Horse Racing

1:30 Newbury Tips: Max Vega to do it again?

The first race at Newbury on Saturday afternoon will be the Dubai Duty Free Finest Surprise Stakes, a Group 3 race run over one mile and four furlongs, won last year by Max Vega, who returns to defend his crown.

Newbury Tips
Photo by Icon Sport

Hurricane incoming?

Charlie Appleby’s Hurricane Lane was once the next best thing in the middle distance division, winning the Irish Derby in 2021, before landing the St Leger a few months later. That form is the best on offer here, though he wasn’t the same horse when we last saw him in France, which is a bit of a worry. Needs to bounce back now returning from a 293-day break.

In contrast, Mojo Star looked to be an improved performer when beating the somewhat legendary Stradivarius into third in the Ascot Gold Cup and could be even more effective back down in trip. The five-year-old has run well fresh before, while he comes here for a trainer in Richard Hannon who has been in good form of late. At a bigger price, I’d probably rather chance him than side with the skinny favourite, who is no guarantee to conform market superiority. Then again, there may be an even better option at each-way odds.

Max Vega not to be overlooked

It may well be that the top two rated runners in here battle it out and prove to be too good for the rest, but Max Vega could easily have a say in this.

Last year’s winner certainly has a chance on the pick of his form, while he proved that he’s a decent horse at Group level when winning the St Simon Stakes over course and distance when last seen. He beat some good horses that would be far from out of place in this on that occasion, so don’t be surprised if he gets involved. At the very least, he rates as a solid each-way option.

Best Bet: Max Vega each-way @ 8/1

Subscribe to Punditfeed on Google News for all the latest updates from the world of sports!