RACING PREVIEW

AUTHOR: Lewis Williams

STAR RACING PREVIEW: Newmarket Saturday

The National Hunt season is finally over and now the flat begins in earnest with proper turf racing as the first Classics of the season take place over the weekend and City Of Troy faces judgement day, writes LEWIS WILLIAMS.

I’ll be covering four races from across the exciting card at HQ.


1.10 NewmarketWilliam Hill British EBF Ellen Chaloner Stakes (Listed) 6f

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Azure Angel (currently ? ) is an interesting runner in the Listed Kilvington Stakes to kick off proceedings on 2000 Guineas Day. The daughter of Harry Angel caught my eye 3 starts back when absolutely everything that could go wrong did go wrong and she managed to pull it out of the fire despite being slow away and hampered for what seemed like an age to win by a head that should’ve been 5 lengths.

The Varian stable left her for the season after that before she made a reappearance in February and struck going away at 9/1, shaping as if that Chelmsford victory was no fluke. Her Kempton run most recently was yet another messy contest with an instant bump by eventual winner Ferrous from the stall next door that sent her to rear division and on the back foot early doors.

Doyler pulled her outside in the straight and looked as if he was making a challenge at the 1 pole at which point James virtually eased down completely, as if something was amiss and/or looking after her. The winner that day has improved 8lbs since then and although it’ll take a step up to win in Listed company, Azure Angel has every chance to pick up the pieces if the race goes to plan for once and is a great E/W bet.


1.45 NewmarketWilliam Hill Extra Place Races Handicap (Heritage Handicap) 6f

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Top weight Noble Style is a horse I’ve been fascinated by in recent seasons. The son of Kingman was the talk of the town the day he won on debut at 5/4 in a hot Ascot maiden which looked to be one of the strongest of the year with Walkbank, Redemption Time and Royal Scotsman all in behind him on that day in May.

He went on to race unbeaten as a juvenile including overcoming the now 111 rated sprinter Mill Stream in a novice at Newmarket before winning the Gimcrack at the Ebor meeting, ahead of creditable sprinters to this day Marshman and Cold Case.

Being out of a 6f Listed winner rated 97 there were always doubts about his stamina heading into his classic campaign but he was beaten a fair 5 lengths in the Guineas behind Chaldean on seasonal reappearance before a very disappointing 3rd in the Carnarvon Stakes at 5/6 when the bubble burst and the retrieval mission began.

The tailed off effort in the Queensferry at Chester can be excused with a mixture of the ground and track, and a mark of 108, 9lbs lower than his peak heading into the Guineas, could still underestimate this horse based on his peak juvenile form. He’s thrived at Newmarket courses so a return to Suffolk will surely be a bonus, alongside the stable form of Charlie Appleby, who’s boasted 6 winners from 12 runners after a somewhat slow start to the spring.

He was gelded before the Chester blowout and is the class horse in this race and I expect him to have the stamina to see this out nicely, further assuming the ground is decent so prominent tactics from a far side draw of 6 is expected under Buick to prove that this 4yo is still capable of top class form at ? .

Although Abate is sure to go forward under Mia Nicholls, I’m not sure if there’s enough pace on for current jolly Summerghand ( ? ) to famously fly from the back and pick up the pieces.


3.35 NewmarketQipco 2000 Guineas Stakes (Group 1) (British Champions Series) 1m

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The first Classic of the year kicks off in style with the unbeaten City Of Troy leading the market at a current price of ? . The undefeated son of Justify has been the talk of the winter and with discussions thriving around a Travers Stakes / Breeders Cup Classic double versus a British Classic Triple Crown, there are certainly worse problems to have for the Coolmore gurus.

It must be said though that City Of Troy faces his toughest task by far on Saturday. Was the beating of Alyanaabi in the Dewhurst really the best piece of form of offer in this race? That son of Too Darn Hot was well beaten to Rosallion in the Pat Eddery and was done no favours with Boiling Point disappointing at 4/5 at the Craven meeting.

Those questions of form surround a backdrop of relentless confidence around the field in what looks to be one of the hottest Guineas in a while. From Karl Burke claiming he’s never seen a horse work better than Night Raider ( ? ) after winning two races at Southwell, to Richard Hannon lauding Rosallion ( ? ) in the context of Haatem’s Craven win, the odds on jolly don’t tell you the story of how many future Group One winners may come out of this crop. It’s long odds on it’ll be more than Chaldean’s renewal!

At a bigger price, I’m leaning towards Ghostwriter for the Clive Cox team who is currently ? . The unbeaten son of Invincible Spirit was ridden with plenty of confidence by Richard Kingscote when he won the Royal Lodge over a mile. He handled this track well and could be underestimated in the market. Although 3rd placed Capulet hasn’t done the form any benefit, a solid length beating of Al Musmak is respectable who himself was second best to Rosallion in the Pat Eddery, with subsequently Futurity Trophy winner Ancient Wisdom and aforementioned contender Alyanaabi both behind him. You know the course and distance won’t be a problem for Ghostwriter which can’t be said for Rosallion and this Derby entrant will stay all day long and has every chance of hitting the frame.


4.45 NewmarketWilliam Hill Bet In-Running Handicap (Class 2) 6f

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Dapper Valley is a fascinating contender here currently at a current price of ? . The son of Dandy Man ran in a handicap on Craven Day at 20s and travelled supremely well throughout the race in the centre of the track and went heavy favourite in running, but just got caught for toe with Pat Dobbs on board who sat alone and had nothing to race against.

He was beaten just a length that day by the prolific Newmarket winner Woodhay Wonder and I feel there’s plenty more to come. The 3yo showed he trained on perfectly fine that day and handled the dip with no issue. A rise of just 2lbs won’t be enough to stop Dapper Valley who must be taken extremely seriously.

His eye catching juvenile form stretches back to a handicap 3rd at Glorious Goodwood a neck behind Starlust of Ralph Beckett’s who has improved 18lbs since that day. This form goes nicely alongside his debut 2 length win at Newbury, with the 3rd and 4th place now up to a mark of 93 and 82 respectively.


RECOMMENDED BETS
BACK Azure Angel to win the 1.10 at Newmarket 1pt E/W at 7/1 (⭐ ? CLICK TO BET NOW)
BACK Noble Style to win the 1.45 at Newmarket 1pt at 11/2 (⭐ ? CLICK TO BET NOW)
BACK Ghostwriter to win the 3.35 at Newmarket 0.5pts E/W at 16/1 (⭐ ? CLICK TO BET NOW)
BACK Dapper Valley to win the 4.45 at Newmarket 1.5pts at 5/1 (⭐ ? CLICK TO BET NOW)


PROFIT/LOSS (MAY 2024): -8.10 POINTS


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