The final day of the Craven meeting at Newmarket and another competitive mares’ only card from Cheltenham with six races again on ITV 4.
In the 3-y-old 6f handicap Creative Force (1.50) has been off the track since finishing down the field – 10th of 15 – in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot back in June although he was taken out of a 5f listed contest at Sandown at the eleventh hour the following month. He is bred to be smart and clearly goes well fresh having won over C&D on debut when he beat a horse who went on to finish third in the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot. On a line through the runner up his opening mark looks workable. The selection is 4s with MansionBet.
A big run from Naval Crown in the Free Handicap on Wednesday would be a boost to the chances of Master Of The Seas (3.35) who was a beaten odds-on favourite in a listed race in Meydan back in February when he pulled away his chance. Charlie Appleby fits his colt – 10/3 with BetVictor – with a hood this afternoon – he was also too free in the National Stakes at the Curragh as a juvenile – and, if the aid makes his more amenable to restraint, he can return to winning ways.
Aidan O’Brien saddles a couple of promising colts, but his two 3-y-olds finished last and next to last here on Tuesday and his Craven runners are best watched unless his Wednesday runners show an upturn in fortunes.
At Cheltenham, The Glancing Queen (1.30) looked ready for a step up in trip when a staying on fifth in the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle here last month. The selection occupied the same position when an excellent fifth in the Champion Bumper here a couple of years ago and I would be disappointed if she did not have the necessary stamina reserves on today’s good ground. The opening 7/4 with William Hill looked attractive and the mare is Evens with the same firm at the time of posting.
Joseph O’Brien’s Scholastic (2.05) ran a personal best when third to Jeff Kidder in a Fairyhouse Grade 3 ten days ago and the winner had previously sluiced up in the Boodles Hurdle at the Festival here last month. She was receiving weight from the geldings on that occasion, but she looks fairly treated off a mark of 121 and the yard did us a favour at Aintree last week courtesy of Fakir D’oudairies. She obviously needs good ground to be at her most effective and this looks an excellent opportunity. The opening 11/4 was too big and she is into 2s with Boylesports at the time of posting.
In the 2m Handicap Chase Miss Amelia will be a warm order but she must prove she is as effective on today’s good ground and preference is for Northern Beau (4.25) who I hope can make all under Brendan Powell for Michael Scudamore. The selection – 5/2 with BetVictor – is a stone is a stone lower in the weights than when outclassed here back in the autumn, but she has an excellent course record and did win the corresponding race here two years ago when she beat non other than Happy Diva.
There is a terrific card at Ripon where I hope to see Impulsive One (4.35) upset the odds on the Gosden’s Emperor Spirit who got off the yard at the third attempt at Wolverhampton back in December. This will be his turf debut, however, and the selection bounced off the ground when scoring at Bath on his penultimate start. He is hardly one of the stars in the William Haggas stable, but I expect him to win a couple of decent mile handicaps this season for his excellent handler. The ew recommendation is 11/2 with 10Bet.