Royal to step up from strong Yarmouth form
14:15 at Newmarket
Vaguely Royal @ 5/1
Bix Beiderbecke was the fourth single winner in four days for the column yesterday and landed the money at a BSP price of 5.66 - and another drifter.
The second leg finished runner-up, Mantooq, and traded at 1.8810/11 in defeat for another close double.
Friday's action centres around two horses bred in the purple and Vaguely Royal runs in a decent looking Newmarket Maiden over 1m2f.
His sole run as a 2yo came on fast ground at Yarmouth last September, finishing third behind an Andrew Balding horse with experience and running for the third time.
Vaguely Royal was never really a factor and didn't quite have the speed to muster a serious challenge over the 1m, and the 1m2f today will serve him a whole lot better.
They didn't go much of a pace at Yarmouth, and the race finishing speed of 105% suited the winner too as he was best placed from the front. However, Vaguely Royal stayed on nicely under tender handling and ran a quicker final furlong than the first and second.
Gosden at Newmarket has a 19% win rate with his 3yos and a 38% placed record at HQ.
Naqeeb bred in the purple, but not for extreme heavy
Back Naqeeb @ 15/4
The 16:20 Maiden with John Gosden's Tony Montana as the market leader at 10/11 means a strong standard is set to aim at, but Naqeeb at 4/1 is worth another chance to show what he can do on a more reasonable surface.
Gosden has won this race twice in the last 10 years with the classy pair Remote and Logician (a St Leger winner), although Naqeeb's trainer William Haggas also landed this with Al Muffrih - who turned out not so good and has been hurdling most recently. Hopefully a better career awaits Naqeeb.
The Nathaniel 3yo recently made his debut at Leicester and sent off 5/4F, but the ground was awful, as it usually is at the Midlands' track.
The winner was a 20/1 outsider, and the second was 40/1. And while the victor got an enterprising ride from the front, Naqeeb didn't handle the extreme heavy at all. The time was 22 seconds over standard to emphasise the brutal conditions.
He will stay well as a Nathaniel, and as a relation and half-brother to Baaeed and Hukum, his pedigree is one of the more illustrious ones.
Haggas is 6-32 with his 3yo turf runners this season and is 22% and 41% placed at Newbury with the same age group.