A fantastic line up at Newmarket this Saturday including three top class two year old races, starting with the Royal Lodge over a mile. Nelson sets the standard after a good win at Leopardstown last time and will attempt to lead pillar to post here. His resolute galloping from the front was quite taking and he will be hard to peg back. Herculean was impressive in his maiden win at Ascot, which reads well and looks the chief threat to Nelson @ 3/1. Roaring Lion should be considered and is open to improvement but is a little way behind the main two in terms of what he has achieved so far while Mildenberger will stay but is not quite up to this standard. Brian Meehan should always be respected when placing a two year old at this level and Petrus could go well @ 25/1.
The quagmire that is Haydock in late September takes some ‘getting’ and it is best to look for horses who have handled similar conditions or at least soft going. There should be a decent pace on here with Muntadab, Florenza and Isomer likely to set strong fractions. Calder Prince is interesting and presuming he does not get involved in a battle on the front end looks well handicapped at a tempting 16/1. William Haggas looks like he will have a good day at Haydock and Original Choice @ 9/1 has a good chance with the only doubt the ground, but did handle soft as a two year old. This son of Dragon Pulse is improving, losing out only to Dan Troop at Chester last time, who went on to win again. Century Dream looked progressive before flopping at Ascot and bids to bounce back here though the 7/1 is a little skinny. King’s Pavillion makes more appeal for the in-form David Barron @ 12/1. He finished well behind Dan Troop at Chester, will go on the ground and has won at this level as a three year old. Others to consider if handling testing conditions are Just Hiss and Lord Of Rock after a good win at York last time.
The Cheveley Park Stakes is a much more competitive race than the Royal Lodge with more than half the field capable of winning. Clemmie is short @ 7/4, not seen since a good victory over Nyaleti in the Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes she was a non runner in the Moyglare due to the ground and with soft in the description here, doubts are cast. On Quickened Clear’s ratings Heartche and Different League set the standard. Heartache bounced back to form to take the Flying Childers from Havana Grey and six furlongs looks within her grasp with the 9/2 a good price. Different League was behind Havana Grey in the Prix Morny which leaves her something to find with Heartache but she can go well. Threading, with only two runs to her name, won the Lowther Stakes well from Madelaine and should be on the premises @ 9/2 with improvement likely. The form of the Dick Poole at Salisbury looks good and both Eirene and Special Purpose are no lost causes @ 25/1 though the latter looks in need of an extra furlong.
Poet’s Society and Soie D’Leau should take them along at a good clip and both will be tough to pass unless they involve themselves in a protracted battle for the lead. Mayleaf Shine revels in these conditions and is the one to beat @ 11/2 after her defeat of Soie D’Leau over this course and distance last time. Paul Midgley, a master at unlocking potential in sprinters, looks to have found the key to Tarboosh and assuming he handles the ground is a big player @ 8/1. Bouncy, Richard Fahey’s three year old is starting to improve and could go well under Sammy Jo Bell but again questions about the ground have to be asked. Quench Dolly won well at Goodwood last time with the change to hold up tactics suiting and like Mayleaf Shine, is an improving three year old filly. She looks a definite threat to the favourite @ 8/1.
Like the Cheveley Park this looks a thrilling renewal and extremely competitive though it would be a surprise if the winner was not one of Sioux Nation, Unfortunately or Sands Of Mali. Sioux Nation followed up his Norfolk win with a good victory in the Pheonix Stakes at the Curragh defeating Beckford in what looks a strong race and should be on the premises. Beckford has plenty of ability but has looked a little one paced in both the Pheonix and National Stakes and may find it hard to turn the tables on Sioux Nation. Unfortunately, a ready winner of the Prix Morny defeating two decent types in Havana Grey and Different League may have more in the tank and should probably be favourite with the 9/2 tempting. Surprise winner of the Gimcrack, Sands Of Mali is a few pounds behind Sioux Nation and Unfortunately but is open to more improvement after a visually impressive win over recent Mill Reef second, Invincible Army. The third at York in the Gimcrack, Cardsharp, has since struggled against later developing types and of the others Frozen Angel, Hey Jonesy, U S Navy Flag, Danzan and Rajasinghe all have place claims.
It is interesting that after not going for the Ayr Gold Cup Sainted does in fact go for the replacement race at a course and distance she likes. William Haggas’ chestnut filly, a sister to fair sprinter Telmeyd, has looked progressive this season and handles ground with give in it including heavy. She registered a figure good enough to win black type last time over course and distance and looks the one to beat @ 7/1. Ice Age will bid to win again after a good performance at the Curragh but will not get the run of the race and it will be a fair ask to run to that level again. Johnny Barnes will have his supporters and should go well again presuming he can reproduce the level of his Goodwood win while Shanghai Glory has major claims but has not encountered heavy going in his career to date. Haydock ‘heavy’ is very testing and along with Growl, Get Knotted, Kickboxer and Stake Acclaim, handling the ground is key though it would be no surprise to see any of the aforementioned winning this. Forgiving his run at York, Aeolus looks a serious challenger if reproducing his Stewards Cup run and six furlongs in these conditions could be just the ticket with the 10/1 tempting. Donjuan Triumphant should be on the shortlist though the nine stone ten pounds could scupper his chance while Mr Lupton is also interesting with his last two forays into handicap company resulting in victories, the 25/1 looks big.
It is never the easiest of tasks, deciphering the puzzle that is thirty five thoroughbreds thundering along nine furlongs of the Rowley Mile. The improving Thundering Surf swept down the outside at Sandown last time, which is no easy task and is an obvious contender but the 7/1 does not look value in such a big field. Brorocco won well seven days ago at Newbury and having won over this distance has to considered here though it is a quick turnaround. Big Country is short in the market but the suspicion is he wants a little further than nine furlongs, El Hayem does not want too much soft in the ground and Chelsea Lad has flattered to deceive at this level since being pulled up lame back in April. Horses that have run well in previous renewals are always worth consideration in the Cambridgeshire with the likes of GM Hopkins, Examiner, Master The World coming into calculations as does Very Talented. Absent since last October, he won his side of the field last year and could go well again along the third Carry On Deryck. Godolphin also have Linguistic @ 25/1, with some decent form to his name, he could be lurking off a lenient mark as there may be more to come from this son of Lope De Vega. Others that catch the eye are Novoman @ 20/1, a comfortable winner at Goodwood last time and Qassam @ 20/1, who just finds ten furlongs stretching him so this trip should suit. Two others to consider are Henry Spiller’s Leader Writer and Battle Of Marathon at a big price.
Quickened Clear’s Best Bets:
Sainted – 3.15 Haydock – 1pt win @ 7/1