I can only really give five or six horses a chance on recent form but I think there are three that are potentially well-handicapped and comfortable with the prevailing ground conditions. I’m assuming ground will be on the firmer side of good for this preview.
Scoffsman won last time out in a competitive 0-60 handicap at Yarmouth and I don’t think the handicapper has reacted too badly by only raising him 5lbs. He won well that day and I very much doubt if a mark of 62 is the ceiling of his ability.
Angel’s Whisper has improved in every run this season and she wasn’t beaten by much in a competitive little race at Yarmouth. Off a 1lb lower mark tonight, I can’t see any reason why she won’t run her race.
Trulee Scrumptious absolutely loves racing at Newmarket with all of her recent wins coming here and she won this race two years ago off a mark of 63. Returned to some sort of form last time off a mark of 58 and racing off the same mark here, no surprise to see her go close again in this race.
Place 6 Selections – Scoffsman, Angel’s Whisper, Trulee Scrumptious
A tricky two-year-old race with very little form to go on and the market is likely to be a good guide.
I need to forgive With Virtue her debut run as she finished stone cold last but went off 9/2 that day and the first two home were competitive in the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot (finished 5th and 7th). Given how strong With Virtue was in the betting on debut, I’d be inclined to give her another chance as I’m sure she’s better than that.
The others with experience don’t appeal and therefore I’m selecting a couple of newcomers to complete the shortlist. Airbrush seems an obvious selection from the Richard Hannon stable given her owner and the fact that Murphy is riding her tonight. Also she is still entered in a listed race later this season which gives me hope that she might have shown something at home.
I also like Oribi who is a very early two-year-old and may be more mature than a few of these.
Place 6 Selections – With Virtue, Airbrush, Oribi
Nahaarr stands out like a sore thumb in this race after beating Biometric last time and receiving 7lbs as a result. Biometric won the Britannia stakes at Royal Ascot last week, stepping up in trip and ran to a mark of around 100 that day. Nahaarr rocks up here off a mark of 75 and, although he was receiving 7lbs last time and I have no doubt Biometric ran below form, anyone who can read form will be all over him tonight.
I Am A Dreamer interests me, stepping down in class and from a much reduced handicap mark from earlier this season. The run at York two runs ago would be good enough to win most races at this level as he finished fourth to Space Blues (won at Epsom and second at Royal Ascot).
Place 6 Selections – Nahaarr, I Am A Dreamer
This race is a nightmare. Seven runners, two places and I can’t rule any out.
Aktau is the obvious one from the Roger Varian stable with Silvestre De Sousa on board. Finished a well beaten second last time out but wasn’t suited by the way the race unfolded and, assuming he sits closer to the pace tonight, may be a little better than a mark of 80.
Green Etoile steps up in class after winning at Salisbury and followed up by winning a juvenile hurdle last time out. Clearly in form and improving and makes the shortlist.
Finally, Monsieur Lambrays completes the shortlist after a promising second last time. He has been hit with a 4lbs rise which can be seen as harsh but the front two were clear and, remove the winner from the race, and we’d be saying 4lbs is lenient. Should run well.
Place 6 Selections – Aktau, Green Etoile, Monsieur Lambrays
Another difficult seven-runner race although slightly easier I think to unpick.
The Haggas runner Night Secret looks a typical improving filly from this stable and won well last time in an easier race than this. Hasn’t been harshly treated with a 3lbs rise for the win and, with further improvement expected, should run well.
Be Like Me has been very consistent of late and I thought her last run was good as the winner that day had a lot in its favour and Be Like Me nearly beat it. Assuming she runs to form here, no reason why she shouldn’t run her race.
Lastly, Firelight takes a drop in class here and I feel like the handicapper is playing ball with another 3lbs off her back. Has more backclass than most of these in here and, assuming she runs to form, may be able to spring a surprise here.
Place 6 Selections – Night Secret, Be Like Me, Firelight
There are a couple in here that have achieved a fair amount already and I think they’ll hold an advantage over the unraced newcomers even though they are from big stables.
Ojooba was third on debut and her form has been franked a few times. Not too sure why she has been absent since but, assuming she’s fit and well tonight, should run well.
The other selection was really disappointing last time when odds on but Fabulist is surely better than she showed last time when finishing third. I’m not sure she would have appreciated the soft ground that day and, back on better ground tonight, should see an improved performance.
Place 6 Selections – Ojooba, Fabulist