What are the best bets in Friday's TV races?
The Group 1 Fillies’ Mile is one of seven races being shown live on Channel 4 this afternoon and they all come under the scrutiny of our racing expert.
13:35 Newmarket – Newmarket Academy Godolphin Beacon Project Cornwallis Stakes (Group 3), 5f
The cheaply-bought MRS DANVERS returns after a 56-day absence to defend her unbeaten record against 10 rivals and she looks a rock-solid favourite at bet365′s 11/4. An infection picked up after winning a Listed contest at Newbury in August meant she had to miss her next possible engagements – a Group 3 in France and the Group 2 Flying Childers – but she’s reported to be back on song for what was always going to be her autumn target. With speed to burn and proven on the forecast fast ground, she can make the most of the weight she receives from the penalised pair of Afandem and Yalta, while the Aidan O’Brien-trained Courage Under Fire has already had his limitations exposed at this level.
14:05 Newmarket – visionsport.com Oh So Sharp Stakes (Fillies’ Group 3), 7f
Andre Fabre won this Group 3 with Miss France in 2013 before returning her to the track to land the following season’s 1000 Guineas, and he has another likely type in DOUBLE LADY (11/4 BetVictor). It’s hard to equate her French form with that of the British-trained fillies but Toulifaut, the horse that beat her into second on her debut, won her next two starts and would surely have gone close in Sunday’s Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac but for a wretched passage through the race. A convincing winner of her maiden at Maisons-Lafite last month, she may well be good enough here and her legendary trainer must think so too as he won’t cross the English Channel unless he thinks he can win, as evidenced by his 6-14 (43%) record on the Rowley Mile over the past five seasons. Godolphin have won the last two runnings and their sole representative Grecian Light may give the selection most to do.
14:20 York – stanjames.com Bet On Your Mobile Stakes (Handicap), 1m
They don’t come much tougher to solve than this and a small stakes each-way play is advised on the Henry Candy-trained DINKUM DIAMOND. The eight-year-old has been an admirable servant to his stable down the years and while he’s only won six times, he’s pocketed plenty of place money in Listed and Group company over sprint distances mainly. His last victory came over 7f last October and he appears to be staying far better these days with a couple of fair efforts over a mile coming into this, including a close third at Doncaster last time. That coincided with a drop in his handicap mark to below the 100 threshold for the first time time in his career and, dropped a further 1lb since to 98, he should again be competitive. That his in-form trainer is claiming 5lb off him by utilising the services of promising apprentice Hector Crouch increases interest levels further, and odds of 16/1 with BetVictor seal the bet.
14:40 Newmarket – Dubai 100 Challenge Stakes (Group 2), 7f
Cougar Mountain returned to winning ways when landing the Joel Stakes over 1m here last time and he’s the joint top-rated runner here. However, a penalty for that success makes things tougher and the drop back to 7f is more of a concern as he was doing all his best work inside the final furlong when getting the better of the reopposing Gifted Master at HQ. That horse should again make a bold bid from the front over this shorter trip, but Charlie Hills’ JALLOTA is preferred at Paddy Power’s 9/1. He has been a model of consistency this term, winning twice and finishing in the frame on five other occasions, and looked unlucky not to win a Group 1 in Italy last time when failing to peg back the winner by a neck after encountering traffic problems. This is tougher of course but he’s clearly still at the top of his game, is running over his ideal trip and should be suited by the track. His stable won this 12 months ago with Cable Bay.
15:10 Newmarket – Dubai Fillies’ Mile (Group 1), 1m
Aidan O’Brien is seeking a hat-trick in this Group 1 having landed the last two renewals with Together Forever and Minding 12 months ago, and he has two bites at the cherry with Rhododendron and Hydrangea. The pair finished first and second respectively in the Group 2 Debutante Stakes at the Curragh in August, before Hydrangea reversed the form when they were second and third in the Group 1 Moyglare last time. Given that they are both by Galileo, a strong stamina influence, they should relish the step up to a mile.
However, this is far from a two-horse race and Charlie Appleby’s Sobetsu is likely to go off favourite after a scintillating maiden success over course and distance last time. She could be anything but steps up massively in class here and previous Group race experience is almost essential with nine of the last ten winners passing on this criterion. In which case, it could be worth taking a chance on Ralph Beckett’s RICH LEGACY who booked her place in the field with a battling success in the Group 2 May Hill Stakes at the St Leger meeting. That was a strong renewal and the Doncaster race has been a strong pointer to success here, with the last 10 winners finishing 8121111132. That’s not too surprising as both races are run over a straight mile and with the Beckett filly proven on the fast ground, having won her maiden on the July Course on good to firm, she rates decent value at 13/2 (Betfair).
15:25 York – stanjames.com Stakes (Handicap), 1m6f
Plenty of recent winning form to go on and Guns Of Leros, who has been put in as 11/2 favourite, is chasing a four-timer. He escapes a penalty for his latest success at Epsom (1m4f) as the race was confined to apprentices and has sneaked in at the bottom of the weights, with Noel Garbutt taking 3lb off his back. However, he will do well to employ his usual front-running tactics in this better race and over 2f further than he’s travelled before, albeit he does promise to stay, and Andrew Balding’s THE GRADUATE is preferred at bet365’s 9/1. He’s another horse on a roll having won his last two starts, including over this trip at Haydock last time, and a 6lb rise seems fair given his superiority at the Lancashire venue, half of which is negated by Eddie Greatrex’s claim. Balding described him in a recent Stable Tour as a “real trier who is still improving” and hoped he could win another race or two this season, so why not today? At 9/1 (bet365), I’m happy to pay to find out.
15:45 Newmarket – Godolphin Flying Start Old Rowley Cup (Heritage Handicap), 1m4f
Another wide open handling what looks a tough day for punters, but SAUNTER will surely be thereabouts and he merits a wager at Hills’ 8/1. David Menuisier’s charge lived up to his name when coming home five lengths clear of his rivals in a Goodwood maiden two starts back and he had no trouble following up in handicap company over 1m2f here, staying on strongly to win eased down by nearly three lengths. Considered to be his rookie trainer’s best three-year-old, he’s likely to end up running in Listed / Group 3 company so a 9lb rise might not stop him, and he could be even better over this longer trip. The only slight concern is the fast ground as both his wins have come on ‘good’, but presumably his trainer wouldn’t be running him if he didn’t think he could act in it.
Newmarket 1.35, Mrs Danvers @ 11/4 bet365
Newmarket 2.05, Double Lady @ 11/4 BetVictor
York 2.20, Dinkum Diamond each-way @ 16/1 BetVictor
Newmarket 2.40, Jallota @ 9/1 Paddy Power
Newmarket 3.10, Rich Legacy @ 13/2 Betfair
York 3.25, The Graduate @ 9/1 bet365
Newmarket 3.45, Saunter @ 8/1 Hills