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As the flat racing rolls on to the next notable meeting, this week we’re at the venue often referred to as “Headquarters”. That’s right, it’s Newmarket Racecourse and the meeting is The Boodles July Festival. Three days of superb action is in store at the Suffolk track, so let’s get stuck in and see if we can pinpoint a few decent bets.
Ahead of this week’s action at Newmarket, which has been hosting horse races since the early 1600’s, it’s time to delve into the form book in an attempt to pinpoint the best bets of the meeting.
Thursday 13th July
On Thursday, which will be the first day of the three-day meeting, one horse stands out as a very solid each-way bet in the bet365 Handicap Stakes. Here goes:
15:00 – Bet365 Handicap Stakes: Eminency (each-way) @ 12/1
Plenty have chances in this 16-runner event, run over six furlongs. The likes of Quinalt and Washington Heights warrant plenty of respect and are likely to right at the top of market come the off, but both have increased handicap marks to contend with, which is a worry.
One horse who arrives here in solid form, and who crucially goes up just 1lbs in the handicap, is Eminency, who runs for George Cox and will be ridden by John Fahy. The three-year-old has run a trio of good races in recent weeks, finishing third over course and distance in May, third at Windsor back at the start of June, before running on strongly to grab a not-far-away fourth (of 21) in a very competitive handicap at York three weeks ago. That form stands out to me.
He has finished behind Quinalt twice of late, but is now much better off with that rival at the weights, which could be telling, while the first-time cheek pieces could help him to pull out that little bit more. A likely strong pace will suit, so don’t be surprised if this one runs on well to get involved at the death.
Friday 14th July
15:00 – Bet365 Trophy: Aimeric @ 9/2
One of the hot handicaps on day two of this meeting is the bet365 Trophy, which features a selection of top handicappers, though one stands out as the best bet.
To my eyes, Aimeric would be a worthy favourite here, so I have to feel that 9/2 offers a smidgen of value. Roger Varian’s runner performed very well on seasonal reappearance, winning at Doncaster at the start of last month, running on powerfully to claim the race late on. That performance was followed by an eighth-place finish at Royal Ascot, which could easily be overlooked as modest form, though that was a very hot race, and he again ran on well from a position that was from ideal, performing as though further would suit.
This step up in trip really does look a positive, especially as this horse was seen to good effect at Ayr last season, running on strongly over 13f. That effort also point towards this trip of one mile, six furlongs suiting. In the hands of James Doyle, Aimeric is the one to be on here as far as I’m concerned.
15:35 – Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes: Remarquee @ 5/1
The early betting ahead of the Group 1 Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes, won by some top horses in recent years, suggests that Via Sistina has the race to lose, though the mare has plenty of competition here, and I’m betting that one of the Ralph Beckett runners can prove too good.
Remarquee, who should bundles of quality to win each of her first two races, comes here off the back of a fine effort behind the queen of the females this season Tahiyra, form that really ought to be taken very seriously. In the Coronation Stakes at Ascot, the filly stayed on strongly to only go down by a length against the Irish 1000 Guineas winner, which suggests that she ought to be capable of laying down a very strong challenge here.
Via Sistina is the only horse rated higher than Remarquee here, though stepping back in trip, she’ll have to be at her very best. It wouldn’t be the greatest surprise if the selection takes another step forward over what looks to be her optimum trip, so early odds of 5/1 look ever so slightly generous.
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