THIS afternoon’s card at Newmarket, the second day of the Cambridgeshire meeting, looks particularly trappy.
The highlight is the Group Two Joel Stakes where Mustashry will bid to follow up his victory in the Park Stakes a fortnight ago.
Sir Michael Stoute’s five-year-old has had a fine season, although it wasn’t a strong renewal at Doncaster and he may struggle to concede 7lbs to stablemate Regal Reality.
The three-year-old son of Intello won a Group Three at Goodwood in August before finishing third to Here Comes When at Haydock earlier this month on heavy ground.
He could be the pick of the Stoute pair on this return to a sounder surface, but you also couldn’t rule out Zabeel Prince, Accidental Agent or Zonderland, so I’m happy to give it a swerve.
The same can be said of the opening Rosemary Stakes where there doesn’t look to be much between Unforgetable Filly, Agrotera and Laugh Aloud at the head of the market.
I was trying to find one at a bigger price, but nothing stands out so I’m going to head to the Group Two Rockfel Stakes (3.00pm) for my main selection.
Main Edition and Just Wonderful are battling it out for favouritism, yet they both have questions to answer after slightly disappointing performances in the Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh last time.
Yourtimeisnow is on a hat-trick after two impressive wins, the latest in the Group Three Dick Poole Stakes over six furlongs at Salisbury.
This will be her first start over seven furlongs, although on breeding she shouldn’t have any problems with the extra distance.
She looks uncomplicated and I’m sure Silvestre de Sousa will get her out quickly and try to make all.
My only worry with her is that she’s shortened up in the betting this week and even at a best-priced 4/1 with Coral, I think that’s too skinny.
This can be a funny time of year for fillies and I’m hoping DUTCH TREAT can cause an upset at 8/1.
Andrew Balding’s daughter of Dutch Art was a good second two starts back in a Listed race against the colts at Newbury, before finishing fifth in the May Hill Stakes at Doncaster earlier this month.
If you stopped that race at the two furlong pole, there was no-one travelling better than her and I think she simply didn’t get home over a mile.
This drop back to seven furlongs is ideal and although she has to improve, she looks the best each-way value in the race with Oisin Murphy in the saddle.
I’m hoping it will be a good day for Murphy as his mount STAR ROCK is surely going to be very hard to beat in the preceding Group Three Princess Royal Nayef Stakes (2.25pm).
Hughie Morrison’s filly has produced two excellent efforts in Group Two company on her last two starts and this represents a drop in class.
She broke her maiden over course and distance in May 2017 and then followed up in a fillies’ handicap here last September.
Morrison’s horses are in decent form and she looks the best bet at 11/4.
There are a number of unexposed three-year-olds in the line-up and perhaps Stoute’s Sun Maiden is the biggest danger, but I’m happy to stick with Star Rock.
Star Rock 2.25pm Newmarket
Dutch Treat e/w 3.00pm Newmarket