The handicaps at the Newmarket July meeting are nearly always well supported throughout the three days of action, but sadly the graded events less so.
This is exemplified nowhere more than in the Sir Henry Cecil Stakes (4.40) with a dire six entries for this mile contest open to just the classic generation.
By the way, the Bahrain Trophy (1.50) with eight runners, the July Stakes (2.25) and the Princess of Wales’s Stakes at 3.35, both with just the six entries, must have the Newmarket executive holding their heads in their hands wondering what they must do to boost the numbers for these historic races.
MOMKIN (4.40) has been on my radar all season and went to the top of my horses to follow list in my little black diary form book when he had absolutely no luck at all in the run in the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Previously an excellent second to Skardu in the Craven Stakes before a badly drawn 10th in the 2,000 Guineas, the son of Bated Breath arguably secured the worst passage through a race at the Royal meeting since Sir Isaac Newton (yes it is well worth watching that performance again, but get ready to wince) was given, shall we say diplomatically, a “moderate” ride in the 2015 version of that seven furlong event.
Granted a clear run I honestly believe that Roger Charlton’s charge would have won and then possibly taken in the Lennox Stakes at Glorious Goodwood.
Having spotted that eyecatcher I was hoping for a double figure field in the SHC but sadly that is not to be, although as I check my piece the main sources of S.P forecasts on the web have yet to put up their provisional market which irks me hugely.
So I am going to suggest that 4/1 will be readily available about this talented individual who we have yet to see the best of and he will be one of my bigger bets of the day even though I suspect with his waiting tactics a bigger field would probably suit his run style much better.
If Momkin was one of the biggest eye catchers at the Royal meeting then Masar (3.35)was one of the bigger disappointments at the five-day festival in the Hardwicke Stakes and that despite bearing in mind that he fell from the stalls and was hampered early on.
The 2018 Epsom Derby winner found disappointingly little under pressure having received glowing tributes about his work beforehand.
But the very fact he dodged the Prince of Wales’s Stakes, which many said was the race of the meeting, but which in my eyes was over hyped, told us plenty about his real level of fitness.
At his best the Godolphin charge should be able to pick these up and carry them on his back past the winning post, but he could be vulnerable here in a tactical event and despite both Mirage Dancer and Baghdad being mildly progressive I would much rather have a play at bigger odds on the game COMMUNIQUE.
Courtesy of a sublime ride by SDS, he defeated no less a horse than Defoe in the Jockey Club Cup but has been readily put in his place by that same rival in the Coronation and the Hardwicke.
But sometimes in small fields, the best horse simply doesn’t win and I suspect that SDS will once again ride his rivals to sleep if he gets an early lead and then ramps up the speed gradually from five furlongs out. As such, 12/1 looks about a sexy a bet as I will be having on day one.
Visinari was hugely impressive to the naked eye when winning his career debut over course and distance and his time wasn’t too shoddy either butt at very nearly even-money I am quite happy to go and let him win.
The each-way call has to be the Karl Burke trained CLASSY MOON (2.25). Had his maiden win not been at Carlisle and if he were trained by a Gosden or Stoute I suspect he would be a 4/1 shot at worst for this.
But he didn’t and he isn’t, but let’s be clear about this, his shrewd handler very rarely lets his younger horses shoot for the moon unless they have a real chance of reaching it.
He picked up in the manner of a serious horses at the Cumbrian track and I know has been working well since and at around the 9/1 mark currently on offer from PP he is worthy an an each-way investment.
Moqtarreb could well carry his penalty to victory in the all-aged mile handicap at 5.10, but the fast ground loving BALGAIR looks much better each-way value in my punting book, while EAGLES BY DAY looks to be crying out for a stamina test and gets to run over 13 furlongs for the first time in the Leger trial, the Bahrain Trophy, which opens the card at 1.50.