THE highlight of today’s Newmarket card is undoubtedly the Etihad Airways Falmouth Stakes (2.40pm). It is a small but select field of just four runners and Sky Lantern really should be able to beat Elusive Kate and Giofra with the three-year-old weight allowance and her favoured quick ground.
However, it could end up being quite tactical which may not suit her and I’m happy to watch without taking a financial interest.
The preceding Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes (formerly the Cherry Hinton) is a contest I’d rather get stuck into as I’m willing to take on the favourite Rizeena at 6/4 with Paddy Power.
Clive Brittain’s filly did this column a massive favour when comfortably taking last month’s Queen Mary at Royal Ascot, but she has to carry a penalty for that and this is also her first attempt at six furlongs.
There is no reason why she won’t get the distance on breeding, but you can get funny results in this race and I’m happy to oppose her at such short odds.
Aidan O’Brien’s Bye Bye Birdie is next in the betting, however she doesn’t look like a superstar and was comfortably beaten by Rizeena at Ascot.
Fig Roll is respected on the back of her win over course and distance last month, but the one who I think is worth backing each-way is Charlie Hills’ twice-raced QUEEN CATRINE at 9/1 with Paddy Power.
This daughter of Acclamation has an entry in the Group One Moyglare Stakes later in the season and you couldn’t help but be impressed by the way she landed her maiden at Ayr last time.
She needs to step up massively to take a hand in this, but I think she can and I like the fact that she didn’t have a hard race at Ascot like many of today’s rivals.
The only other bet that appeals to me on this afternoon’s card at HQ is Kevin Ryan’s EQUITY RISK in the six furlong handicap (3.15pm).
The son of Henrythenavigator narrowly beat Beach Club at Haydock last time on good-to-soft ground that was never going to suit. That was over seven furlongs but he’s already shown decent form over six and Beach Club won the first race well at Sandown on Saturday.
This looks to be a highly progressive sprinter and having proven himself over the trip and on quick ground he is the selection at 10/1 with Coral.
Ascot and York both race this afternoon and Brian Meehan’s HEADLONG has caught my eye in the opening maiden at the Berkshire track (2.00pm). Youngsters trained at Manton invariably come on for their debuts and there was a lot to like about Headlong’s effort at Haydock when he just got tired in the closing stages. He should take all the beating in this.
William Haggas is always to be feared on the Knavesmire and he looks to have found a good opportunity for ROSDHU QUEEEN to get off the mark for the season in the 32Red Summer Stakes (2.25pm).
She ran a cracker to finish fifth in the Diamond Jubilee and should have too much for her rivals this afternoon.
HEADLONG 2.00pm Ascot (today)
QUEEN CATRINE e/w 2.10pm Newmarket (today)
ROSDHU QUEEN 2.25pm York(today)
EQUITY RISK e/w 3.15pm Newmarket (today)