Horse Racing tips: Thursday’s best bets at Newmarket and Newcastle from the traders

We're starting to motor now with the first of four days at HQ and a Classic weekend ahead.


13:15 Newmarket – Sense of Romance @ 10/1

I’ve marked trainer James Tate as someone to follow early in the season as he is particularly good at getting his horses fit first time up. Sense of Romance is having its debut and I found it very interesting that it was the trainers only nomination on the Royal Ascot priority list, and I’m even more interested that they had a first time up winning two-year-old at Newcastle on Tuesday that he didn’t nominate.

This one cost 70k and is typically well bred given his owners and although this is likely to be a strong race – she could be under bet and represent the value in the race.

13:50 Newmarket – Eye Of Heaven @ 1/1

I’m backing another debutant trained by Mark Johnston who had a very good start to the season. This one is bred to be very good, being a son to the very useful Risen Sun, who won on her debut as a two-year-old for Godolphin. Eye of Heaven was nominated by his trainer for Royal Ascot and the fact he’s booked Frankie Dettori tells me that he’s not messing around. Again, this could be a strong race but still think he worth backing.


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15:55 Newcastle – Ventura Rebel @ 15/4

A’Ali is probably the best horse in the contest though I’m not sure this is an ideal race for him. He has to concede 4lbs to the rest of the field and he’s never won over 6f, which is a worry considering how slow this track has been riding this week.

His sire Society Rock is 0-14 on Newcastle’s Tapeta track so it makes A’Ali look worth taking on.

The one to do that with is Ventura Rebel for Richard Fahey who was only narrowly beaten by A’Ali in the Norfolk Stakes last year. He’s had quite a long break since being a little disappointing in the Super Sprint at Newbury, though Richard Fahey is adept at getting them ready after a break and this one looks sure to be suited by the step up to 6f. He looks worth chancing with the Fahey string in fine form too at the moment.

17:20 Newmarket – Chairmanoftheboard @ 17/2

Chairmanoftheboard looked a potential world beater when bolting up in a novice race as a two-year-old at Goodwood, winning by eight lengths. He’s been a bit disappointing since though he drops to 6f here for the first time since his two-year-old debut and could be very interesting off a mark of 84.

He was second when last seen on the all weather to a very progressive type and that form could be good enough to see him going close here. Mick Channon has shown himself in the past to be good at getting horses ready after a break. The booking of Andrea Atzeni is another positive.


17:55 Newmarket – Bear Force One @ 3/1 (nap)

This is my strongest fancy of the day. He ran well on his most recent start at Kempton, though that race was over a mile and I’ve been waiting for him to drop back to 7f. When last seen over the trip at Newbury in September, he recorded an electric time, over a second and a half faster than one 7f race on the card and over two seconds faster than the other, despite setting the strong pace himself.

It was the performance of a 100+ horse and he runs here off 93, making him potentially still very well treated.

I’m hoping Bear Force One will pay for the weekend.

18:30 Newmarket – Escape The City @ 11/1

I have been waiting for Hughie Morrison’s runner to return to better ground for a while, having been very disappointing when she was last seen on soft ground.

Escape the City has dropped to a mark of 73 as a result of some of those bad runs, which would make her look very well treated, particularly when looking at the form she showed off 81 when third in a Royal Ascot handicap as a three year old. Hollie Doyle has progressed into one of the best jockeys around recently and has banged in a couple of winners this week already. Her booking is another obvious plus.

Prices correct at publishing but are subject to change. 

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