The highly tried Crowned Eagle, a half-brother to Eagle Top and Wings Of Desire, could be very dangerous if allowed to dictate proceedings though he is fairly high in the weights for what he has achieved and needs to improve to fend off one or two of these. First Nation has performed well in top twelve furlong handicaps this summer and the drop back in trip could bring about more improvement and should track Crowned Eagle into the race with the slight doubt a poor run on his only visit to Newmarket. City Of Joy should relish the step up in trip and has been crying out for it but is often slowly away and could find it hard to make up ground in will likely be a sedately run race. The same applies to Sandown winner Jupiter Light who will need to quicken at the business end but should go well. Ay Ay is an interesting contender @ 10/1 , this free going sort could play a hand in the finish if settling better under Tom Queally.
This is a big field for the Dubai Duty Free Legacy Cup with Second Step looking the only one likely to take them along. That plays into Jamie Spencer’s hands somewhat and rates him the one to beat @ 4/1. David Simcock has trained the winner of this race the last two years so Desert Encounter warrants respect as does Dylan Mouth, a good winner of the Old Newton Cup at Haydock in July but has not been seen since which is a slight worry. The talented pair of My Dream Boat and Across The Stars have both looked a little reluctant this season and may benefit from a step up to staying races, they could find it all happening too fast when things quicken from a slow pace. That could play into the hands of the rejuvenated ten furlong horse Fabricate, stepping up a furlong but with confidence high, should go well @ 11/1. Scarlet Dragon @ 8/1 is another to consider having confirmed himself a group performer over twelve furlongs this season and trainer Eve Johnson Houghton loves nothing more than a winner at Newbury.
A very intriguing fillies’ handicap with plenty of potential improvers and well bred types. Though some of these have made all from the front in small fields there doesn’t seem to be any out and out front runners so it could pay to race fairly prominently. Cribbs Causeway is the most exposed of the leading contenders with Roger Charlton taking the blame for her poor run at Haydock but she sets a fair standard. Three master trainers of fillies, Luca Cumani, William Haggas and Hughie Morrison all have potential improvers and their runners have to be respected. Star Rock @ 9/2 looks the most interesting of these having defeated God Given back in May who went on to win a listed race at Newmarket before a group three in France. That looks strong maiden form though fitness could be an issue. Vuela for Luca Cumani is very well bred but has not been that convincing on track as yet and is quite lightly raced for a four year old while Tarte Tropezienne should improve again from her run at Bath but needs to. Lady Bergamot looks progressive for James Fanshawe and still well handicapped, she could go well @ 4/1 after a fair win at Goodwood over White Chocolate.
The Mill Reef has produced top class Group One horses in the last two renewals in the form of Ribchester and Harry Angel. One to continue that trend could well be Enjazaat @ 9/2. Highly regarded by trainer Owen Burrows he defeated a good yardstick in Tip Two Win at Ripon last time and on our figures could be very good indeed. The chief threats look to come from James Garfield, who has found seven furlongs stretching him and Invincible Army, who is not top class but more than capable at this level. Nebo and Lansky both have similar profiles in that they look suited by seven furlongs or further and have place claims while No I’m Easy is an interesting runner for Tom Dascombe and could go well at 20/1.
A very competitive Cesarewitch Trial which will be a true test of stamina with numerous front runners entered. Top National Hunt trainers Alan King, Nigel Twiston-Davies and Phillip Hobbs are all represented with Couer De Lion, Who Dares Wins and Sternrubin, a nine length winner at Ffos Las, interesting contenders. The Graduate is another to hail from a top hunt yard and like Sternrubin catches the eye though he has been less than convincing on both hurdle runs this season. Oriental Fox, a previous winner of this race warrants a second look while stablemate Time To Study looks up against it at the weights following his victory last week. Shrewd ran a more pleasing race behind Time To Study, keeping on nicely in the race at Doncaster and was third in this race a year ago when effectively twelve pounds higher. He could be the value @ 14/1 while Taws could go well @ 12/1 after returning to form with back to back victories.
Another competitive handicap and this twenty runner affair is a tough nut to crack. Curlew River and Teodoro look like setting the pace along with Al Neksh which could set it up for something coming from off the pace. Teodoro must be mentioned again and if not wasting energy duelling for the lead is a big, rangy progressive type who could go well @ 11/1. The likes of Banksea, Fidaawy and Eddystone Rock have been plying their trade in top handicaps this season and deserve utmost respect but there may be one or two lurking further down the weights offering more value. Anythingtoday should enjoy dropping back to ten furlongs and could be just that @ 16/1 while Silver Ghost may have gone closer last time in what looked a good Sandown handicap if Charles Bishop had not dropped his whip at the finish and should go well here @ 12/1.
The admirable ten year old Take Cover is consistent at this level and the one to beat @ 6/1. A case can be made for the likes of Caspian Prince, Thesme and Just Glamourous to harry Take Cover and make him over race but on numerous occasions he has just been too fast for others to get near him. If the aforementioned scenario does happen, that brings in the closers such as 2016 winner Cotai Glory, hard to win with, the race he won last year was much weaker than this renewal but he should be finishing well while Irish raider Hit The Bid could go well at @ 16/1. Hamdan Al Maktoum is double handed with Muthmir and Waady. Muthmir has a penalty to contend with but it is interesting that Jim Crowley has opted to ride him instead of Waady, who continues his comeback after missing most of 2016. Both need to improve or a little or find more to be involved here.
Quickened Clear’s Best Bets:
Enjazaat – 2.50 Newbury – 1pt win @ 9/2
Shrewd – 3.10 Newmarket – 1pt win @ 14/1