Four races from Newmarket Friday on ITV including three Group events so plenty to enjoy before a Group 1 card on Saturday and the Cambridgeshire.
The 13.50 is a Listed contest for fillies and mares over 1m. This is wide open and Maqsad returns dropping down in class after running in the Epsom Oaks last June. She has every chance on her early season form for William Haggas and Jim Crowley. However, I will have a few quid each-way on CHALEUR @ 6/1 for the quality combination of Ralph Beckett and Harry Bentley. My hope ran a fine third at York last time in a big field and seemed to get a mile at Goodwood on her run before that.
Stamina is a slight worry but she has every chance of hitting the frame at least.
Next up is the Group 3 Princess Royal Muhaarar Stakes, also for fillies and mares over 1m 4f at 14.25. PROMISSORY @ 13/8 should take all the beating as an improving lightly raced three-year-old. My hope was a fine second to the Leger placed Sir Ron Priestley at Goodwood last time and was decent the time before when scoring at Doncaster.
Trained by John Gosden and ridden by Frankie Dettori this filly will be hard to stop. Stays strong.
The 3.00pm is the Group 2 Rockfel for fillies over 7f. Again this looks likely to go the way of the favourite, with DAAHYEH @ 6/5 holding strong form credentials. Stepped up to this trip last time, Roger Varian’s hope was a fine second to Love in a Group 1 at the Curragh. That really should be good enough to score here. She also has good Newmarket form and William Buick takes the mount.
And finally the Group 2 Joel Stakes over 1m is at 3.35pm. King of Comedy is the favourite here and back at a mile he has every chance. That said, I don’t think he’s unstoppable, and I’ll chance BENBATL @ 13/2 on his return. Second to Winx in the Cox Plate last year, Benbatl goes well fresh and while this trip is short enough, he has plenty of class if ready.
Oisin Murphy rides for the excellent Saeed Bin Suroor. This might be a warm up for targets later in the year, but a win is not impossible.
So best of luck and pray for Yeeehaaas. You hear me Paddy?
* Prices correct at time of publishing