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Newmarket Friday tips – best bets for day two of the July Festival

The Falmouth Stakes is Friday's feature at Newmarket

Falmouth Stakes

What are the best bets on day two of the Newmarket July Festival?

It’s day two of the Newmarket July meeting, with the Group 1 Falmouth Stakes the feature. Here are my thoughts on that race and the other three Channel 4-televised races.

2.10: Price Bailey EBF Stallions Fillies’ Handicap, 7f
A wide open fillies handicap to get proceedings under way with bookmakers going 7/2 the field and some progressive sorts amongst them. The impeccably bred Angel Vision has to be near the top of any shortlist as she’s 2-3 this season, with both her successes coming at the track. She’s 8lb higher for the last of those, mind, and is dropping back a furlong, which may not be ideal as she wasn’t stopping over a mile last time. At just 7/2, she’s reluctantly swerved.

Woodcraft is the only unbeaten filly in the line-up and she warrants respect despite a 6lb rise in the weights for her latest Kempton win, while Spangled is interesting on her handicap debut for the in-form Roger Varian. She was odds-on when scoring winning her maiden at Lingfield, but the form looks strong after the runner-up won a Chepstow maiden by nine lengths next time out. That of course hasn’t escaped the notice of the bookies and we’re being asked to take just 4/1.

For that reason, I’m going to take a punt on one at a bigger price with Richard Fahey’s BIMBO surely worth a small each-way investment at 20/1 (Betfair) after her stylish defeat of Imtiyaaz over 6f at the track late last month. She was going away at the finish that day and I can’t see the extra furlong being a problem, while the hood she wore on that occasion is reapplied. Fahey’s has always thought a lot of her so she may well be able to build on that success, with her liking for fast ground proven.

2.40: Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes (Fillies’ Group 2), 6f
This race sees the the Queen Mary second and third, Easton Angel and Besharah, lock horns again, with the latter having two and a half lengths to find. Today’s extra furlong promises to suit William Haggas’ filly and she could finish a lot closer, though Easton Angel is a very likeable sort and should get this far too. Neither may be able to cope with ILLUMINATE, though.

The Richard Hannon-trained filly arrives here unbeaten after two starts, with her latest success coming over this trip in the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot. Richard Hughes gave her a copybook ride that day and the way she quickened up when switched for a run over a furlong out marked her out as a top-class performer in the making. The stable is chock-full of those and they have strength in depth amongst their juveniles, so the fact that Illuminate is considered their best filly speaks volumes. Proven over this strip and likely to be stronger at the finish than her market rivals, I rate her my day two ‘banker’ at Ladbrokes’ 7/4.

3.15: Qipco Falmouth Stakes (Fillies’ Group 1), 1m
A cracking renewal for this Group 1 and it offers up a tasty each-way bet, with three places up for grabs. Bookies have made Jim Bolger’s Lucida their general 11/4 favourite and that’s understandable as she brings the best three-year-old form to the table, having finished placed in the 1000 Guineas and Coronation Stakes. Best on this sort of ground and getting the age allowance, she’s going to be tough to beat.

But the value surely lies with last month’s Duke Of Cambridge winner AMAZING MARIA at 12/1 with Betway. A high-class juvenile when trained by Ed Dunlop, she was switched to David O’Meara after showing nothing in three starts as a three-year-old and was coming good on her third run for the stable at Royal Ascot. Whilst allowed to go off at 25/1, there was no fluke about her two-length success over Rizeena, a Group 1 performer, and I was very taken with the way she travelled into the race. This is tougher of course but O’Meara seems to have found the key to her and she could well go in again, with an each-way punt being the sensible option. A reverse forecast bet with Lucida wouldn’t go amiss either.

The French-trained pair of Fintry and Avenir Certain, first and second respectively in a Group 3 at Chantilly last month, need respecting, with the latter fancied to reverse the form, providing she settles a bit better. Last year’s winner Integral is harder to fancy, however, after her odds-on flop behind the selection at Royal Ascot and may not want the ground as quick as this.

3.45: Betfred Mobile Stakes (Heritage Handicap), 6f
The sort of race the bookies love, but I can’t resist a crack with some big odds the reward for finding the winner. But where to start? The draw may help to narrow down the field, though which side of the track might be favoured is pure guesswork at this stage – Thursday’s results may give us a clue, though any advantage is often lost by jockeys looking for better ground that rarely exists. Best to keep stakes small then.

Charlie Hills’ MAGICAL MEMORY looks a good starting point after four solid runs this term and the trainer reckons he has a “great each-way chance”, according to his Weekender column. Given the red-hot stable form, it could be worth stopping there and backing the gelding at 8/1 with Ryan Moore (who guided him to success at Leicester two starts back) booked to do the steering. He’s a solid 7/1 favourite with BetVictor.

There’s always the temptation to look for some each-way value further down the betting list and William Haggas’ York winner Valley Of Fire is interesting on his return to action with the stable going great guns. Any market support would be significant, but I’m going to stick with the Hills horse in the hope that stall 15 is no major disadvantage. Sky Bet are the only firm offering five places instead of the standard four.

Back a winner at 4/1 or bigger in any of the above Channel 4-televised races with bet365 and they will give you a free bet to the same stake (up to £50 per customer per race) on the next race shown live on Channel 4.

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