By Samantha (11/7/18)
Sports fans are blessed to have three days of top-class horse racing action to fill the gap between England’s World Cup Semi Final match and the final of the tournament on Sunday which England will hopefully be taking part in. Coverage can be seen on ITV3 over the three days due to the World Cup, Tour de France and Wimbledon all being in full swing at the same time and racing taking the back foot. Here is your race by race guide to Day One of the Newmarket July Meeting…
Bahrain Trophy Stakes
This is a race for three year olds over one mile five furlongs. Aidan O’Brien has two nice chances to get his weekend off to a good start in the form of Giuseppe Garibaldi and Victory Salute. GIUSEPPE GARIBALDI is one of the more experienced runners and he finished second in a group two at the Curragh last time out with Victory Salute in fourth so has a good chance as he is also the only winner at this trip. Victory Salute has ran three times and won once in a maiden race so this could be difficult for him. Loxley and First Eleven are nicely bred sorts. The former, a New Approach colt out of a group one winning mare, won a novice contest on his first start this year by three lengths but will have to step up to feature in this group three. First Eleven is by Frankel and out of Zenda, who is the dam of Kingman, and broke his maiden in a handicap by five lengths and was quite unlucky not to win in the King George V Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Arqana July Stakes (Group Two)
This race is a Group Two for two year olds and Aidan O’Brien has two in the line up- Van Beethoven, a Group Two winner last time out, and North Wind, a No Nay Never colt who is still a maiden. The race could go to a British-trained runner as Legends Of War and Advertise have good chances after really good runs last time out. LEGENDS OF WAR bolted up on debut by four lengths at Yarmouth in May on his only start. He was bought for 900,000 guineas from the sales being by Scat Daddy and out of an unraced mare. He has a good chance to start paying back some of his massive price in this. Advertise of Martin Meade’s is quite an interesting runner as he won a maiden on debut and then followed that up with a good second at Royal Ascot in the Coventry Stakes which looked particularly competitive this year.
TRIBAL QUEST beat Yafta well on his handicap debut on the Rowley course and has a decent chance of replicating that as it looks as though he will progress from that. Encrypted was beaten four and a half lengths by Yafta and then won a six furlong handicap at York with Savalas in second by a neck. The latter has to carry 7lbs more than him so the chance of them reversing the form is unlikely. Embour is looking for a four timer and he handled the step up to this class well last time out so is definitely and each way player. Helvetian hasn’t been seen since March when he was beaten less than a length when fifth in the Three Year Old All-Weather Championship race. He’ll run from the front and has a good each way claim but this may be on the firm side for him.
Prince of Wales (Group Two)
This is the feature contest of the day and is a Group Two over a mile and a half. Last year it was won by Hawkbill for Godolphin, Charlie Appleby and James Doyle. The trainer is unrepresented this year but Doyle rides one of the outsiders Algometer for David Simcock. Godolphin has Best Solution who is highest rated in the line up and was fifth in a Group One behind Hawkbill last time out and makes British debut for this season. Muntahaa is one of two for John Gosden and ran quite well last time out at Ascot when third in the Wolferton Stakes. Mirage Dancer was favourite last time out for that race but could only manage fifth. BARSANTI has been making good progress up until last time out when he ran a decent race behind Crystal Ocean at Royal Ascot in the Hardwicke. He was second over course and distance in September and is likely to run well in this lower grade affair than then. Raa Attol gets lots of weight from the older horses and ran well in a Group Two at Ascot.
British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Fillies’ Stakes
Seven of the fifteen runners who will go to post have ran at least once. Of them, HANDMAIDEN is the eye catcher as she was two and three quarter lengths back in second behind a filly with Group One entries over course and distance in June. Lover’s Knot could be her biggest danger as she was also second over course and distance on her only start so far with No Way Jose behind. Poetry was only a short head behind a surprise winner last time out and Strict Tempo showed promise last time out. Lady Cossette is a newcomer to note and so is Yourtimeisnow, who is a half sister to four winners.
Edmondson Hall Solicitors Sir Henry Cecil Stakes
The Jersey Stakes could act as a good form line into this race as five of these ran in this- Sybolization was fourth, Walk In The Sun was sixth, Purser was eleventh, Emaraaty was sixteenth and Tangled was nineteenth. They are preferred in that order but Emaraaty should’ve ran better than that. GABR is also from the same ownership and he is the mount of first jockey Jim Crowley. He was a decent fifth in the St James’ Palace and can built on that in this Listed race. White Mocha was my selection for the Dante after coming second in the Craven but he ended up trailed off last in that race. Last time out he was third at Longchamp in a Listed race over one mile two and he will probably run better than that now he is back over his favoured trip so has an each way chance. Masarr (not the Derby winner) is similar and has been running well over one mile two.
Saeed Suhail Saeed Handicap
Duke Of Firenze is getting on a bit but is four pounds lower than his last winning mark and should enjoy conditions. SHAHEEN and Midsummer Knight are the opposite. They are two three year olds on the up. The former won nicely last time out in a lower grade race but has a good chance despite being upped in grade. Midsummer Knight has been hitting the cross bar in recent runs off this mark and has only won on the All-Weather. Arzaak scored at Brighton last time out and may struggle against this company. Leo Minor is a course and distance winner and that win came a fortnight ago. Shamshon won this off 7lbs higher last year and is a big price to do so again.