NEWMARKET’S three-day meeting got underway yesterday and today’s highlight is the Group One Fillies’ Mile (3.15pm).
Godolphin have dominated this race recently with disgraced trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni taking the last two renewals and Saeed Bin Suroor winning it with White Moonstone in 2010.
However, if the operation is to celebrate a fourth straight success it will have to beat Clive Brittain’s top class filly Rizeena who struck in the Moyglare at the Curragh last time.
I’m a huge fan of Rizeena, but she is such a speedy filly that I’d be a little concerned about her stepping up to a mile in her juvenile season. On breeding she should get the trip, but four of her seven runs so far have been over five furlongs. Brittain knows when he’s got a good one, and there would be no-one happier than me if he were to win a third 1,000 Guineas, 30 years after his first success. However, she looks worth taking on this afternoon at 6/4 with Coral.
And the main reason for doing so is Bin Suroor’s IHTIMAL who was hugely impressive in the May Hill Stakes at Doncaster last time and looks a filly really going places.
The step up to a mile suited perfectly and I just have a feeling that she could out-battle Rizeena in the punishing final furlong on the Rowley Mile. At 5/2 with Coral she looks a decent bet.
On to tomorrow’s action and the big betting race of the day is undoubtedly the Cambridgeshire (3.50pm) where 35 runners have been declared.
This is a race with quite a unique trip of nine furlongs and because they go hell for leather the whole way you really need a horse who is proven over nine, if not 10, furlongs.
The key question is whether you go for a progressive three-year-old that has the potential to be a Group horse, or a more experienced, gutsy performer that has been there and done it.
I have been trying to find one of the latter category, as they tend to win more often. But I can’t, so my selection is going to be Godolphin’s sole representative THA’IR at a quite ridiculous 40/1.
The son of New Approach won the Chesham at Royal Ascot last season and started the campaign rated 108. He dropped down to 99 at one stage but was unlucky not to win at Doncaster last time and nine furlongs should be ideal.
I still think there is some juice in his mark of 103 and although I’m not sure if his draw in stall two is good or bad, he surely has a better chance than his 40/1 odds suggest.
VORDA is a strong fancy to give the French another victory in the Cheveley Park Stakes (2.35pm) at 7/4. The flying filly, trained by former jockey Philippe Sogord, tasted defeat for the first time on her last start.
However, there was no shame in finishing a length behind the beast that is No Nay Never in the Prix Morny, and she should have too much for the enigmatic Kiyoshi. Finally, don’t let MASAMAH go unbacked in the five furlong sprint at Haydock (3.30pm). He ran really well at Doncaster last time and from his plum draw in stall 16 against the stands rail he should take all the beating at this level.
IHTIMAL 3.15pm Newmarket (today)
VORDA 2.35pm Newmarket (tomorrow)
MASAMAH 3.30pm Haydock (tomorrow)
THA’IR e/w 3.50pm Newmarket (tomorrow)