. Sadly her backers knew their fate very early on.
It will be interesting to see how much improvement Lezoo makes over the winter if any. She won’t be aimed at the 1,000 Guineas that’s for sure and will remain over sprint trips as a 3-year-old. Before that she seems likely to head to Keeneland and the Breeders' Cup juvenile turf sprint.
Blackbeard Plunders Middle Park
Blackbeard is to put it politely quirky and his antics before the start are now well known. That doesn’t seem to stop him winning races though as he added the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes to his Group 1 success in the Prix Morny.
Given the amount of energy he uses up before the start he must have some engine and a great constitution as that was his eighth start of the season.
The big surprise for me was that he was allowed to be sent off 100/30 for the race. I had expected him to be returned favourite at 9/4 or at worst 5/2. The money came in for Gimcrack runner-up Marshman and he was sent off 15/8. As with Trillium in the Cheveley Park his backers knew their fate early in the race as he pulled away any chance he had.
Like Lezoo he seems unlikely to be aimed at Guineas next season with sprinting and the Commonwealth Cup as a target. He’s a best priced 8/1 for the that race which looks fair value if you think he’ll train on a 3-year-old. For me he shapes like a horse who will prove at his very best as a juvenile.
Stablemate The Antarctic was slowly away and ran onto finish a 2-length runner-up. However, he was firmly put in his place by the winner. It was a personal best by the colt and he’s getting better with racing. He might do better than his stablemate as 3-year-old. And given he’s a full brother to Battaash you would think sprinting will be his game. He’s a best priced 25/1 with William Hill for next year’s Commonwealth Cup which makes some appeal.
From Last to First
Ante post favourite Waterville came from last coming into the straight to win the very valuable Irish Cesarewitch at the Curragh yesterday.
It was a cracker of a finish with the winner cutting down Echoes In Rain in the final strides to win by a neck. The winner was being talked about as being a Derby contender at the start of the year and his win here showed he’s Group horse running in a handicap. It was a cool ride from jockey Wayne Lordan who gave his inexperience mount the time find his feet in such a big field. Although I doubt even, he wanted to be that far back. The runner-up didn’t get the clearest of runs coming to 2f out. With a slightly better passage the places could have reversed. You can imagine the pelters Lordan would have got if that had happened.
How did he manage to get through 29 rivals to win from his position?
Well, the winner had over a stone in hand of all his rivals which helps. Plus, horses who travel like he did tend to find the gaps open for them. It’s horses who aren’t travelling so well who tend to find trouble in the run.
Well, it was nice to put up a winner on a very competitive Saturday and even better if you got on at the 10/1 that was available about Wanees with Bet365.
3:23 – Marhaba The Champ looked a very unlucky horse when a length 2nd of 6 at Ripon last time. He was carried markedly left entering straight and ended up racing down the stands rail. He makes his handicap debut off what looks a decent mark enough mark of 84. Soft ground would be an unknown for the 3-year-old but if he handles it, he won’t be far away.
No issues with rain softened ground for Faylaq who’s run well on this last three starts but he is on a losing run that goes back three years. At the current prices he’s probably a shade more value than Marhaba The Champ but I’m going with the potential of the latter. . Once again, our friends at Bet365 are a standout price on the selection.
Marhaba The Champ – 11/2 @ Bet365.
Good luck with your Monday bets.