The race before the Channel 4 coverage begins on Saturday afternoon is a Group 3 for juveniles over 7f at Newbury. Read on for our experts’ betting tips and horse-by-horse race preview.
IN SUMMARY: This looks a fascinating race with a case to be made for a number of them. Silver Line is the form pick on both his Royal Ascot and July Stakes runs but recent runs have been a little disappointing. Sultan Baybars is another for those looking for a spot of value, a winner of his sole start, he is bred to be useful. Rodaini and EXECUTIVE FORCE head the market and while the former is respected in a bid to get his career back on track he is unproven on ground this slow so Willie Haggas’s Sepoy colt gets the nod to show further improvement back at the Berkshire venue where he won his first race.
1 City Of Joy – As with so many from Sir Michael Stoute, this son of Elusive City has shown improvement every time he has raced. He followed up a decent runner up effort over C&D behind Frankel’s son Swiss Storm with a victory on his third career start at Redcar. A mark of 84 would suggest he has plenty on his plate to figure here but the fact connections opt for a Group 3 rather than a nursery is interesting.
2 Colibri – NON RUNNER
3 Eaton Square – A winner on debut before not getting a gap until it was too late on his second start at Sandown. He wore headgear at Sandown as he does again here which suggests he is not entirely straightforward. The winner of the Sandown race hasn’t done much for the form since but a move for the John Gosden yard would be interesting.
4 Executive Force – Went in plenty of notebooks when an impressive winner over 6f at Newbury on debut. The 2nd and 7th have both won since to give the form a couple of boosts and he was a dominant winner. Sent to Ireland for a Listed race at Dundalk, he was only second best but the 3rd, 4th and 5th were rated 98, 94 and 87, finishing in the ‘right order’ and it looks solid form. He held a Dewhurst entry and given his win on soft on debut these conditions will hold no fears.
5 Gold Award – Seen just the once so far, when needing every inch of Goodwood’s 6f to get his head in front, this extra furlong should be very much to his liking. It is a quick turnaround from that debut, just 13 days on and the bare level of form needs a fair jolt of improving on to get involved here.
6 King’s Gift – Fairly bolted up on handicap debut at Redcar, for all that was only a 0-75 but he acquitted himself respectfully upped massively in class to a Group 2 last time. The step down in trip and return to slower ground should help but he will need more again.
7 Law And Order – The step back to the distance over which he was a respectable 5th at this level at Newmarket two runs ago looks the right move having failed to stay a mile last time. This demands more however and this will be the slowest ground that he has run on.
8 Lost At Sea – A fluent debut winner over 6f on good to soft ground at Doncaster, he was undone by more of a speed test over that trip at York last time. This extra furlong looks sure to suit but the current form of the yard is a concern.
9 Musawaat – The winner of his only career start, a 6f contest at Newbury on soft ground. He saw that out well suggesting that a step up in trip could suit but his pedigree wouldn’t back up that opinion and trainer Charlie Hills said afterwards the plan had been to stick to 6f.
10 Pleaseletmewin – One of the more exposed in here but he has had a very solid opening campaign with a pair of wins at Wolverhampton and Newmarket. He should run his usual sound race but is likely to find a couple improving past him.
11 Rodaini – Unbeaten through his first four career starts, connections saw that run come to an abrupt end stepped up into Group 3 company last time. It would be harsh to judge him poorly on that run however as he missed the break and stumbled badly into the dip at Newmarket and he looks a likely contender on his earlier efforts.
12 Sea Fox – This will be his 9th start of a busy juvenile campaign for trainer David Evans. He has run consistently well but the majority of his form has come when presented with a stiffer test of stamina so the suitability of this is doubtful.
13 Silver Line – Looked like being a smart recruit at midsummer after a runner up effort at Royal Ascot and a 4th in the Group 2 July Stakes at Newmarket. Hasn’t come close to matching those runs in a pair of starts since so it is hard to know what to expect but certainly has the talent to make an each way impression at a working mans price.
14 Sultan Baybars – Well backed when making a winning debut at Kempton, it is no surprise to see a hood tried by connections stepped up in trip as he was rather keen on that occasion. A half brother to a Group 1 winner, he looked as if he would be suited by a little bit of cut on the turf given a pronounced knee action and a market check could be informative.
15 The Grape Escape – Looked a little babyish when making a winning debut over a mile at Sandown in September, he looks well worth a try at this level although the step down in trip is an imponderable. He travelled strongly that day so the trip may not be an inconvenience but the form of those in behind subsequently could have worked out better.