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In terms of grade the second race on the card at Haydock Park on Friday afternoon is the top contest, and it’s the Oakmere Homes EBF Fillies’ Novice Stakes, which a Class 2 race for two-year-old novices only.
This race looks to be a hot little affair, where several promising and unexposed types from some top yards clash over six furlongs on what is expected to be good ground.
Our betting tips and predictions for the Oakmere Homes EBF Fillies’ Novice Stakes
This is competitive, make no mistake about that. Some very promising types, several of whom have smart pedigrees and sold for sizable amounts as yearlings, run for some prestigious yards, so there’s plenty of options, that’s for sure.
Our best prediction: Raqiya @ 11/4
In the early betting ahead of this race, Raqiya and Lady Pagasa are very closely matched, which is about right given that they’re the two who’ve proven the most out of this bunch. The latter delivered a very promising debut at Newmarket last time out, staying on well for second, though that form is yet to be franked, while on that evidence, this drop back in trip doesn’t appear to be an obvious plus to my eyes.
Raqiya on the other hand, turned what was a promising debut into a very solid win on her second start at Salisbury last time out, making all and winning with plenty in hand. There was lots to like about that effort, while the form has been partially franked, with the runner up going on to place in a competitive event. The three horses she finished behind on debut have all turned out to be useful performers and are all now comfortably rated in the 80’s.
On what we’ve seen so far, Raqiya appears to have the strongest credentials ahead of this contest, and it wouldn’t be unfair if she was to be quite a bit shorter than Lady Pagasa, so while the pair are locked at 11/4 in the early betting, the twice-raced filly is worth taking to come out on top.
Our each-way prediction: Lunar Shine (each-way) @ 13/2
If you’re looking for an each-way stab at bigger odds, then the standout candidate at the prices is Lunar Shine, who is the only other runner in the race to have had two starts.
This horse won first time out at Thirsk, running on strongly towards the death to come out on top of what was a modest contest in good style. On the back of that effort, her connections wasted little time in leaping up to Group 3 level at Ascot, which tells us that they perhaps have quite high hopes for this one. Ultimately, she failed to get competitive in that much hotter race, but these waters are far calmer, while she has the upper hand on most of these in terms of experience, so don’t be surprised if she turns in an improved showing.
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