7.25pm Newmarket Tips & Betting Preview 18/08/2017

A field of nine will go to post for the penultimate race of the evening at Newmarket on Friday. See our betting tips and the full race preview below.

IN SUMMARY: After another near miss on his latest start at Yarmouth, BARTHOLOMEW J looks ready to take his third career victory for Lydia Pearce. He has, in fact, finished second on two occasions since his latest win at Yarmouth in May, keeping on strongly despite a wide passage on his latest start. Simon Pearce takes three pounds off his back and, with condiitons to suit, he should be tough to stop. Bombero tops the list of dangers but he probably needs rain, so Time To Sea could snatch second instead.

1 ESTRELLA ERIA – Completed a four-timer when comfortably winning at Chelmsford in April but she’s failed to back that up the last twice after ruining her chance in the early stages. She once again pulled too hard early on when only fourth at Chelmsford when last seen and a return to turf isn’t likely to be in her favor as she’s best on the synthetics. Josh Bryan takes off five, but it’s not hard to look elsewhere.

2 HARD TOFFEE – Won at Goodwood off a three pound higher mark back in August 2016 but he’s largely struggled for form since then, with his best effort to date coming here over course and distance on his latest start. He was still well beaten in fifth on that occasion, but he ran well for a reasonable way and the handicapper has relieved him a further two pounds. That said, he’s hard to win with and the percentage call would suggest that he’s vulnerable for win purposes.

3 DUCHY – Four-year-old filly who showed some promise in three maidens but has returned from a 15 month break this season in no sort of form. He was well beaten both here and at Sandown most recently, finding little for pressure when asked for an effort. He continues to slip down the handicap, but he’s best avoided until he shows some worthwhile form for Michael Bell.

4 SEVEN CLANS – Returned from an eight month break on his latest start to finish third at Yarmouth, despite not getting the clearest of runs. He is only a pound higher here and is entitled to have come on for the run, with Jamie Spencer taking over the ride looking very interesting. Neil Mulholland has hit a flat spot, but this five-year-old looks sure to be on the premises and has to be considered.

5 STEPNEY – Won a maiden at Wolverhampton in April, but that was a very weak event and her two handicap runs so far have been nothing more than average. She was well beaten in third at Wolverhampton four days ago and this step back in trip doesn’t look likely to suit based on her previous runs. Tom Marquand takes the ride on her turf debut and she’s best watched on this occasion.

6 BARTHOLOMEW J – Won four starts ago at Yarmouth for Lydia Pearce and he’s run well on both his 1m 2f starts since then, finishing second on both occasions. He was last seen back at Yarmouth where he kept on well to finish second and he’s only up two pounds, so it would be no surprise to see him improving on that run here. Simon Pearce takes off a value three pounds and he looks a strong candidate today.

7 TIME TO SEA – Lightly raced three-year-old who was hampered on his first attempt of this distance at Yarmouth in June. He was last seen at Leicester where he came home strongly over the mile distance to finish third. The fact that he hung when asked for an effort is of concern, but he looks likely to stay this distance well and Silvestre De Sousa is up, adding further intrigue. Possible each way contender for John Butler as he’ll also handle to conditions.

8 BOMBERO – Had shown some promise in four runs for Ed de Giles before springing into life at Nottingham ten days ago, relishing the heavy ground to storm clear by six lengths. He has a six pound penalty to overcome here in different conditions, but a repeat of that performance would see him going very close under Callum Shepherd who claims three pounds. Has to be respected with both jockey and trainer going well.

9 LONDON MASTER – Managed to force a dead heat at Wolverhampton over the 1m 1f distance back in April and his stamina is perhaps to blame for two poor efforts at the 1m 4f distance since. He now goes back to a distance where his stamina is assured and better can be expected off only three pounds higher than his last winning mark. Sebastian Woods claims seven pounds which furthers his claim and he’s another to be considered.

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