Friday ITV Racing Tips: Ellthea the eyecatcher for day two of the Cambridgeshire

horse race finish
It's a difficult day at Newmarket on Friday

Tony Calvin goes through the ITV racecard for day two of the Cambridgeshire meeting at Newmarket where his best bet comes in the opening Rosemary Stakes...

"Firstly, Ellthea remains the third highest-rated filly in the line-up despite that pretty dismal run last time, for which the handicapper eased her 3lb to a mark of 104. The other good news is that she would be a force to reckoned with her in here on her two previous starts as a 3yo."

Back Ellthea at 13.012/1 or bigger in the 13:50 Newmarket

Ellthea my pick in the opener

Four, relatively small-field Group and Listed races is usually my idea of punting hell when it comes to an ITV card, so it will as no surprise to hear that the stakes will be low and the column will not be as verbose as usual today.

But I have eked out one small play, so without further ado let me introduce you to the very selection; Ellthea in the 1m Listed Fillies' race at 13:50, at 13.012/1 or bigger.

The first thing to note is that this could be a pretty hot Listed contest.

If Unforgetable Filly is as good as she looked at Haydock last time, she could streak away with this on her favoured drying ground, even under her 3lb penalty.

If Laugh Aloud, winner of this race in 2016, is as good as she looked at Epsom last season, she could hose up.

And if Agrotera returns to her runaway Sandringham win at Royal Ascot, you could not rule out another clear-cut success for her.

On, the other hand, if Ellthea runs as poorly as she did at Doncaster under a fortnight ago, when last of nine, she could well finish not beat another horse home here again, especially as she would ideally prefer it a good deal softer (it is currently good, good to firm in places, but here is hoping for a heavy dew).

The postives

Are you still with me?

If so, let's get to the positives tout suite.

Firstly, Ellthea remains the third highest-rated filly in the line-up despite that pretty dismal run last time, for which the handicapper eased her 3lb to a mark of 104.

The other good news is that she would be a force to reckoned with her in here on her two previous starts as a 3yo, notably when beaten just two lengths in the French 1,000 Guineas on good ground on her reappearance.

Her juvenile form was just as good, if not better, and that included a fifth in the Fillies' Mile on this course, again on good ground.

The poor run last time was forecast by the market, and that actually gives me some hope. She was well tipped-up before the race but she went for a big walk in the market, from as low as 6/1 in the morning all the way out to 9/1 at the off, but much bigger still on the exchange (she had a Betfair SP of 14.09).

That strongly suggested to me that she needed the run after a 14-week lay-off since June, and in her defence she was positioned away from where the race developed at Doncaster and Clifford Lee couldn't claim his usual 3lb there, either.

She came alive at this time last season, and hopefully the first-time cheekpieces prove helpful, though a stable record of 2 from 36 with this option in recent years is certainly not a positive.

However, I am happy to give her another chance at the price, albeit to small stakes.

Too short for Star Rock

The only other race I was interested in on the terrestrial front is the 14:25, but I was undecided about putting up Star Rock given her price of just 11/4.

And when in doubt it is no bet for me. However, I do think she is just about the most likely winner and solid proposition.

She is the joint highest-rated filly in the race alongside Sun Maiden (in-season at Goodwood but pretty lack-lustre at York last time) and is a course-and-distance winner to boot, having won a 1m4f handicap at this meeting last year.

She is winless in three starts this season, but she has been runner-up on her last two outings, both in Group 2 company, and a reproduction of either of those efforts would put her bang on the premises.

I was hoping for a bigger price, given the presence of Sun Maiden and the likes of Mrs Sippy, so it's a race I can leave alone.

Leave the others out

I can happily leave the Rockfel at 15:00, to others - and the five-runner Joel Stakes at 15:35, has all the warmth and attraction of a Party Conference.

Any of them. Ever

Saturday will be busier, no doubt.

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