Muqtaser could be Listed class

Muqtaser has reportedly wintered well

Roger Varian trains Muqtaser.


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Betting Tip: Muqtaser @ 11/2 with williamhill

This afternoon’s Craven Stakes looks one of the most open renewals for years with bookmakers struggling to find a favourite.

Ladbrokes have Luca Cumani’s White Lake as their clear 3/1 market leader but you can get 5/1 with Hills, who have landed on Moheet as their 11/4 jolly. Barry Hills’ Nafaqa is clear 7/2 best with bet365, who go 4/1 on Aidan O’Brien’s War Envoy, who has the benefit of a spin on the all-weather. It could change massively of course and market support for any of the quartet would be significant. My own feeling is that White Lake will overturn Doncaster St Leger meeting running with Nafaqa and may be good enough to land this, although I’m not sure I’d want to bet on it. I’ll take a watching brief.

One who could be worth a few quid is Roger Varian’s MUQTASER in the closing 1m2f handicap (5.40pm). I was impressed with the way he won his Newcastle maiden last season, which was following on from a promising Ascot effort, and he looks the type who couldn’t make up into a Listed class three-year-old. He handled cut in the ground when winning but his trainer, who describes him as a “big, strong horse and light on his feet”, reckons he’ll be better on good ground like today’s. Varian also reports him to have “wintered well” and, while I’m sure that comment also applies to several of his rivals, he looks sure to go well. One more positive: the stable has a healthy 20% strike rate in April for a £1 level-stakes profit of over £40 since 2005.

Betting Tip: Muqtaser @ 11/2 with williamhill

All odds were correct at time of posting.

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