8.30pm Newmarket Tips & Betting Preview 18/05/2017

IN SUMMARY: A slight football team for the last race of the day with Newmarket, and 10 runners look set to contest over the Rowley Mile. OCEAN AIR is the least exposed of today’s runners and the handicapper has been kind to him having only raised him 6lbs following his latest success. He can follow that up here and make it three from three today. Fire Brigade should improve for his seasonal reappearance whilst Fleeting Motion should also improve off what looks to be a reasonable handicap mark.

1 MARZOUQ – The only horse in the field with course and distance experience, Jeremy Noseda’s colt posted a clear career best here last time out when chasing home Tricorn. The handicapper has raised him nine pounds for that effort but David Egan is booked to remove seven of that and Marzouq has been progressing with each of his starts to date. Still lightly raced, today’s slower ground may suit him better but he is vulnerable following the handicapper’s reassessment.

2 FLEETING MOTION – Richard Hannon’s filly left behind an average debut to win a Maiden at Doncaster on her second start. That was a competitive Class 5 in similar conditions to today. Fourth on seasonal reappearance, she tired in the final furlong and her mark of 85 looks fair with improvement still to come.

3 STERLING SILVA – Two wins from four starts to date have come on very different ground (Heavy and Good to Firm), but this represents a substantial step up in trip from six furlongs. He had promised to make a nice two year old but was unseen after June, and was never involved 20 days ago when next seen, finishing 10th of 11. Dropped two pounds, the lengthy break is a worry and he is best watched in the market for signs of connection’s expectations.

4 TRADING PUNCHES – Left behind three poor initial efforts to win a 15 runner maiden at Chepstow by 5 lengths at 25/1, but then followed that up with a 23 length defeat just 12 days later. His handicap mark is based off that win and, with a 235 day break to also contend with, he is best watched until showing he can repeat that feat.

5 RASHFORD’S DOUBLE – The second of the two football themed names, he has won three times already, including twice over this trip on the All Weather at Newcastle. Seven starts make him more exposed than some, and he was disappointing when well backed at Musselburgh last month. First time cheekpieces are now reached for and he should improve for the run but the handicapper looks to have caught up.

6 OCEAN AIR – Victorious on both career starts to date over seven furlongs, he looks an exciting prospect for trainer James Tate. He still looked green last time out and a six pound rise underestimates his ease in winning. His sire Rio De La Plata was a Group 1 winner at this trip and the extra furlong should see further improvement too. Big chance today with more to come and the ground should be fine.

7 WARRIOR’S SPIRIT – Just three starts to date, with his only win coming second time out on Good to Soft. He finished down the field 27 days ago when making his first start as a three year old but he never really settled and was unfancied in the market in Class 2 company. Back to Class 4 here, he can improve for that run, and the combination of softer ground and the extra furlong should both see him in better light with his trainer apparently expecting better things.

8 NATIVE SOLDIER – A winner on the All Weather on his second attempt, he was well beaten last time out after a winter break at Chelmsford. This will be his first time on the turf so the ground is an unknown, but the fact he has looked uninterested on two of this three starts now is a worry and headgear in the near future wouldn’t be a surprise.

9 DOCTOR BARTOLO – One win from five starts belays the fact Charlie Hills’ gelding has been running consistently, although he hasn’t progressed much since his debut over seven furlongs here in September. A weak effort last time out can be forgiven as it was on Bath’s unusual Firm going over 11.5 furlongs, but whether this drop back in trip will suit remains to be seen with his only win so far coming over 1m 2f and an apparent lack of speed an issue on his two attempts at seven furlongs.

10 FIRE BRIGADE – Trainer Michael Bell has had just 2 winners from his last 80 runners at York, but Fire Brigade comes here in fine form, having progressed rapidly on his last three starts since being gelded. Now off a mark of 73, he looked in need of a step up in trip on his seasonal reappearance 23 days ago over seven furlongs under a classic Jamie Spencer ride. He should improve for that run and holds chances here off bottom weight.

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