Day one of the four-day Newmarket meeting culminating in the first two Classics of the season is the most inauspicious of the four days, but that makes it even more intriguing despite the presence of six maiden/novice events containing 65 un-raced entries.
But of those newcomers events I was drawn towards the Frankel colt, MAGICAL LAND, an entry in the 6f Maiden Stakes at 14.25.
The dam, Mistrusting, was a fair sort up to 7f, winning the Boadicea Stakes, a Listed race over six furlongs at Newmarket. She only has one other produce to her name, Althiqa, who won his only start last term in tidy fashion.
Along with Hugo Palmer’s London Palladium and Gosden’s Existent, I know he has been pleasing Charlie Appleby at home so this could be a pretty hot heat where the money will talk.
The speedily bred Mutarabes and Dark Angel youngster Bright Angel add to the conundrum.
The other five newcomers events are equally as hard to evaluate and the Godolphin colt is my only really interesting source of news, so let’s concentrate on the remaining races, all handicaps.
I thought the race with the best betting shape was the first division of the 6f handicap at 16.45.
Several of these are mightily well handicapped on their best form, but the likes of Mia Mento and I’m Available will possibly want a bit more give in the ground than is likely.
But with only a 25 per cent chance of rain during the early afternoon, fast ground will be the preserve and following a wind operation I am keen to be onside with DRUMMOND WARRIOR at a nice price, where Paddy’s paying the first 4 home.
Pam Sly’s runner is only having the sixth run of his career and each of his two wins and a second have come when the ground has been riding on the fast side of good. His final two outings when last of 16 and then 11 were simply too bad to be true and on the second occasion, he was reported to have made a noise, hence the wind procedure.
Dropped 3lbs to a mark of 84 by the assessor and back down to a mark 1lb lower than when a close up second in a class three event on the July course, his chance is there for all to see if the wind op has done the trick. In addition, the gelding is arguably the least exposed in the 11 runner field.
All bar Texting and Commander Han have won over the 6f trip[ in the second division at 17.20 where the lightly-raced MAGIC J is worth a second look. The chestnut colt won his only start on turf on his debut at Yarmouth on fast ground and then proceeded to run a fair race in Listed company before a career best third to Saaheq at Southwell.
If fit and ready, the son of Scat Daddy could make a fool of his current handicap mark of 85, unchanged form that last effort on the Fibresand.
RATHBONE was desperately unlucky not to win at Newcastle at the beginning of the year and then found the extended mile at Wolverhampton stretching his stamina.
The return to a fast ground 7f looks perfect for him in the 17.55 and he gets the nod over course and distance winner Via Serendipity.
However, if I am going to have one bet at Headquarters on Thursday then it will be in the closing 1m 2f handicap at 18.30.
Last season INCLYNE was beaten 11 lengths by the subsequent Pretty Polly winner Maqsad, but only got her head in front once in seven outings following that effort.
Andrew Balding’s charge returns to her optimum trip of 10 furlongs after five races over further and with two confirmed front runners in the field, there should be a good pace on to give her a tow into the race and bring her stamina into play coming out of the dip.
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