Our racing expert likes the look of a couple of progressive three-year-olds at Newmarket this evening.
Luca Cumani appears to be hitting peak form after a quiet start to the season with three of his four turf winners in 2016 coming in the last fortnight, and FOUR ON EIGHT, his sole runner at Newmarket this evening in the 1m2f handicap (8.25pm), can keep the good run going.
Steadily progressive during his two-year-old campaign, which culminated in a third (of 14) in a decent nursery at this track in October, he showed he had trained on and was set for a good season when running creditably in a mile handicap back here on his reappearance. Sent off as 7/2 favourite, he made good headway to chase the leaders a furlong out, at which point he seemed to lack a change of gear and had to settle for fourth at the finish, albeit keeping on well.
Given that was his first run back, he was entitled to need it and he’ll strip far fitter here. What’s more, he should relish the extra two furlongs of this race and it’ll be a surprise if this stoutly-bred son of Lawman isn’t rated a good deal higher than his current perch of 80 come the season end. He’s just the type of horse his trainer excels with and a big handicap may well go his way, but first things first he can take care of seven largely more exposed rivals this evening, with Frankie Dettori booked to do the steering.
William Haggas’ SAINTED is another three-year-old who screams potential and she can hopefully start fulfilling that in the 7f handicap run earlier on the Newmarket card (6.55pm). The winner of her sole start at two, a Doncaster maiden from Udontdodou, who has come out and won twice this season and is now rated in the high 80s, she certainly looks well treated on a mark of 76 and will have the services of Ryan Moore, who has a healthy 24% strike rate on the stable runners.
He takes over from Pat Cosgrave who was on board for her reappearance run in a three-runner affair at Leicester. Sent off the 8/13 favourite on that occasion, she couldn’t go with the winner (a colt) when he made his challenge, running green and hanging her head to one side, but that was down to greenness and, while not given a hard time by any means, she was keeping on well enough in second to suggest she’d be a different proposition next time and over this extra furlong. With her trainer in flying form (four winners from his last nine runners), she must go close.
I was also keen on a couple of last-time-out winners running elsewhere until I saw their prices. THEYDON THUNDER escapes a penalty for his impressive Newmarket win last Friday and should follow up in the 1m handicap at Yarmouth (5.00pm), while the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained ROBINSHILL looks a shoe-in under a 7lb penalty in the last at Cartmel, after winning pretty much as he liked at Ffos Las last Thursday. You can get a shade over 3/1 on the double with bet365, who go 5/4 and 4/5 respectively, and that looks the best way to support them.