Newmarket Cambridgeshire Day 2 Tips: Back Gifted to Master his rivals
The Channel 4 cameras are at Newmarket for day two of the Cambridgeshire meeting, and while our man Tony Calvin has found punting angles thin on the ground he still has to recommended bets for you to consider...
"His form figures at this track read 12111, and one those of wins came over course and distance in Group 3 company."
The Newmarket card on Thursday held minimal punting interest for me and the same is true, to a lesser degree, about the fare at HQ on Friday. So I make no apologies for making this column shorter and sharper than usual.
We will do what we normally do in these low-key circumstances and go through the meeting in chronological order.
I can't remember the last time I saw 17-runners in a fillies and mares Listed race but that is the case in the 13:55.
Official ratings, speed figures, and recent form, tell you that Ashadihan and Promising Run - despite their 3lb penalties for their Group 3 wins - are the two to beat, and it is no surprise that they head the market.
Below them, it is a 15-runner pick 'em and if forced I would side with the improving and well-related Laugh Aloud, but as for parting with the cash it's a no-no.
The 1m4f fillies and mares Listed race at 14:30 has a similar shape to it with the form horses Journey and Beautiful Romance the likeliest winners but they both carry penalties.
And there are some lightly-raced 3yos ranged against them, such as Beautiful Morning - watch your bets - and Shall We, who don't have that much to find at the weights, so this is another crapshoot of sorts. Not for me.
If all eight stand their ground in the Rockfel at 15:05, then expect the each-way players to be out in force, as it is 5-1 the field bar the odds-on jolly Fair Eva.
I can't see past the favourite even if she did break a few hearts - and dent a few betting balances - when only third at 4-11 in the Lowther, and I am also struggling to spot a solid place play in the race, too.
On first viewing, the Group 2 Joel Stakes at 15:40, 127079780, also nearly passed me by, as it's an incredibly tight-knit 1m race - only 5lb separate the six runners - but I wasn't expecting Gifted Master to be available at [9.0].
He is, after all, the highest-rated horse in the field, as much as I had to double-check that, given Amazing Maria is a dual Group 1 winner, albeit one who has been out of form since winning the Rothschild last season.
No, Gifted Master is rated top on 113 and if he sees off his pace rival Custom Cut, who is in form and made all to win this race in 2014, in the early stages then he could prove hard to beg pack.
His form figures at this track read 12111, and one those of wins came over course and distance in Group 3 company.
His third in the Lennox on his penultimate start is at least on a par with any recent form his rivals can boast, and his disappointing run in the Prix Maurice de Gheest last time just 12 days later, on bad ground by all accounts, was thought to have come too soon after those Goodwood exertions.
The six-week break since Deauville is very much in his favour as he goes very well when fresh.
I fear Custom Cut most of the opposition - in truth, any of the sextet can win - but price always dictates the destination of my cash and that is Gifted Master. Not a lot of it, though, admittedly.
The next three races on the card are all interesting in their own right but for my other small-stakes bet on the day I am siding with Storm King in the Silver Cambridgeshire at 17:55.
There is no great story to him, other than the fact that I think he has reached a mark, and conditions, from which he can win off again.
He was rated 94 a couple of years ago, when his best efforts included a third to Arab Spring over an extended 1m2f at Doncaster, and he has taken a while to find his form this season after a 17-month break.
The handicapper has dropped him 7lb since the start of the season, and if he returns to the form of his Redcar fourth over 1m last month then he can be very competitive here.
We know that this longer trip holds no fears for him, and nor does the quickening ground. He is worth a poke at [34.0] or bigger.
Back Gifted Master at [9.0] in the 15:40 at Newmarket
Back Storm King at [34.0] in the 17:55 at Newmarket