Horse Racing tips: Ruby Walsh and Frank Hickey preview Thursday at Newmarket

Ruby and Frank have taken a look at Day 3 of the Craven Meeting

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Ruby Walsh and Frank Hickey have given their opinion on Thursday’s headline races at Newmarket’s Craven Meeting.

Speaking on the latest episode of Paddy Power’s From The Horse’s Mouth podcast, our dynamic duo cast their eyes over the Group 3 Abernant Stakes before moving on to the week’s feature race – the Craven Stakes.

15.00 – Abernant Stakes (Group 3, 6f)

Ruby Walsh: “This is definitely a drop in class for OXTED. He was spectacular at Newmarket on the July Course last year but then went to Ascot on slow ground and ran behind Glen Shiel before we saw him this year in Saudi Arabia.

“If we get the Oxted that we saw in the July Cup that beat Skeptical, and that won here on the Rowley Mile in June when beating Breathtaking Look, he will win. But having been to Saudi Arabia and then home again, I just don’t know. Sprinters are so in and out, and hard to get a handle on, that I wouldn’t pile into him at odds-on.

“But then you look down through the field and what beats Oxted? EMARAATY ANA ran well at Doncaster when he was second behind Royal Commando on Lincoln Day but he has a huge amount to find on the book. He’s 16lbs below Oxted.”

Frank Hickey: “Maybe the bit of sun in Saudi Arabia has done OXTED some good, and when I look at this field I think he will be hard to beat. He won this race, albeit when it was run in June, last year – beating Breathtaking Look and he obviously improved to win the July Cup. I think he ran really well in the Champion Sprint on Champions Day at Ascot, considering the ground was against him, and he was only beaten by a length. Replication of that form might be enough.

“Brando was ahead of him that day but Brando is one of the most in-and-out horses ever, and his run to finish second that day came from nowhere. I would be very disappointed if Oxted gets beaten. What’s interesting as well is that Roger Teal has had three winners from 10 runners in the last two weeks so it’s good to see the yard in a bit of form.

“Oxted is a proper Group 1 sprinter and if he is anywhere near his best, he will win.”

Jockey Cieren Fallon (L) rides Oxted to victory in the July Cup at Newmarket Racecourse ahead of Frankie Dettori on Irish raider Sceptical with favourite Golden Horde third in Suffolk on July 11, 2020

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15.35 – Craven Stakes (Group 3, 1m)

Ruby Walsh: “I would have been all over Chindit if he had lined up here, as he got blocked in the Dewhurst behind St Mark’s Basilica. Tactical, who runs on Wednesday, was behind him on that occasion. If Tactical runs a good race, then you know the Dewhurst form is stacking up.

“Is it a concern that MASTER OF THE SEAS got beaten by Naval Crown in Meydan? Naval Crown runs on Wednesday in a lesser race than this, but maybe they have seen a huge amount of improvement from Master Of The Seas.

“The other one who could have been interesting was Nando Parrado for Clive Cox, but he isn’t lining up either. He was second in Longchamp in October in the Jean-Luc Lagardere, while he did beat Qaader on good ground at Ascot in June.”

Frank Hickey: “Godolphin has William Buick on MASTER OF THE SEAS and James Doyle on LA BARROSA so I would assume they’re going to run. I could definitely make a case of Master Of The Seas, who wasn’t disgraced at The Curragh in the National Stakes when  beaten 2l by Thunder Moon – who has a right chance in the Guineas. Master Of The Seas went off 2/1 favourite that day on the back of winning the Superlative Stakes.

“La Barossa won a Group 3 here in September – The Tattersalls Stakes. It wasn’t the strongest renewal of the race ever but I did like the way he won. He then found a mile on heavy ground too much for him in the Criterium International at Saint-Cloud. Back on better ground will suit him.

“Normally Aidan O’Brien runs a potentially Guineas horse in this to find out where his stable stands against the English horses, but I would be surprised if KHARTOUM is the one in his plans. You would have thought the two from the Dewhurst – St Mark’s Basilica and Wembley – and then Battleground would be the three to focus on. Normally he makes a bit of a slow start until Guineas weekend but he is already firing in winners.

“If Chindit had been declared here, he would have been the one to beat for me. But as he hasn’t, this is wide open.”

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