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bet365 Old Rowley Cup Handicap (Class 2)
Old Rowley Cup tips for Friday’s Class 2 race at Newmarket. The final race of the day at Newmarket on ITV4 is a 1m 4f Handicap for the Old Rowley Cup. Read on for our free betting tips, predictions and analysis.
IN SUMMARY: A very competitive handicap can go the way of FIRST NATION, who has been banging on the door of late and can finally breakthrough today. He was only beaten by a progressive sort last time out and he’ll be happier back up in trip for top connections. Off the same mark as his latest start, he should be very tough to beat under James Doyle with conditions ideal. The dangers are aplenty, with HIGH END perhaps the biggest threat as he wasn’t beaten far when last seen and is highly progressive.
1 HIGH END – Three wins from four starts, narrowly going down in his bid for a four-timer at Yarmouth last time. He’s now five pounds higher but he’s progressive and should be in the thick of things late on under Jim Crowley.
2 HOCHFELD – Won a 1m 6f handicap here in August and was third in a Listed race on his latest start, only headed inside the final furlong. A drop back in trip should suit he’s on a fair mark if judged on that effort, so has to be considered.
3 FIRST NATION – Has been knocking on the door of late for Charlie Appleby, only beaten by a progressive horse at this venue when last seen. He remains on the same mark and will be much happier back up in trip, so should be tough to beat with ideal conditions.
4 CROWNED EAGLE – Made all in a Windsor Handicap in May and he was only a length behind First Nation at this venue last time out. A step up in trip is a question mark as he’s looked a non-stayer beyond 1m 2f, so others do make more appeal.
5 INTREPIDLY – Driven ahead to win at Windsor in July and he had excuses at Kempton when last seen, losing the race in the stalls. He should improve for this step up in trip and he’s unlikely to be far away under Frankie Dettori if relaxing pre-race.
6 ARAB MOON – No stranger to winning, with all his victories coming on the all weather for William Knight. He was closing rapidly at the finish when last seen at Kempton, but he needs to prove he’s as good on the grass. Others make more appeal.
7 MELTING DEW – Second on his last two starts, a neck behind Duke Of Bronte at Ascot when last seen. He rallied well that day and is only up four pounds, but the fact cheekpieces have been taken off is his concern. A repeat of his latest performance will see him go close, though.
8 HERE AND NOW – Quitely progressive, hanging left at York when last seen which ruined his chance on that occasion. He’s up four pounds and has similar conditions, but he can only be given each way claims at most.
9 EYNHALLOW – Unsuited by a tactical affair on his latest start where he was three lengths behind High End, never able to get on terms after being outpaced. A strongly run 1m 4f should suit him and with conditions fine, he has an each way squeak for an in-form trainer.
10 TORCELLO – Three wins from six starts, settling well on the front end when last seen and as a consequence he won readily. He’s now up eight pounds but that win was decisive and he has similar conditions here. He’s unlikely to be far away under Oisin Murphy, especially if given a soft lead.
11 HUMBLE HERO – Won a Class 3 Handicap at Newcastle on his latest start, travelling well but hanging when asked for an effort. Clearly still learning and although this is much tougher, he’s still open to improvement and he stays this trip well. One of the more likely winners.
12 DUKE OF BRONTE – Bravely fended off Melting Dew to win a Heritage Handicap at Ascot on his latest start, raised five pounds as a result. He was perfectly placed that day and although he’s improving, things aren’t likely to go as well as they did last time out. Hard to rule him out but others are preferred.
13 KOEMAN – Modest turf strike-rate, with his latest victory coming on the all weather, which is where his best performances have come by quite some way. This is much tougher than his latest Class 3 victory and plenty more is needed under a penalty.
14 WINSTON C – Stamina was stretched too far on heavy ground when weakening towards the finish at Haydock last time out, now dropped two furlongs in distance. This distance should suit but this current mark doesn’t look generous and others seem far better handicapped for this race.
15 BEAR VALLEY – Hasn’t won since July 2016 and he’s had plenty of chances, with his form taking a sharp downward turn in recent months. He was tailed off at Ascot when last seen and makes no appeal here.
16 MEDALLA DE ORO – Progressive in Class 5 and Class 4 Handicaps for Peter Chapple-Hyam but he struggled at Beverley when last seen, weakening tamely when headed. This is a big ask for a horse whose only won a Class 5 Handicap and he’s best watched.