She's Quality is the one to back in Gp 1
Bopedro has great form and good draw
Majestic backed to win Cambridgeshire again
It is always a relief when an ante-post recommendation gets confirmed at the overnight stage (just get to the start now please), but I would have definitely liked more than one of She's Quality's Cheveley Park rivals to have fallen by the wayside from the 14-strong five-day entries.
However, my confidence in her at the current price remains (she was 50/151.00 with the Sportsbook on Monday and is now 25/126.00), so no way I am putting off those fresh to the party here.
I think any number of fillies can win this race, but she remains the best price of the lot (she is actually 33/134.00 in the wider marketplace) in the 14:25.
Don't' get me wrong, 15/82.88 poke Relief Rally probably deserves to head the market by daylight, as she is just a head-bob away from being unbeaten in five starts. But a length defeat of Cherry Blossom in the Lowther was put into context by the runner-up's performance at the Curragh last time.
Sure, the winner One Look was ridiculously impressive in that sales race, but Cherry Blossom only saw off the 96-rated third by a neck.
I have not seen a shallower pool of UK juveniles for yonks - Group 1 winners Vandeek and Fallen Angel apart - and Prime Art, rated just 85 in Ireland, showed that once again when winning a Group 3 at Ayr last Saturday.
This Group 1 looks ripe for picking and hopefully She's Quality is the one to stick her hand up and pluck away first, as I love the angle of her stepping down back to 6f.
And the case that I made for her on Monday stands in full.
Basically, she has looked a non-stayer in her two attempts over 7f so far, including in the Group 1 Moyglare last time when sent off a 33/134.00 chance, and a patient, stalking ride over 6f in a well-run contest could well see this strong-traveller take the necessary big leap forward.
She certainly shaped far better than a 7 ¼-length sixth of nine would suggest in the Moyglare, tanking along in the rear, and coming with a promising run on the outside, which petered out in the closing stages.
And her previous second to Navassa Island over 6f at the Curragh, a race in which she led but got picked up late on, reads very well, too.
The winner ran well in defeat when third at Ayr on Saturday, the third won a Group 3 next time, and the fourth, Prime Art, landed a day-of-the-race gamble in the aforementioned Ayr Group 3 race last weekend.
In between those Curragh runs, trainer Jack Davison brought her over to easily win a 15k stakes race at Newbury and the quickening ground (it is now good to firm despite the course getting 3mm of rain early on Friday morning) could well be in her favour.
I was told earlier in the week that she wouldn't travel if it was too testing, and it certainly won't be that. The zest with which she travels into her races suggests ground on the quick side could really suit her.
It's primarily a gut play, I admit, but I am happy to press up.
Play each way if you want (the Sportsbook are now paying four places at 25/126.00) but I will go with 30.029/1 or bigger with the Exchange - she could well be a big drifter on the day given her profile, so you may even want to Saturday to back her - and I will look at the Without Favourite lines for her when those markets appear on Friday afternoon or Saturday morning.
I'll update on Betfair Racing's 8am Twitter Spaces show on Saturday morning on that front. Please tune in.
Aside from Relief Rally, I'd be very wary of the unbeaten French filly Jasna's Secret, but the market tells you that.
Well, it does now anyway, as the Sportsbook's opening 7/18.00 late on Thursday morning was quickly snaffled up. She is now a mere 4/15.00.
The Newmarket card kicks off with the nine-runner Royal Lodge at 13:50 and, on first viewing, I had it down between 15/82.88 favourite Capulet and 5/16.00 Ghostwriter, with slight preference for the latter who recorded a very good time when impressive at Ascot last time.
However, I also had At Vemeiro down as a massive improver.
That is hardly earthshattering as anyone with eyes would have seen how well he shaped when starting slowly from gate one of 10 at Doncaster and coming home very strongly to finish fifth on his debut.
He was very weak in the betting there, too, going off at a Betfair SP of 16.42, having traded at single figures early doors.
That soft ground Donny maiden form is, of course, 20lb or so below the principals but he is a well-bred, 650,000 guineas yearling - he is by Sea The Stars out of a German 1m4f Group 2 winner - who is primed to take a giant leap forward here.
He opened up at 50/151.00 and 40/141.00 late on Thursday morning, but by noon he was biggest at 28/129.00 in the market, and he is now just 18/119.00 with the Sportsbook.
I am not alone in expecting a big run from him then - the stable have been going through a relatively quiet patch but they had a winner at Newmarket on Thursday - but the juicy prices are clearly long gone.
I agree with the Sportsbook in just preferring River Tiber 7/42.75 favourite over 15/82.88 Vandeek in the Middle Park at 15:00 - though the Exchange currently fancies Vandeek - as the former had a setback before the Morny and Ryan Moore handled him with kids gloves there.
I reckon he will make up the 2 ¼ lengths he was beaten by Vandeek in Deauville but it is no gimme that he will necessarily win the race though, as Lake Forest interests me.
He seems to have been bought privately by Tony Bloom and his Starlizard colleague Ian McAleavy after his Gimcrack win in a good time. The former doesn't strike me as a man to waste his money, especially with William Haggas presumably advising him to do so (I have no idea who the previous owners Silver Racing were, but I am guessing they didn't include Bloom).
No way would I make him as big as the 17.016/1 he currently trades on the Exchange, so I was tempted to tip him, though the market is lightly-traded, so any recommendation would probably not be fair to anyone.
He is 12/113.00 with the Sportsbook. Jasour could get an uncontested lead, by the way.
The Cambridgeshire at 15:40 is much more my bag, and I am not going to type away that Greek Order is a bad price at the current 5.39/2 on the Exchange.
If any horse is going to win this by daylight then it is this well-bred colt after what he did to a good subsequent winner at Newbury last time.
But I have to look further down the betting myself, and credible dangers to the favourite are obviously not hard to find.
The striking aspect of the Exchange market is just how big the horses are trading at win-only, compared to the Sportsbook prices (six places there by the way).
I landed on three after much deliberation, and it was a pretty long shortlist I can tell you. They were last year's first and third, Majestic and Dual Identity, and Bopedro.
Bopedro has a lot to recommend him - he won here earlier in the season, he won well on the July course two starts ago and he won have gone close with anything like a clear run off this mark at Leopardstown last time - but the issue I had with him was the 1m1f trip.
He stays 1m well enough obviously but I sometimes got the impression he wasn't crying out for an extra furlong. Clearly, his two efforts over further than a mile were underwhelming but they were back in 2019 and 2020.
I went back and looked at all his best runs over a mile, and I came to the conclusion that my initial fears about the trip may well have been misplaced, especially on this ground.
I hope so anyway, as he is my first bet in the race at his current 25.024/1 on the Exchange. Any 20/121.00 or bigger there is good.
Basically, he is in great form, and I like his high draw in 28, though there is pace all across the track. The David O'Meara stable is in excellent form too, with a current 20 per cent strike well above their usual norm (they normally chug along at a spaghetti-to-the wall 12 per cent)
I know Dual Identity rather showed his hand when sluicing up at Sandown last time, going up 8lb into the bargain, but he looked an unfortunate loser in this last year. He won his race on the far side (trading at 1.1), only to get mugged by a couple of late closers .
He really did look in rude health at Sandown last time, but the more I look, the more I think he left his winning Cambridgeshire chance behind him there (and his stable could be in a lot better form as well), for all 16.015/1 on the Exchange is a big price about him.
He got the tipping red card very late on, as I was all set to go with three win-only in this.
No, I am going to play it simple and hope his 2022 chief mugger, Majestic, returns to the form that saw him win this race last year.
He is 3lb lower than when a good second at Epsom in June (he also should have gone close to winning at York the time before) and the ground is back in his favour after two recent runs on good to soft.
This intermediate trip (buy mentions of "intermediate" on TV and in print on Saturday, by the way) on quick ground are probably his ideal combination and he is drawn next to Bopedro in 29, so let's hope high is again the place to be.
The Sportsbook's 33/134.00 about him on Thursday was immediately taken and he is now 16/117.00 there, but he is a bet at 24.023/1 or bigger on the Exchange. As with Bopedro, any 20/121.00 or bigger, is acceptable (one firm is currently going 25/1).
There is also one race apiece on ITV from Haydock and Chester.
It's soft, heavy in places, at Haydock and the 5f handicap at 14:40 looks set up for a closer as Clearpoint, Manila Scouse, Spoof, Silky Wilkie and Never Dark can go forward.
That points to Probe and Arecibo for my money, with the ground possibly pointing more towards the former. The problem is that is blatantly obvious and he is just 3/14.00 after a good run at York last time and off a decent mark of 97 on his juvenile form.
I can let him win at those odds; it's a sprint handicap, after all. And admittedly Arecibo was very tempting at double-figures too, as he does have some form in the mud and he could well laugh at these off a career-low of 88.
There is also plenty of pace in the 2m2f handicap at Chester at 14:05.
Emiyn made all to win the race last season and he is a fair price at 5/16.00 with the Sportsbook to repeat the feat from trap one. He will love the soft ground, though the issue he possibly has is that four of his rivals have also gone forward in the past.
And it is a pretty deep race, even though it's a relatively small field and two are out of the handicap. And my long-time favourite Tashkhan is down to a mark of 105 now, with the ground more in his favour.
I will just stick with the Cheveley Park press-up and the two plays in the Cambridgeshire, although I must admit Lake Forest, Arecibo and Emiyn nearly made the list, too.
Back on Saturday with my thoughts on the Arc card.
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