Finally the racing week cranks up a notch of quality with good races at Newbury, Nottingham and Newmarket.
We love a straight mile handicap, and Newbury is one of our favourite venues. The competitive mile handicap (1440 BST) really fills the eye.
Progressive 3yos are always hard to keep up with at this stage of the season and the bookies have elevated Jumira Prince and Pursuing Steed to the top of the market. Both have obvious chances, but we prefer an older challenger in 6yo Cricklewood Green.
This horse loves to be held up off a strong pace and that looks guaranteed here. Jockey Mitch Godwin knows the horse well and won well on him at Ascot recently. He was unlucky at Brighton last time, and this return to a straight course should see him go really well. Expect him to come fast and late.
Over at Nottingham, the 14f handicap (1610) is also dominated by progressive 3yos Quloob and Precision. Again they have obvious chances, and again we will try our hand on an older horse.
Saunter came over from France and recorded some tidy wins last year, including a superb effort off a mark of 90 at Newmarket. He sailed in some deep waters after that, and his rating has slowly returned back to a workable mark. Taking into account his rider’s controversial 3lb claim, he runs here off an effective 91.
Stepping up in trip is worth the experiment. The horse has looked a bit awkward in two recent Ascot runs albeit running on well at the end. This longer trip and the switch away from Ascot could just work the oracle.
Cricklewood Green, (1440 Newbury), 1pt win, 15/2 generally available
Saunter, (1610 Nottingham), 1pt win, 11/1 Bet365
Cricklewood Green & Saunter, 0.5pts each way double, approx. 100/1
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