01:33 - Newmarket Preview & Tips
A high quality race named after one of the all-time greats and yet to be won by anyone other than a tip top trainer in the last ten renewals. Sir Michael Stoute has won it twice as has Richard Hannon (OK “Senior”, but who’s nit-picking) and Saeed Bin Suroor who took it in 2014 with Local Time and 2015 with First Victory. Luckily for us neither of the last pair named have any entries left this year so at least we won’t need to decide between the pair and upset one of them!
Godolphin have instead decided to rely on Charlie Appleby who has decided to rely on Grecian Light (6/1 Each Way) here as opposed to his other early entries. She hasn’t won since her maiden at Newmarket back in July on the other track, but has finished second three times in Group races already including when beaten two lengths by favourite Eziyra in the Group Two Weld Park Stakes at The Curragh last time out. A repeat of that effort should be good enough here she can get over what looked like a nasty habit of finding at least one too good for her recently and can come home in front under jockey William Buick.
Richard Hannon (Junior!) has left Groupie (50/1) in here with Pat Dobbs booked to ride and she will be looking for win number three on her sixth start. So far she hasn’t even competed at anything near to this level, and both her wins have been over shorter as well but if her astute trainer thinks she deserves her place who are we to argue, though if she can finish in the top three we will be pretty surprised on the form she has shown us all so far?
In racing circles even other trainers have been known to refer to Andre Fabre as “God”, and with his big race record over the years and decades you can begin to understand why. He last won this particular race in 2013 with Miss France and look to add to her victory with Double Lady (10/3) this season which will have had plenty of trainers looking at her form with interest. After being mugged close home when blowing up at Clairefontaine she was sent to Maisons-Lafitte to take her maiden which she did with the minimum of fuss by a very easy three lengths from Quindiana though what that form is worth is hard to tell so soon after the race. A daughter of Stormy River she seems well bought at 18,000 Euros at the Arqana Sales and is very much an unknown quantity and it will be interesting at the very least to see how she gets on.
Trainer Andrew Balding and jockey Oisin Murphy make a pretty potent combination and they team up again this afternoon with the lightly raced Poet’s Vanity (7/1) who was fourth on her debut before hacking up by ten lengths to take her maiden at Salisbury. She made most of the running that day and never really looked like being caught over the seven furlongs but the Rowley mile can be a very lonely place to be out in front on your own and eye catching as she was, there is a lot more needed to compete at this level.
Lastly we cannot let a William Haggas runner go unmentioned when he has his string in such good form and Glitter Girl (8/1) has each way chances on her best form. Last time out she finished fourth of eight to Spain Burg in the Group Two Rockfel Stakes over seven furlongs when looking a little one paced inside the final furlong and although she seems sure to run well others may have better claims over this trip.