With York’s Ebor meeting just around the corner we have a slightly quieter than normal Saturday this week, at least in terms of quality anyway, but what quality we do have is covered here with value bets for Newbury’s three pattern races plus a well-bred juvenile filly set to reward our support.
There may be a great value bet down at Newmarket too as Richard Fahey sends a filly down there to contest the seven furlong nursery, but we start in Newbury where Charlie Appleby looks to get a busy weekend off to a flying start:Embed from Getty Images
1.50 Newbury (Denford Stakes – Listed Race) – GOOD FORTUNE
Charlie Appleby has a very busy weekend ahead of him on both sides of the English Channel and his exciting juvenile Good Fortune must rank as one of the biggest improvers in his whole yard.
Having made a below-average debut the son of New Approach took a wee step forward when third in a novice race at Newmarket before destroying his opposition by an eased-down 10 lengths last time out at Lingfield, a run which earned him a mark of 96.
Whatever the value of that form, he could win a nursery handicap off that mark no problem and so Appleby throwing him in here at Listed level is a sure sign he has improved yet again and he could get the better of impressive debut winners Boitron and Antonia De Vega.
2.15 Doncaster (Fillies’ Maiden Stakes) – MEHDAAYIH
As a filly, trained by John Gosden, foaled in April, by Frankel and not out until August it should go without saying that a whole lot of improvement from race one to race two is expected and I’m sure those at Clarehaven Stables will be very disappointed if she doesn’t come back with the spoils.
Although sent off favourite at Glorious Goodwood, she ran really very well in staying on into sixth place behind Accordance on her first outing and although that form alone gives her a chance here she is very likely to leave it well behind and kick on now under Rab Havlin.
Mark Johnston’s newcomer Quintada is one to watch in the betting and will be feared if the money comes, though our horse’s experience will count for plenty in this race and she ranks a fair bet.
2.25 Newbury (Geoffrey Freer Stakes – Group 3) – HAMADA
Despite being a Group 3 this race has consistently churned out very good winners, most of them Group 1 types in time and although it’s uncertain whether we will see anything of that quality come out of this year’s renewal we certainly have a decent little contest on our hands.
There are a few in here with chances, no doubt, with Raymond Tusk and Godolphin’s Walton Street certainly leading hopes however it’s the first choice of the boys in blue who looks the most likely winner.
The 4yo Hamada earned a rating of 107 last time after an improved display when winning a handicap but seems to be a deal better than that. He’s not over the top having been off the track a while and then having just three runs this term, he handles softer going and no doubt has more in his locker so must be kept on side for now.
3.35 Newbury (Hungerford Stakes – Group 2) – GUSTAV KLIMT
On paper this is a very good Group 2 in terms of quality with four runners rated 113 or higher, however the ratings are the very angle I’ve taken and are why I’m backing Aidan O’Brien’s runner.
On the balance of things a run of somewhere between 115 and 118 is very likely from the Coolmore horse, something which puts him at good Group 2 or even Group 1 level, while the others in this race don’t look anywhere near guaranteed to run to their best mark in these conditions.
Sir Dancealot is currently on 116 but has hovered consistently around the 111-mark until the ground went fast, something he won’t get here, while Librisa Breeze’s similar rating seems false given that he achieved it primarily having won a Group 1 at Ascot in very soft conditions in a race which cannot be taken literally. 112 (ish) seems to be his real level.
Breton Rock remains consistent at around the 111/112 mark for the most part and the others are behind so all in all the numbers alone tell you what a solid chance the son of Galileo has.
Aside from all the other compelling reasons for backing Gustav Klimt this weekend we also shouldn’t lose track of a very simple fact; that this horse was the winter favourite for this season’s 2000 Guineas and remains the only horse in this field of Group 1 or at least potential Group 1 quality given a level playing field and good conditions.
3.55 Newmarket (Fillies’ Nursery Handicap) – AMBER SPARK
Richard Fahey doesn’t mind staying in the north and farming the races around York and Haydock and he is very good at it, so when he ventures down to HQ he doesn’t do it simply for the ride.
His 78-rated Amber Spark then looks to be great value in this fillies’ nursery given that many in the line-up would like things a little sharper; be it the trip, the course or the ground but there are no such worries for the daughter of Fast Company.
A constant improver since her debut in May, Amber Spark produced her best yet when staying on very nicely up the hill at Newcastle on standard to slow going over seven furlongs in a four-runner nursery, outstaying a Mark Johnston favourite in the process meaning few will be battling on as well as her at the business end of this race.
She is well up to this handicap mark and so should go close with Star Terms and Roxy Art perhaps giving her most to do.