Racing pundit and tipster Tony Calvin is back for day two of the Craven meeting at Newmarket with five fancies worth a good look...
"I’m a big fan of Music Master and I think he will take the world of beating in the Abernant at 15:30, but the problem is his price of around 5-2."
Day two of the Craven meeting and we will dive straight in, as it looks a decent betting card. Once again we will take it on in chronological order.
I wouldn't dream of playing in all-newcomers race but I've always been a fan of backing experienced horses against debutantes, however modest their first start, so Lady Nayef rates a sporting bet at odds of 15.014/1 or bigger in the opener at 13:45.
The form of her debut third at Kempton is clearly very modest in terms of a Newmarket maiden, but I quite liked the way she stuck on for third - the market leaders filled the first two spots, and the runner-up has run well in defeat since - and that experience could enable her to surprise some blue-blooded rivals from the top stables.
When I worked at the Racing Post, there was a guy there called Andy Smith - in fact, he is still there on the Production Desk, I believe - who used to have one of his biggest bets of the season backing the favourite in the Wood Ditton.
A rather betting bizarre system considering it is a race for 3yo newcomers, it has to be said, but let's hope he has stuck by it, as the market leader has done pretty well in recent years.
As for me, it's an immediate pass on that gossip race at 14:20, and straight on to the 14:55, where Tannaaf interests me at odds of 10.09/1.
He made an impressive debut when winning over 7f at the July course here last August and, in truth, hasn't run far off that form in two subsequent starts, latterly in Dubai in February, if perhaps not progressing as was expected.
But what gives me hope that he will finally step forward is the increased stamina test of 1m2f here, as he is by High Chaparral out of a 1m4f winner, and I don't think this race will take a lot of winning. Let's hope Mike De Kock has his UK string well forward though, as this is his first runner in the country this year.
I'm a big fan of Music Master and I think he will take the world of beating in the Abernant at 15:30, but the problem is his price of around 5-2.
He has won first time out for the last two seasons and I think he is easily the most talented horse in the race, but I just can't bring myself to play at those kind of odds in a race that has some depth. And that is borne out by the official ratings.
Furthermore, if we all just backed what we thought was going to win a race regardless of price, we would all be skint. As Faydhan backers found out to their cost today.
So I am going to take Music Master on with two at double-figure prices, the first being American Hope at odds of 18.017/1.
He hasn't raced over 6f since his first three starts but he is well worth a try back over the trip, as he is a keen sort who invariably travels strongly throughout his races. He also has the benefit of a run, albeit it was a little disappointing to see him touched off by Ninjago at Kempton.
The other selection against the favourite is Lucky Kristale, unpenalised for her two Group wins as a juvenile. A reproduction of those efforts would give Music Master plenty to think about and, while she had her problems last season, she also wasn't running over the right trip. The step back to 6f on fast ground could see her bounce back to form and 15.014/1 is a very fair price.
White Lake and Grandeur would be my selections, if forced, in the Craven and Earl Of Sefton respectively - a little bird told me the former had a setback before his defeat at Doncaster - but there isn't much in their prices to get me excited, while the following 7f fillies maiden doesn't appeal as punt-material either.
I think Captain Navarre at 26.025/1 or bigger could be worth a few quid in the 17:40. Traditionally you have to have about 20lb in hand to win this 1m2f handicap - past winners include Papal Bull, Bronze Cannon, Wigmore Hall and Main Sequence to name but four - and I don't think the selection has that much in hand.
But he is fit after a good return to action in a fair time at Doncaster last month and, although he lacks the sexy profile of some of these and the fast ground is an unknown, he is unexposed and I don't think he is a 25-1+ poke in this.
Back Lady Nayef at odds of 15.014/1 in the 13:45 at Newmarket
Back Tannaaf at odds of 10.09/1 in the 14:55 at Newmarket
Back American Hope at odds of 17.016/1 at 15:30 at Newmarket
Back Lucky Kristale at odds of 15.014/1 in the 15:30 at Newmarket
Back Captain Navarre at odds of 26.025/1 in the 17:40 at Newmarket