Newmarket Craven Meeting – Thursday
The day of the Craven itself and several other decent races throughout the card. The meeting so far has shown us that John Gosden is well and truly firing on all cylinders and Aiden O’Brien’s first runner over here of the season in Whitecliffsofdover collects…
1.50 – The first is a six furlong handicap and is headed by Victory Angel for Roger Varian and Silvestre De Sousa. He has finished third and first in two Doncaster maidens on decent ground before coming here and is probably going to progress further these season so obviously commands respect. The one i’d be willing to take him on with though is Hilario (6/1) for Charlie Hills and Ryan Moore he is a half brother to impressive sprinters such as Deacon Blues and The Tin Man. He was fifth last time out in a listed event at Doncaster and I think he’s a decent each way price to get in the frame here.
2.25 -This race is slightly further over the seven furlongs and is currently headed by both Tabarrak and Salateen. The latter was only seen a few days ago when running an impressive third behind Sovereign Debt at Lingfield on the All Weather Finals Day. Both should be involved at the business end. However one i’d be looking to take the principals on with is Castle Harbour (13/2) for John Gosden and Frankie Dettori. He ran some very decent races last year before the break but ran a slightly flat one on his reappearance t Doncaster at the start of the month. I do however still think he’s got something left to give for the all conquering connections and I think he’s a decent each way price for this.
3.00 – This year’s Group 3 Abernant Stakes is headed by a horse that I actually tipped on here at 20/1 to win the Ayr Gold Cup last season in Brando for Kevin Ryan and Tom Eaves. He finished an impressive third in a Group 1 on Champions Day at Ascot before the break and is the clear form pick here and is going to be very hard to beat. Ornate could be the one to take him on with for Robert Cowell if he finds form now he’ in a different yard and has been gelded and Tasleet could figure for William Haggas if he returns to his best. Brando (5/4) very hard to beat here though for me.
3.35 – The feature itself now in the Group 3 Craven Stakes and it’s headed by AP O’Brien’s War Decree. He was quickly turned into an impressive sort last year when winning a Group 2 at Goodwood in July when beating the impressive Thunder Snow in the process. He should stay over this trip without any issues and if he has trained on and continues the same form as last season he could prove hard to beat. The one I like though is one of my personal favourite flat horses of last season in Rivet (11/4) for William Haggas and Frankie Dettori. He wasn’t at his best in the Dewhurst here in October but bounced back when winning the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster in his next race. He is the one that i’ll side with here as he does just edge it on the form. Benbatl (5/1) could be a decent each way bet of the race he’s a very well bred colt and I saw him win impressively on debut at Doncaster.