A high-quality card at Newmarket takes centre stage on Friday, and Alan Dudman returns for his latest stint in the tipping chair with two Ralph Beckett horses to back for the afternoon...
"The extra two furlongs here should also suit, as he shaped like a stayer at Goodwood."
Filly to relish extra yards for Group 1 feature
15:35 Newmarket - Back Antonia De Vega @ 4.94/1
It's a real treat to have a Group 1 on Friday to preview, and there's a bit for everyone on the afternoon with a really good-looking card to be staged at Newton Abbot.
Starting with the Fillies' Mile at HQ, and I'll be taking the 4.904/1 on Ralph Beckett's Antonia De Vega here.
She's been crying out for this sort of distance and should relish her first try at a mile today. She landed the money on debut at Newmarket with a strong finish, and it was the same when scoring in the Group 3 Prestige at Goodwood last time.
This appears to have been the plan for a while and her trainer is a real dab hand in guiding fillies at this stage of their careers, and he's in good nick too at the moment with a strike rate at around 26%.
She has a lot to find on the book in terms of official figures with Pretty Pollyanna, who is rated 117, and she steps up to a mile after her disappointing run over 6f last time.
Ground on the quick side won't be a problem for Antonia De Vega.
Beckett to rock HQ with a double?
16:10 Newmarket - Back Rock Eagle @ 5.59/2
There are stacks of progressive horses in the Old Rowley Cup, and I am hoping trainer Ralph Beckett can land a double here with Rock Eagle.
He's had a break of 71 days and that might be a good thing given he lacked a bit of know-how when last seen running at Goodwood. That looks strong handicap form behind Communique (who did hold an entry for this), but Rock Eagle looked a touch inexperienced in that race. It was over 1m2f at a tricky track, so I am expecting him to come on a fair bit from that.
The extra two furlongs here should also suit, as he shaped like a stayer at Goodwood. There's a bit of stamina on the dam side too.
They should go a pace here as his stablemate Breath Caught makes the running, but the selection looks the stronger stayer. Racing from a mark of 92, the trip is a clincher for me and he rates a fair bet at around the 5.04/1 mark.
Rain to boost the chances of Gosden colt
I don't normally include a third selection, but seeing the forecast for York on Friday, we can get a decent price on John Gosden's Almoghared at 12/1.
He held an entry in the Cesarewitch but will be rocking up in the Knavesmire instead - presumably for the possibility of soft conditions with rain predicted, as the ground at Newmarket will be quick.
This looks a cracking handicap and worthy of any Saturday race, and the selection is massively unexposed from 103. That is interesting judged on his fourth to Kew Gardens in the
He's been crying out for soft ground, which might explain why he's been off since the JLT Cup following the hot summer. He was a late inclusion for me to tip here due to the forecast, and if correct, he'd have a chance of hitting the frame at double figures.
Alan's Bets of the Day - P/L
This week so far: 0.0
Previous week: +1.50
Back Antonia De Vega 0.5pt @ 4.94/1 in the 15:35 at Newmarket
Back Rock Eagle 0.5pt @ 5.59/2 in the 16:10 at Newmarket
Back Almoghared 0.5pt @ 12/1 Sportsbook in the 15:50 at York (also a PROMO RACE)