July Meeting Day 1: tips, racecards and previews for the big meeting at Newmarket live on Racing TV
IT'S the busiest time of the year on the Flat and the TV action continues on Thursday with Day 1 of the July Meeting.
Newmarket hosts three afternoons of top shelf racing, starting with three Group races.
Race 1 – 1.50 Bahrain Trophy Stakes (Group 3)
A nice race to get us underway for the week, with nine set to go to post for this Group 3 over a mile and five furlongs.
The favourite will be hard to beat in this and EAGLES BY DAY certainly has the best form in the book – a staying on third to Japan at Royal Ascot is comfortably the best on paper.
Everything suggests this step up in trip will suit and man of the moment Danny Tudhope takes the ride for owners Clipper Logistics.
I'm not a fan of the Queen's Vase form from Ascot and can therefore take on the likes of Nayef Road and Barbados.
At bigger prices Boerhan and Nate The Great both have a squeak and the unexposed nature of William Haggas's Boerhan tilts me slightly in his favour.
SELECTION: Eagles By Day EACH-WAY DART: Boerhan
Race 2 – 2.25 Tattersalls July Stakes (Group 2)
The race of the day up next and it's a red-hot heat for some of the best two-year-olds we've seen at Ascot and further afield.
Visinari has been a real talking horse since he won in striking fashion on debut last month over course and distance.
He set stopwatches alight that day and has been given rocketing numbers by those in the know.
But, he looks incredibly short despite those positives and verging on even money I'm always going to side with those with a bit more proven form in the book.
GUILDSMAN is the obvious one and would be my pick at this stage. His third in the Coventry should be rock solid and that was only eleven days after his first start.
There should be more improvement there and why I think a slight step up in trip will be needed in time – six furlongs with a slight uphill finish looks his bag for now.
At a huge price – and one far too big to leave alone – is Tim Easterby's Hurstwood. He won nicely at Pontefract last time and without breaking sweat. There's more to come from this horse.
SELECTION: Guildsman BIG PRICE DANGER: Hurstwood
Race 3 – 3.00 bet365 Handicap
A maximum field of 20 should be present for this extremely competitive handicap over six furlongs.
I've been over this with a fine comb repeatedly and have not got any closer to finding myself the winner – it really is hard work.
The one I hesitantly lean towards is Richard Hughes's TOP BREEZE.
At a glance it may look like the handicapper has now caught up with this colt, but there have been excuses the last twice.
Chester clearly wasn't his bag and although a respectable second at Windsor when beaten by a big improver, he shaped like the step up to six would now be required.
Dazzling Dan also needs respecting and Pam Sly's sprinter doesn't look to have reached the top of his mark yet.
He has an eye-catching second to Jash in his book over the July course.
EACH-WAY SHOUTS: Top Breeze & Dazzling Dan
Race 4 – 3.35 Princess Of Wales's Tattersalls Stakes (Group 2)
This race looks to be pinned around Masar – if he returns to his Derby winning form, he will take all the beating, of course.
However, there is enough doubt there for me to look elsewhere. He returned nicely at Ascot, but only managed fifth no matter how unlucky you consider he was.
The whole bounce factor comes into serious consideration now and at near even money he is just not a punting opportunity in my book.
I'm very keen on COMMUNIQUE for the Mark Johnston team. He is three from three at Newmarket – two over the Rowley mile, and a win over this July course too – and Silvestre De Sousa is back on board to try and take this field along a merry dance.
The small field is right up his street and Mirage Dancer is the only other one in here I'm worried about despite the penalty.
THURSDAY'S BEST BET: Communique
Race 5 – 4.05 British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Fillies' Stakes
Ten are set for this two-year-old fillies maiden, and only three have had any racecourse experience.
Only DAILY TIMES has shown much and John Gosden's filly was just run down over seven furlongs last time out and Kempton and drops back to six here.
She is the obvious one to side with here and Frankie Dettori is jocked up. Visinari could give her debut run a boost earlier on the card as well.
There are some interesting debutante's in this though, and the most taking of those on paper is Dubai Paradise who makes her first start for Charlie Appleby.
In truth, I'm not sure I'll be getting involved here and any paddock clues could prove vital, as well as the market.
ONE TO BEAT: Daily Times PADDOCK INSPECTION: Dubai Paradise
Race 6 – 4.40 Edmondson Hall Solicitors Sir Henry Cecil Stakes (Listed Race)
We have one of the smaller fields up next, but it's far from easy and if you discount Bell Rock, there's only 5lbs between the lot of these in the ratings.
I like the chances of Paul Cole's DUKE OF HAZZARD who dons blinkers for the first time.
The Cole team are coming back into form again after a quiet spell and this hardy three-year-old won't have to improve much to go very close here.
He ran a blinder to finish fifth in the Jersey, and the slightly easier track at Newmarket should be more to his style.
His two runs behind Persian King is arguably standout form in this and most of these are starting to look a bit exposed.
Motafaawit has to be respected, he's still got a bit to prove, but could have more improvement in him than the rest of these.
SELECTION: Duke Of Hazzard DANGER: Motafaawit
Race 7 – 5.10 John Deere & Ben Burgess Handicap
A tricky handicap to round off the day, but one in which BALGAIR should be mighty close to nicking for local trainer Tom Clover.
He goes brilliantly on the July course and despite the fact he's sneaking up in the weights, has the form in the book.
His latest second was to a properly unexposed horse flying up the ranks for the Richard Hannon team and course figures of 2217 appeal with Andrea Atzeni taking over in the saddle.
It is a wide-open race though, and the thrice-raced Wings Of Time will likely be popular in the Godolphin silks for Appelby and James Doyle. However, a mark of 90 looks questionable at this stage.
Global Gift won't be going off 10-1 like he did last time when completing his hat-trick – he could still squeeze another win out for Ed Dunlop.
However, the other that appeals most is Moqtarreb for Roger Varian. He gets plenty of weight as a three-year-old and improved no end to win a decent novice race cosily last time out.
His run behind Velorum has also been franked and he must go close here.
LOCAL HERO: Balgair DANGER: Moqtarreb
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