Newmarket 14:05 - Amralah
Let's jump straight to it today. Amralah looks the bet of the day at 9.28/1 in the 14:05 at Newmarket.
Bemoaning bad luck is not my style but it is hoped that he gets better luck-in-running than yesterday's nap, Burano, who for the second start running met all the trouble going and still was only beaten six lengths into seventh. I am convinced that he has a big handicap in him when the brakes don't have to be applied three or four times during a race.
And I'm also pretty confident that Amralah will go close with a clear run today, and I'll be surprised if he finishes out of the frame.
Ok, a Group 1 Coronation Cup entry looks a bit fanciful as it stands, but it is an indication of how highly-regarded this horse is, and how well-handicapped he could be off a mark of 92.
He beat today's rivals Urban Dance and Van Percy in convincing style on fast ground over course and distance last September before connections took the surprising decision to step him down to 1m1f for a Group 3 race on his final start of the season, in which he predictably cut little ice.
The horse has been difficult to train in the past, being a big, backward sort, but he looks exactly the type to shine as a 4yo and it could be very significant that he was well-backed in the morning against handicap good thing Arab Spring at Doncaster last Saturday.
He was withdrawn there - possibly on account of the worsening ground but maybe because connections heard that he was up against a potential Group horse off just 85 - but that money was good to see all the same.
In fact, what is equally noteworthy was that Ryan Moore, who rode Arab Spring to that easy success, specifically named Amralah as the only horse he feared at Doncaster in his Betfair column.
The Mick Channon stable is not in the best of form, but that looks the only negative and I am surprised to see him trading at 8-1+, even in a race as competitive as this.
Newmarket 15:50 - Joyeuse
Moore is very keen on the chances of Integral in the 14:40 in his Betfair column today but I can let her go unbacked at odds of 2.245/4 and I was going to side with Miss France all week in the 1,000 Guineas before her price has crashed into 5-1 in the last 48 hours.
I think she is the most likely winner and couldn't put anybody off backing her - indeed I have punted her, but at 10-1 earlier in the week - but I am going to take a chance with Joyeuse at odds of 21.020/1 in the fillies classic.
Even with so many high-profile withdrawals this week, this race still looks ridiculously competitive but I think Joyeuse is a big potential improver.
She will need to be, as the overall balance of her form leaves her with plenty to find with the likes of Rizeena but I think the half-sister to Frankel was crying out for a mile when third in the Fred Darling, where she seemed to settle a lot better in a first-time hood, which is retained today, and be ridden with an eye on this race.
She is a fair shout in a race which you can make out a case for most of these, and it is fascinating to see John Gosden pitch his Lingfield maiden winner Betimes straight into this race.
I followed Ninjago over a cliff last season and was very tempted to scrape myself up off the rocks, walk back up, and go again in the 15:10, as I am convinced that he has races in him off 101 and he did win first time out last season.
But I'll stick with just the two selections today, and a fair interest in Amralah in the opener.
Back Amralah @ 9.28/1 - Newmarket 14:05
Back Joyeuse @ 21.020/1 - Newmarket 15:50