While football mania sweeps across England it is easy to forget that there is a decent race meeting beginning at Newmarket on Thursday. The July Meeting gets underway with a decent card and a look through the racecard has thrown up one bet.
Alongside that, there is plenty of other good racing on the schedule on Thursday and a scours through those cards have thrown up an evening bet over in Ireland giving us two to get stuck into on the day.
The last race on Day 1 of the Newmarket July meeting sees a field of 16 head to the start for this 1 mile handicap. De Sousa rides the favourite in the shape of Migration who was 4th of 12 at Salisbury on his only start after almost 2 years off the track but there is a question mark over whether he’ll back that up especially as he has an 1lb to carry. Oisin Murphy’s mount Legendary Day has won his last 2 in lower grades & smaller fields but is up another 6lbs & has it to prove in a competitive heat. I like the chances of Path Of Thunder who should be in the mix for Charlie Appleby & James Doyle.
My selection, however, is Power Of Darkness who is a 6 year old with 4 wins from 13 career starts. He’s won 3 handicaps in a higher grade than this & off marks of 84, 91 & 94 but gets in here off a mark of just 90. It’s worth saying that he’s finished midfield in both the Cambridgeshire & the Spring Cup, both of which are much better races than this & last time out, when dropped into this grade, he was less than a length 3rd off this mark. He was slowly away that day and granted a level break, is expected to be closer this time. He sported first time cheekpieces that day & they are retained today so looks a decent each way price in a race where extra places are available.
Back Power Of Darkness (e/w) for a 1.5/10 stake at 10.00 Skybet BOG (⅕ odds 1-6)
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A 17 runner Premier handicap over in Ireland is the scene of our 2nd bet, a race over a mile and a quarter with Hollie Doyle riding Baby Zeus for Willie Mullins the likely favourite. He won a similar event at the Curragh last time up but has a 9lb higher mark to contend with here. The runner up Mirann reopposes but he himself is up 7lbs although does have a 10lb claimer on top which should help if his inexperience isn’t a hindrance. Tauran Shaman is another running really well but continues to see his mark rise, with similar comments applying to both Mosala and Vultan.
At a price, I’m going to take a chance on 3 year old Baton Rouge. His best run as a juvenile was when 3rd behind Group 1 winner Thunder Moon & this season he’s shown promise amongst some disappointments. He won on reappearance in fine style, that was a maiden at Dundalk before running 2nd to Benaud on his next start when giving the now 103-rated winner & Group 2 placed horse 5lbs. That looks even better with our horse in here off 96, just 2lbs higher than for that run. He then went off favourite for a similar handicap to this at Navan but ran below par before Royal Ascot, the very soft ground, a bad draw & an odd ride meant a complete no-show. Conditions here are very different; he has a good draw in 2, is the only horse likely to go forward in a race with no pace & racing on better ground, he could prove a tough nut to crack. At the price, I’m prepared to see whether he can repel challengers up the straight.
Back Baton Rouge (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 13.00 William Hill BOG (⅕ odds 1-5)
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