Our racing expert marks your card for Tuesday's Flat action at Newmarket.
Flat racing returns to Newmarket for the start of the three-day Craven meeting and the feature on day one is the Listed Fielden Stakes over 1m1f, which sees the reappearance of Classic candidate Kew Gardens.
Aidan O’Brien’s son of Galileo signed off last season by making virtually all in the Zetland Stakes here, lowering the juvenile track record in the process and looking every inch a Derby type horse. However, the stable runners often need their first run back and he might struggle to give 3lb to the Mark Johnston-trained MILDENBERGER, whose juvenile form now looks even better.
A Listed winner at Salisbury in August, he ended his campaign with a third-placed finish in the Group 2 Royal Lodge Stakes over 1m here and that form was franked a few weeks later when the winner went down narrowly in the Racing Post Trophy, while the runner-up won the Ballysax at the weekend. Versatile over the ground, he is taken to make the most of the weight he receives from his main rival.
The maidens and novice events on the card are perhaps best watched with a view to spotting future winners, while the handicaps look very competitive and we’re guessing over the fitness of most of the runners.
Still, it’s hard to resist a crack with a good price assured if we can land on the winner, and Mick Easterby’s ROLLER looks to have a better chance than most in the 1m contest. He hasn’t been seen since letting down favourite backers at Haydock last June (had excuses), but he had looked very progressive before that and it’s worth noting that both his wins came after breaks. His veteran trainer would not be travelling down from Yorkshire if he thought he wasn’t up to the task and his booking of Silvestre De Sousa is another reason to think the four-year-old has been primed to go well.
Paul Cole’s MEDIEVAL is just a hopeful choice in the 7f handicap as you can make a case for most of the 17-runner field. But he’s the mount of Ryan Moore, who is having his first ride for the stable, and that tells you plenty about how he’s expected to perform on his first run back. Twice a winner and Listed placed at two, he looked better for a gelding operation when winning over this course and distance last September, despite not getting a clear run. Now up to a mark of 92, which still looks generous given he has been as high as 104, he could well start this campaign how he left off the last one.
All odds were correct at time of posting.