After an eventful first day at Newmarket, our tipster Kevin O’Malley has an interesting quartet of “Dark Horses” well worth checking out - all available to back at double figure prices - on day two of the July Festival. Below, our man reveals the beasts in question, along with why he likes their chances…
NEWMARKET 1.50PM - bet365 Handicap (Class 2 - £80,000) over 1m2f
The opening contest is a seriously open heat, but this Michael Bell trained runner rates of plenty interest on just his second start of the season. Allmankind was last seen finishing a respectable 6th at Chester, behind eventual St James’s Palace Stakes winner Circus Maximus.
It was a fair starting point, certainly one you'd expect improvement from. On his last start of 2018, the son of Born To Sea dotted up by six lengths at Chelmsford. The second, Caplin, is unbeaten in two starts in 2019 since then. The third home that day, Le Don De Vie, is now rated 96 having proved very progressive this season as well.
This evidence lends solid weight to Allmankind being well-handicapped on a BHA mark of just 89 and he rates a real dark horse here under Clifford Lee.
NEWMARKET 2.25PM - Group 2 Duchess of Cambridge Stakes (£80,000 - 6f)
The inclusion of Daahyeh, Raffle Prize and Final Song here means it is difficult to look too far past the top of the market, but Divine Spirit could well be the type to bounce back from a poor run second time out.
On her debut at Windsor, this athletic Kingman filly scored handsomely and in a good time. She was the choice of James Doyle in the Queen Mary and was backed from around 14/1 in the morning, to an SP of 13/2, but her effort petered out tamely on the day. It does require a leap of faith to think she can bounce back to form in a race as warm as this one, but the fact she is here means she must be showing the right signs at home and perhaps a step up in trip on faster ground can spark a revival in fortunes.
NEWMARKET 3.00PM - bet365 Trophy (Heritage Hcp over 1m6f - Class 2 - £120,000)
This Ian Williams trained runner is available to back at 40/1 with the race sponsor at the time of writing and admittedly, this is a strong contest. But Manjaam gets in off a feather weight here and ran well at Ayr last time out, in a race which is beginning to work out well, with runner-up Kelly's Dino winning the Old Newton Cup at Haydock since.
Manjaam is no star and clearly difficult to win with, but he is a smart middle distance horse on his day and he rarely runs too far blow his handicap marks in defeat. A respectable effort from a mark of 89, with that low weight of 8st 2lb, could see the 6yo outrun an enormous price.
NEWMARKET 4.45PM - Porsche Centre Cambridge Hcp (7f - Class 3 - £25,000
A 79-rated, Paul Cole trained 5yo, Medieval is another horse that finds it difficult to win, but he too is consistent in defeat and not one to underestimate in a race of this nature. He has been operating at eight furlongs lately to no winning avail, but form and ability wise, he has surpassed his current handicap mark on all four starts this season. His pedigree suggests this return to 7f could be just what he needs to find the net and a big run would be no surprise back in trip.
For what it’s worth, market leader Breathtaking Look is a dark horse in all bar current price. He clocked a superb speed figure when scooting home over the course and distance last time out and he might just have a touch of star quality for a relatively unheralded yard.
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