Friday Racing Tips: Four big-priced fancies to follow at Newmarket
It's the second day of the Cambridgeshire meeting at Newmarket and, as the ITV cameras will be rolling, Tony Calvin also provides the tips...
"On Her Toes acts on any ground but she has won on soft - connections have pointed out she has a high knee action - and one of her better career efforts came in that ground when chasing home the progressive Tomyris at York in May."
To be honest, a whole host of Group, Listed and maiden races are not my idea of punting heaven but at least we have the Silver Cambridgeshire on the end of the card if we get desperate.
Knees make Toes the pick in the opener
However, I initially thought that there was a bet in the first race of the day at 13:50 - there is, but not the one I originally targeted - so that is where we will start.
There is little doubt that Amabalis and Muffri' Ha deserve to head the market at around the 5/1 mark.
Unlike many of these, Amabalis comes into this race with a progressive profile and she was very impressive when winning an Ascot handicap, with a bit of ease in the ground, off a mark of 94 last time.
Her revised mark of 102 makes her the third highest-rated horse in here behind Muffri' Ha and Tisbutadream (one of two possible pace angles perhaps, alongside Lincoln Rocks, who carries a 3lb penalty for her Listed race win in July) but my issue with her is that she didn't appear to handle the dip at all here last season.
Muffri' Ha has won over course and distance, finished third in this race last season and has upwards of 4lb in hand of this field. She simply looks rock-solid, though her best form has come on a sound surface, so the recent rain that changed the going to an official good to soft (soft in places) on Thursday morning is probably not ideal.
I was going to take a chance with Mittens at [10.0], for all that she ran an absolute shocker at Haydock last time. But the rain really put me off her chances. I started writing this on Thursday morning, so I texted some people (four, in fact) in Newmarket and asked them what they thought the ground would be like.
"Soft" was the answer from three. The other one ignored me. To be fair, the ground didn't look too bad during Thursday's racing but there is a fair bit of rain forecast.
The ground was put forward as the reason why Mittens blew out at Haydock. It was officially good to soft that day, but it was changed to soft after her race, so it won't be the biggest surprise if she is pulled out here, I guess.
I did note in the stewards' report that she also lost her right fore shoe that day, as well, so perhaps that was a contributing factor.
I'm assuming (right or wrong) it will be, and ride, soft on Friday - and some forecasts suggest they are due more rain on Friday morning - so I am now interested in two horses in this race.
I very nearly tipped a saver on the 66/1+ mud-loving outsider Always Thankful (rated a lofty 76), and it would no surprise if the beautifully-bred La Figlia was backed at 25/1+ to improve massively here (I nearly tipped her, too) but On Her Toes got the vote.
Back her at 11/1 each way with the Betfair Sportsbook (1/5 the odds 1,2,3,4) or [12.0] or bigger on the exchange.
She acts on any ground but she has won on soft - connections have pointed out she has a high knee action - and one of her better career efforts came in that ground when chasing home the progressive Tomyris at York in May.
She has since won a Listed race at Ascot on good to soft - for which she, unfortunately, picks up a 3lb penalty here - and the drop back to 7f at Doncaster last time was not ideal. She looks overpriced at 10/1+ in the conditions.
Sweet on Surprise in the day's second race
Pleasant Surprise also interests me at [12.0] or bigger in the 14:25.
No big story here.
She has a fair bit to find with the form horses, but she is improving, things haven't fallen right for her on her last two starts - she raced on the wrong side of the track when second at Newmarket last month and got caught close home after idling at Saint-Cloud last time - and the soft ground is not expected to be an issue for her.
Mori looks a favourite to take on after her York run, and she makes the market for others as a result, so I think Fleur Foryste is also worth backing at [7.0] or bigger in the race.
She has looked a much-improved filly since the application of a hood and was very impressive when winning a 1m4f Listed race in good to soft ground at York last time. She could be progressing at a rate of knots and should be kept onside.
One More in the Silver Cambridgeshire
I don't have a betting opinion in the Rockfel at 15:00 and you probably don't need me to tell you that Beat The Bank was ultra-impressive in the soft at Goodwood last time and is probably a fair bet at around the 5/2 mark in the Group 2 at 15:35.
It is only on RUK, so outside of my terrestrial brief, but I will have a dabble in the Silver Cambridgeshire at 17:20 and my old mate One Word More fits the bill at [17.0] or bigger.
I imagine Fire Brigade will be all the rage for this race after he ran the highly-regarded Cape Byron to a head over 1m at Ascot last time, and rightly so. He is 5lb well-in here, and 1m1f with cut in the ground could see him step forward again.
But his odds reflect his obvious chance - don't get me wrong, he looks the most likely winner - and there are no shortage of dangers elsewhere, notably the likes of Archie, luckless in the run last time, and unexposed types likes Addeybb. And Palmerston's trainer Mick Appleby has won this race twice in recent seasons.
However, I am giving One Word More another shot. The handicapper has dropped him a generous 3lb for his last run, so he is now already 4lb lower than when staying on eye-catchingly into fifth behind Master The World in the Betfred Mile in the soft at Goodwood just three starts ago.
He is a bit of a late headway monkey who hasn't won for more than two years and finds all the trouble going in his races (flattering to deceive is his forte) but the step up to 1m1f for the first time could see him finally coming home with a wet sail, and winning.
We can but hope, anyway. Good luck.
Back On Her Toes at 11/1 each way with the Betfair Sportsbook (1/5 the odds 1,2,3,4); or at [12.0] or bigger on exchange in 13:50 at Newmarket
Back Pleasant Surprise at [12.0] in 14:25 at Newmarket
Back Fleur Foryste at [7.0] or bigger in 14:25 at Newmarket
Back One Word More at [17.0] or bigger in 17:20 at Newmarket