EARLY BIRD TO PAY FOR DAY THREE AT NEWMARKET: It’s always tough tipping at this time of year and, after Daqman and Pricewise drew a blank, 0-0, on the first two days, Pricewise drops out today. Can Daqman do better with his Early Bird ’find’, which rates the nap in the Earl Of Sefton Stakes? He did get one home yesterday, UAE Jewel (WON 10-11). As recommended, following the money on BETDAQ certainly can help; he won five lengths! Today:
🔹GUINEAS: DON’T BE HOODWINKED
🔹ALMASHRIQ IS A MILLION DOLLARS
🔹FULL POWER ON THE FAST GROUND
🔹MUSTASHRY MAGIC OF SIR MICHAEL
GUINEAS: DON’T BE HOODWINKED
We’re not much further forward. With Zakouski lit up after being troublesome in the stalls and Royal Marine denied a run, or incapable of getting one, the Craven Stakes looked sub-standard yesterday.
The future may show that there may have been decent colts, or adequate, in the field but not in terms of the 2,000 Guineas, though the winner, Skardu, did nothing wrong.
He relaxed well, where the two talking horses didn’t, and he showed a smart turn of foot, but we haven’t seen the double completed in the Guineas since Haafhd (2004) and he, himself, wasn’t of the highest class.
Royal Marine may now run in the Guineas in a hood. Call me old fashioned (I even baulk at Tiger Roll wearing blinkers in the National) but that’s not the hallmark of a Classic winner, though it may help him turn around the form with Skardu.
Meanwhile, however, Too Darned Hot continues to drift in the market after the ‘slight setback’ causing his withdrawal from the Greenham.
ALMASHRIQ IS A MILLION DOLLARS
1.50 Newmarket John Gosden has won this three times in six seasons, and Franz Kafka has the advantage of a run at Doncaster, beaten only half a length when short of room.
Frank Kafka, around 3.5 on BETDAQ this morning, is a Dubawi so it’s normally a pretty safe bet he’ll improve (famous last words)! Dam related to 1,000 Guineas and Oaks winner.
3.00 Newmarket Godsend again? Almashriq, a 1,200,000-dollar yearling, won on the debut despite being green and slow away at Newcastle (AW). It may be simple for him.
Franz Kafka must win the first very easily to boost the form of Fox Champion, who beat him – giving 7lb – at Doncaster, while Almufti, the six-lengths Horris Hill third, has to do a deal better than the runner-up, Azano, who got well stuffed in the Free Handicap on Tuesday.
Of course, since Franz Kafka and Azano are both John Gosden’s, our favourite trainer may already know the time of day with Almashriq. Watch that BETDAQ market! It’s never been more telling than this week.
FULL POWER ON THE FAST GROUND
3.35 Newmarket I was on Auxerre and Beringer, first and third, in the Lincoln Handicap. In fact, Beringer dead-heated for third with Breden.
Both are capable of being in at the finish again but, equally, both are bridesmaids, struggling with their current markets: Beringer 23203 and Breden 2423.
Power Of Darkness might well overtake them both for Marcus Tregoning. He quickly stepped out of novice class last summer to win his first handicap under Hayley Turner.
He has a very fast-ground action and, since that success, they’ve tried to help his progress, with gelding and a wind op, and given plenty of time to develop.
If Marcus Tregoning looks smug at the moment, any trainer would if he’d won the Greenham with his one and only 2019 turf runner to date. Power on at around 6.5 on BETDAQ.
MUSTASHRY MAGIC OF SIR MICHAEL
4.10 Newmarket (Earl Of Sefton Stakes) Sir Michael Stoute, master of improving older horses, is put to the test again here with the six-year-old Mustashry, who has the added burden of a late entry into my Early Bird list after I’d been told of an exceptional gallop by my man in the long grass.
My man’s diet could well be the long grass after the demise of Zakouski yesterday! But he can redeem himself should Mustashry takes this with top-weight.
As if Stoutie hasn’t already worked the oracle with Mustashry: he stepped up from a Group-3 win at York in 2017 to back-to-back Group 2s at Doncaster and here at Newmarket in September, both on a sound surface.
Then, when Expert Eye won for the stable in the Breeders Cup Mile at Churchill Downs, Mustashry kept pace until hampered two out, and was not punished after.
He’s down to Group-3 here and looks short on competition, except for his old rival Zabeel Prince. Mustashry charged past him in the Newmarket Group 2 but Roger Varian’s stable is in hot form (4-5) and he’s been very patient with him.
It would be unfair to Elarquam to call him a nearly horse last year but ‘something was bothering him’, according to his yard. He wasn’t seeing his races out and maybe the close-season wind op will help, but you can’t bet on it.
First Contact should put pace to the race, which would suit an in-form Mustashry. I shall bet (at around 5-1 on BETDAQ) as if he wins this one or the Lockinge. Preference is for both!
1.50 Newmarket (win 20)
BET 8pts win FRANZ KAFKA
2.00 Newmarket (win 20)
BET 10pts win (nap) ALMASHRIQ
2.35 Newmarket (win 50)
BULL’S-EYE BET: 8.75pts win POWER OF DARKNESS
EARLY BIRDS (all 20-point level stake)
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