Our racing expert gives his verdict on the races being shown live on ITV4 , which include the feature Fillies' Mile.
1:50 5f (Row) Newmarket Academy Godolphin Beacon Project Cornwallis Stakes (Group 3) (Class 1) (2yo)
The Flat season is in its final throes and I for one will be glad to see the back of it as it seems that more so than ever form is going out the window, with races decided by a blatant draw bias and jockey tactics, both of which can be hard to predict at the best of times. Take last Saturday’s meeting here, for example, when on the straight course you had essentially no chance of winning unless you were drawn on the stands’ side (low numbers) and up with the pace. Yet several so-called leading jockeys failed to cotton on and some were even willing to give up a prime early position.
So, on that basis, I’m going to take a flyer on the improving YOLO STAR at a big price as she has the plum draw in stall one and has been ridden prominently when winning her last two starts at Cork and at Naas just nine days ago. As that was her first outing for nearly five months, it’s not unreasonable to expect her to come on again and she looks solid each-way value at the 18/1 on offer at bet365, who are one quarter the odds three places.
Likely favourite Sound And Silence has a penalty to carry for this Group 3 victory but is respected nonetheless, although he has just half a length in hand of Abel Handy on their running at York in August.
2:25 7f (Row) Godolphin Lifetime Care Oh So Sharp Stakes (Group 3) (Fillies) (Class 1) (2yo)
In the hope that Frankie Dettori will attempt to track over towards the stands’ rail from a potentially unfavourable draw in stall ten, a tentative vote goes to Simon Crisford’s DARK ROSE ANGEL at the 5/1 on offer with Coral. A wide margin winner of a 1m Doncaster maiden in August (made all), she improved on that to be just pipped in the Group 2 May Hill back at that track last time after being held up early. Given she clearly stays further than this I’d expect Frankie to take the bull by the horns and play ‘catch me if you can’, in which case she’ll take some catching.
Aidan O’Brien’s I Can Fly is feared most as she was very impressive when winning her Dundalk maiden and as a half-sister to the stable’s French 2000 Guineas winner Landseer, there is no reason to think she won’t be just as effective in turf. The mount of Ryan Moore and drawn in stall three, she is preferred to likely favourite Gavota, who has been held up on each of her three starts albeit winning the first two of those.
3:00 7f (Row) Godolphin Stud And Stable Staff Awards Challenge Stakes (Group 2) (Class 1) (3yo+)
Given his utterly convincing victory in last season’s Group 1 Prix de la Foret, it’s a surprise that Limato has failed to add to his tally in five subsequent runs. To be fair, he’s run well in defeat in three of his four starts this term, including when chasing home the brilliant Harry Angel two starts back, and the race may have come too soon when letting down favourite backers at Goodwood a couple of weeks later. Having enjoyed a nice break since and with every likelihood he will get the decent ground he needs, he deserves to be favourite for this, albeit the current 2/1 does little to get the punting juices flowing.
He may well win but I’d much rather have a little on DABYAH at the 6/1 on offer at Hills. She has just 3lb to find with th favourite in the official ratings and is in receipt of the combined 6lb age and weight allowance as a three-year-old filly. She’s not been seen out since finishing fourth behind Winter in the Group 1 Coronation Stakes, form which has been boosted since, but she can go well fresh as she showed when making all at Newbury in her reappearance back in April. That took her 7f record to 3-3 and given she stays a mile I’d expect Frankie Dettori to go her a positive ride from the front. In which case, she won’t be easily passed.
3:35 1m (Row) bet365 Fillies’ Mile (Group 1) (Class 1) (2yo)
Aidan O’Brien has won the last three runnings with Together Forever, Minding and Rhododendron and a fourth straight success must be odds-on as he has the first three in the betting: Happily, Magical and September, who are 13/8, 7/2 and 7/1 respectively with bet365. A win for any of the trio would give the Ballydoyle maestro his 24th Group 1 success of the season, a figure just one shy of Bobby Frankel’s world record, and Happily is the pick having beaten the colts in the Group 1 Grand Criterium just 12 days. Ryan Moore stays loyal and if anything this more galloping mile is going to suit her even better, so it’s easy to see why she’s favourite, especially as she had both her reopposing stablemates behind when winning the Moyglare previously.
But working out stable the pecking order is never an exact science at this time of year and this is no three-horse race besides as a couple of the British runners also need considering. Charlie Appleby’s Magic Lily absolutely hacked up in a novice over course and distance on her racecourse debut 12 days ago and while the manner of that eight-length success surprised connections, there appeared to be no fluke about it.
But it’s hard to resist the claims of May Hill winner LAURENS given I’m sweet on the chances of the filly she just edged out on Town Moor, Dark Rose Angel, in the proceeding Challenge Stakes. A form boost would be welcome but the Doncaster third and fourth have already done their bit to advertise the form and the way the winner picked up in the closing stages strongly suggests the stiff uphill finish at this venue will suit her even better. She has reportedly done very well since that race according to her trainer Karl Burke, who has remained firmly among the winners of late, and for me she is the each-way value of the race at Paddy Power’s 11/1.
4:10 1m4f (Row) bet365 Old Rowley Cup Handicap (Heritage Handicap) (Class 2) (3yo)
This is the sort of race that bookmakers love as no end of the 16 runners can be given a shout and as I mentioned earlier, it is pretty pointless trying to use the form book to work out the ‘best’ horse as that invariably goes out the window in these Heritage Handicaps – give me a Chepstow novice chase any day!
But this is a tipping piece and I suppose it could be worth giving INTREPIDLY another chance after he flopped as favourite at Kempton last time, having got himself worked up in the stalls and then fluffing the start. Previously, he’d looked like a horse with an exciting future when winning at Windsor on ground that was considered a bit loose for him and the likely faster conditions here should be in his favour. With Frankie Dettori booked and every likelihood of better to come on what is just his sixth start, he’ll do for me at Paddy Power’s 11/1.
Newmarket 1.50, Yolo Star each-way 18/1 bet365 (1/4 odds, 1.2.3)
Newmarket 2.25, Dark Rose Angel @ 5/1 Coral
Newmarket 3.00, Dabyah @ 6/1 Hills
Newmarket 3.35, Laurens each-way @ 11/1 Paddy Power
Newmarket 4.10, Intrepidly each-way @ 11/1 Paddy Power