I am in a bit of dilemma when it comes to the– 16:40 at Newmarket – as I am perfectly happy with my each-way, ante-post investment on Pretty Pollyanna at 20/1, but I also want to put up three other fresh bets in the race.
Now, I will be personally backing four in the contest, but I can’t really have the same amount of selections in this column, can I?
What I’m not backing
So first off my list is Lim’s Cruiser, for all he is a huge price and I have been nibbling away at him at three-figure odds during the week.
Now, I wouldn’t profess to know anything about the merit of his Group 1 form at home but he is officially rated 114 (just 5lb shy of the form horses in here) and I think he shaped very well, if a touch keen, when eighth to Blue Point and Dream of Dreams in the Diamond Jubilee.
Although he has form over 7f and 1m, I came away with the impression that this easier 6f would suit him and I simply think that his current odds underestimate him. And I believe he has been stabled at Newmarket, and has worked on the track.
Only three in this line-up are rated higher than him, but I admit he is something of a hit-and-hope and a guess-up, so he is reluctantly binned, and the final cut came between Cape Byron and Fairyland.
I am not a massive fan of the market-leaders Advertise and Diamond Jubilee runner-up Dream Of Dreams at the prices – I think the former won a very poor Commonwealth Cup, albeit in a good time, and the latter could find this happening a bit too quickly over this easier 6f – and it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest were Cape Byron to go off favourite.
He was probably the gamble of the season when winning the Wokingham off a mark of 107 and the level of form , and time, he posted there already puts him on the coat-tails of these, with the prospect of more to come from this sweet traveller on only his second start over this trip.
I think he is the most likely winner and a decent punt at 5/1 but I am just siding with Fairyland at over twice the price.
Back the filly at.
Why I am backing Fairyland
She is not too dissimilar in profile to Pretty Pollyanna in that she is a Group 1-winning juvenile filly who has shaped well in Classics this season, notably when fifth in the Guineas at Newmarket.
But she also ran a blinder when stepped down to 5f in the King’s Stand last time, being beaten 3 lengths but looking for all of the world as if reverting to 6f – a trip that she has won four times over, with her only defeat at the distance coming in a neck and a 1/2-length third in the Albany – would see her step forward again.
She stayed on really well after getting tightened up slightly 1f out and the early speed she showed there, early doors, will stand her in very good stead here.
Let’s hope the young girls shine on the big stage on Saturday, as I haven’t given up on Pretty Pollyanna, down in trip, at all.
Not so ropey runner looks over-priced
I am only going to mention races that I am tipping in today – which is just as well as ITV are showing 10 contests – and Ropey Guest looks overpriced in the.
Now, no-one is suggesting that George Margarson is the best trainer with runners in this race but his horse isn’t the worst on the evidence of his sixth in the Coventry, where he came from miles off the pace and was finishing to really good effect in the final furlong.
I am sure many will want to write that form off as a fluke given his previous two runs and his 200/1 price that day, but on what we saw there – and he finished one-and-a-quarter lengths and a place ahead of Thursday’s July Stakes winner Royal Lytham – he deserves a lot more respect than the market is giving him.
The step back up to 7f looks sure to suit on that evidence and Margarson has had some of his better days on this track, with his Lucky Kristale taking the Duchess Of Cambridge in style here in 2013.
Take a chance on Aces
You can obviously make a case for a hatful in the, but my money is going the way of Aces. Again.
The 6lb penalty that he picked up for narrowly winning a Chester claimer last time is not a positive, but I think the betting has over-reacted to that, as the win came in a good time and he was beating an in-form rival there (from stall 7 of 10).
And at least he was putting a poor York run behind him, too.
They try him in cheek pieces again here, with a decent 5lb claimer up, and it is worth remembering that he is only 1lb higher than when winning over course-and-distance on fast ground last season.
I think he is worth chancing at the price at [38.0] or bigger.
Ageing campaigner looks the bet at Ascot
All roads lead to Royal Birth for me in the opening 5f handicap at.
He won this race off a 6lb higher mark in 2016 and he signalled his turn was near when second to Tropics at Chelmsford last time, a race that has worked out pretty well, with the third winning since and the fifth narrowly denied at Wolverhampton next-time-out.
He can actually race off a 12lb lower mark here – he is rated 98 on the all-weather but just 86 on turf (having been generously dropped 4lb in this sphere after his York run in May) – and so I am willing to take a chance he can still strut his stuff on grass.
And if ever an all-weather horse is going to shine on it, it is at Ascot, where Royal Birth has form figures of 1320.
You obviously have to fear plenty in here, such as Sandown winner Jumira Bridge – and the draw in 18 may of 20 not prove ideal, though I suspect it may be the place to be, and he is getting on as an 8yo – but he looks the bet to me at [15.0] or bigger.
Two bets at York
Over to York, where I am putting up two bets.
The case for the 10yo Caspian Prince in theis very straightforward and he rates a bet at [6.0] or bigger.
He could well have some competition for the lead but not many get past him when he pings the lids and he ran another excellent race when third, from a high draw, at Sandown last week.
He is a course winner and the best horse in this line-up, and I can see him making all from stall one, if staying far side or edging down the centre, as his run-style suggests he may.
He is just an immensely likeable sprinter and I will love him more if – and hopefully when – he wins here.
Baraweez could put it up to Escobar in the 1m handicap, but my final bet is in thewhere I kept on tossing up between Jazeel and Afaak.
A high draw hasn’t proved a barrier to success in recent years and I massively respect the Hunt Cup winner, but Afaak could have a big job on from his outside draw in 24, so it is Jazeel for me at [16.0] or bigger.
Stamina won him the day in the Silver Cambridgeshire last season and he has run three blinders for new connections this season, narrowly getting up at Sandown last time.
The stronger gallop will suit him a lot better here and, even though he is effectively 3lb wrong with his 5lb penalty, they claim that amount off him with Sean Davis and he strikes me as a horse with plenty more to give off a fast pace.
Already advised ante-post
Pretty Pollyanna, each way at 20/1 in July Cup
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