Timeform: Your Lucky 15 for Thursday at Newmarket

Our racing boffins are here to pick out a fab foursome for another day of major action at the Suffolk racecourse and of course, they have a few tips for us…


The Grand National took centre stage at Aintree last weekend, with Tiger Roll delivering a knockout blow to his rivals that Rocky Balboa would have been proud of – in the process giving Gordon Elliott a second win in the race and Davy Russell his first.

It was clear how much the win meant, with a video later emerging of the pair embracing their Aintree hero in his stable, while also giving a rousing rendition of Survivor’s ‘Eye of The Tiger’.

Things very rarely stand still in this game, though, and this week so far has been all about the Flat and the Craven meeting at Newmarket.

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The action cranks up a notch with the race that lends its name to the fixture at 15:35, the Craven Stakes, with Roaring Lion a hot favourite as he attempts to enhance his 2000 Guineas prospects.

It is easy to see why he is so short, too, with his second in the Racing Post Trophy by far the best form on offer here and, with the prospect of more to come, he really should take all the beating.

Whether we can expect a rendition of Katy Perry’s ‘Roar’ from John Gosden and Oisin Murphy in the winners’ enclosure is perhaps not so certain…

The Killers’ Mr Brightside is my personal song of choice in the shower, but performing in front of people is another matter altogether, and I never could bring myself to sign up for the music society during my time at Northumbria University.

Besides, I was far too busy at the bookies to devote myself to anything else, but the two passions can come together in Newmarket’s opening contest at 13:50.

Music Society showed a useful level of form in three starts as a two-year-old and should prove a tough nut to crack from what looks a fair opening mark, with Ryan Moore up for the first time.

The musical theme continues in the Wood Ditton at 14:25, with Military Band fancied to make a winning debut for the Saeed bin Suroor yard that won back-to-back renewals of this race in 2014/15.

It will be interesting to see where the money goes in a race where all 19 runners are making their first appearance on a racecourse, but he makes more appeal than most on paper – by New Approach and a half-brother to Cracksman – and is fancied to hit all the right notes on the Rowley Mile.

Finally, multi-Oscar winning actor Marlon Brando once said, “I don’t mind that I’m fat. You still get the same money.”

I haven’t checked the specifics of my contract at Timeform, but I should hope my job will still be safe if I pile on the pounds in the years to come, and my study of the form book this morning told me that Brando should have a great chance in the Abernant Stakes at 15:00.

He won the race last year and may be helped by a wind op since, with Le Brevido the obvious danger.

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What do you think?