They're racing on the Rowley Mile at Newmarket this afternoon and these two runners could help set us up nicely for the weekend.
It’s a busy Friday with six British meetings and two in Ireland to bet on. It’s hard to keep track of it all, but there are very good reasons for siding with these two Newmarket runners in particular.
I might end up regretting taking on a Sir Michael Stoute-trained favourite at HQ and especially one ridden by Ryan Moore, but Peterhof looks plenty short enough at around the 7/4 mark for the 1m2f handicap (4.10pm). Granted, he’s entitled to improve for his reappearance third, having won on his debut at Lingfield last October, and his Irish Derby entry tells you he’s well regarded. However, he’s priced up more based on his connections than anything he’s achieved on the race track and he’ll do well to cope with Godolphin’s SPACE AGE.
Charlie Appleby’s runner is also lightly-raced after just four starts, but his form has a far more solid look to it. The standout piece is his third to another Godolphin horse, Future Empire, in a maiden here last July. The winner has been placed in Group company since and the runner-up Invincible Gold won his next two starts, while the fourth came out and won a maiden. Space Age duly won his maiden at Beverley on his very next start and ran better than his fifth placing on his reappearance run in a hot Newbury handicap suggests.
The son of Derby winner New Approach was having his first race for nine months that day, so was entitled to need it, and he would have been third at worst had he not been messed around when trying to mount his challenge. By the time he got into the clear, the leaders had flown and he was staying on the best of all. He will stay further than this 1m2f trip based on that evidence and it’s interesting to note he has an entry in the Group 2 King Edward VIII Stakes over 1m4f at Royal Ascot. This shorter handicap should be well within his compass, though, and his mark of 85 looks very workable. William Buick rides and I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up going off favourite – take the 3/1 while it lasts!
The other one to back at the same price is the Richard Fahey-trained ROBIN PARK, who is bidding to follow-up her Nottingham success of ten days ago under a 6lb penalty in the closing 6f handicap (5.15pm), before she is reassessed. The handicapper is bound to clobber her for a four-length success at the Midlands venue, where she seemed to appreciate the cut in the ground, and I doubt the penalty will stop her going in again in receipt of weight from all her rivals. Making her stable /seasonal debut, having been placed in all three maiden starts for Clive Cox last summer, she showed blistering pace to grab the stands’ rail and the race was pretty much in the bag by halfway. This is tougher admittedly, but it often pays to follow a fully in form and, if the weather forecast is correct, she will again have the ground to suit.
UPDATE – the forecast rain has not materialised and as a result Robin Park has proved easy to back, drifting out to 9/2. She may still win but I’m now leaning towards Roger Varian’s Queen’s Pearl, who was my original fancy on account of the fast ground and can be backed at 11/2 with Sky Bet. The term ‘weather forecasters’ is surely a breech of the Trades Descriptions Act!