2.45pm Newmarket Tips & Betting Preview 19/08/2017

A field of eleven go to post for the second race of the day at Newbury on Saturday, see our betting tips and the full race preview below.

IN SUMMARY: Merlin continues to improve with every run and has to be feared, but preference is for DAKOTA GOLD for Michael Dods and Connor Beasley. He has been running well this season, last seen winning at York in July and he’s only been raised six pounds for that comfortable success. A return to six furlongs should suit as he won at that distance as a two year old, so it should spark further improvement that can see him away and clear here.

1 EQTIRAAN – Richard Hannon inmate who won his penultimate start at Salisbury in Listed company before a very creditable effort off top weight in a difficult race here over course and distance in July. He was a close fifth and he remains on the same mark, so he couldn’t be ruled out for each way places under Dane O’Neill with a similar display, but he looks vulnerable off this weight for win purposes.

2 BACCHUS – Has run well the last twice over course and distance for Brian Meehan, finishing a close third on his latest start ahead of Eqtiraan. The handicapper has raised him a pound for that neck defeat but more crucially his cheekpieces have been removed, which gives him a lot to prove as they seemed paramount to him. Adam Kirby takes the ride but it looks best to go elsewhere on this occasion.

3 ULTIMATE AVENUE – Improved markedly on handicap debut for Ed Walker in a competitive event over course and distance on his latest start, only half a length behind Tommy Taylor after being blocked at a crucial stage. A turnaround with that rival looks almost certain with him only being raised three pounds and he looks a key player with conditions also to suit. Pat Cosgrave takes the ride and he looks set to go close.

4 TOMMY TAYLOR – Career best here on his penultimate start at Newmarket in July, finishing second and only headed in the final strides. Raised five pounds, he was badly hampered over course and distance on his latest start, so that run is best ignored as he had no chance after being squeezed up. Tom Eaves takes the ride and he looks an each way player with conditions to his liking.

5 VICTORY ANGEL – Useful sort for Roger Varian who returned to form on his latest start to win a Yarmouth handicap by two lengths, pushed out to win comfortably. That was a weaker race than this and he’s gone up nine pounds in the weights. From his overall record, it’s hard to get excited about his follow up prospects and he looks set to play a minor role under Harry Bentley.

6 DANIELSFLYER – 25/1 winner on the other track back in May but he’s still five pounds higher than that mark and has been poor in similar handicaps over course and distance. He never looked likely to be involved before being hampered in the race where Bacchus was third and he’s only two pounds lower here under Ben Curtis. David Barron is bang in form at present, but it’s best to look elsewhere.

7 MERLIN – Has only finished outside the top two on one of his starts and that was his debut run, winning three of his last four runs. He made all for a very easy victory at Haydock on his latest start and although this is a big jump in grade, he is progressing rapidly and is probably up to this level despite a nine pound rise. Sean Levey takes the ride and with conditions fine, he has to be feared.

8 DAKOTA GOLD – Has won two of his last three runs this season for Michael Dods, last seen at York where he kept on strongly to win going away. He has been raised six pounds as a result, but this step up in trip looks certain to suit as he won at the six furlong distance as a two year old. Connor Beasley takes the ride for the in form Dods yard and with conditions to suit, he should take all the beating as he continues to improve.

9 SILENT ECHO – Arrived at York looking for the hat-trick on his latest start, but he was very disappointing and well beaten in sixth. He now drops back to the six furlong trip for the first time since debut and has the hood fitted, which should help him settle. That said, he isn’t sure to appreciate this drop back in trip and he needs more upped in grade under Kieran Shoemark, who claims three. Possible each way claims if bouncing back.

10 POET’S SOCIETY – Course winner in June off a one pound lower mark, but he’s failed to build on that since and he’s been well beaten on three occasions. He was soon outpaced after holding every chance at Goodwood earlier this month and he’s hard to fancy in his current form.

11 FARLEIGH MAC – Four pounds out of the weights for Andrew Balding and he was disappointing as a strong odds on favorite at Bath on his latest start. This is a much tougher race than that, going up two classes and he faces a very stiff task here under Jimmy Quinn. Others preferred.

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