The ITV cameras are rolling at Newcastle this evening and our racing expert likes the look of two runners.
Smart Call has the best form on offer in the Group 3 fillies’ contest over 1m2f, including a third in the Group 2 Yorkshire Oaks last time, and Sir Michael Stoute’s mare is entitled to favouritism. However, she has been beaten on all her eight British starts, having been prolific in her native South Africa, and clearly has her limitations.
She may still win, and this is one of the more easier tasks she’s been faced with, but current odds of 5/2 don’t really excite and I’d much rather have a few quid on Eve Johnson Houghton’s MAGNOLIA SPRINGS, who is as big as 6/1 at the time of writing.
That’s because she needs to improve on what she’s shown to trouble the favourite and has 15lb to find of official ratings. But as a three-year-old she is getting the 12lb weight-for-age allowance and there was a lot to like about the way she came from last to first on her first try over 1m2f at Goodwood last time. While she beat nothing of note in that Listed contest, she won going away and had her rivals well strung out behind.
That was a big improvement on her previous fourth in a Nottingham novice, which her trainer attributed to a different bit to help her steering, and she surely has further improvement in her after just four starts. The fact she has never raced on Tapeta is a slight worry but she is clearly thought capable of cutting it at this level judging by her Group 1 entries in the Nassau Stakes and Yorkshire Oaks.
The North Yorkshire-based Roger Fell has his string in flying form with six winners and several others placed from his 29 runners in the last fortnight, which bodes well for his TWO FOR TWO in the class 4 1m handicap. One of the senior members of Fell’s team at the age of ten, he showed he was no back number when a close up fourth in a better race at Ripon last time, doing his best work late out wide to be less than a length behind the winner at the line. As he’s rated lower on the all-weather, he’s able to run off a 6lb lower mark this evening and this track and likely strong pace is going to suit his come-from-behind style.
All odds were correct at time of posting.