It is Day 1 of the July Festival at Newmarket and top judge Kevin O'Malley has four selections for your consideration, including a 25/1 shot taking on a warm market leader in one of the key races of the day...
There is precious little that is overly intimidating at the top of the market for this Group 3 contest over 1m5f and with that hopeful train of thought in mind, I’ve had an each-way nibble at two against the field here. Boerhan is a highly regarded animal who is yet to have his day in the sun, but he’s of definite interest today stepping up in trip in first time blinkers. The Sea The Stars colt has notable collateral form to his name and perhaps today’s new test can bring about some improvement.
Ranch Hand is a lovely, lengthy type of horse running for Andrew Balding here and I think he too has improvement to come. He was staying on eye-catchingly well behind Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck in the Lingfield Derby Trial last time out and clocked a fast time at Southwell before that. The son of Dunaden is clearly facing a tall task, but he’s unexposed and a respectable run at fancy odds wouldn’t surprise.
I mentioned a shortlist of four for this contest in yesterday’s Newmarket eyecatchers preview. Street Parade is perhaps the most likeable one at double figure prices, but I feel the most likely winner is Richard Hannon’s Magical Wish, who comes here with the most potent looking blend of form and speed figures and is an agreeable price of 13/2, with champion jockey Silvestre De Sousa booked to ride.
Magical Wish went down fighting off a big weight over 7f at Sandown last time out, losing out by a neck to Make A Wish, a likeable sort running for the in-form Simon Crisford stable, who was afforded a masterclass ride from Kerrin McEvoy. An RPR of 101 and Topspeed figure of 95 in defeat there gives Magical Wish a tremendous chance here from a BHA mark of 91, with just the 8st 10lb on his back today.
Now this one is a real stab in the dark, as Desert Encounter hasn’t been in form for some time now, but few would dispute his ability on a going day and David Simcock seems fairly confident that he is finding some form at home.
Let’s not forget he was only half a length behind Mirage Dancer in the Arc Trial at Newmarket last September. That horse is a 2/1 shot here, while Desert Encounter is available at prices ranging from 20/1-25/1 on the GG Racecards.
Sure, he’s been disappointing of late but he rarely runs badly outside of Group 1 company and now that his sights are lowered and the vibes seem positive, his price is looking on the big side. As for Masar, it is hard to know what to expect from him. If he goes and proves himself to be a class apart, then fair enough, but at present there are one or two question marks and he is plenty short enough for those wanting to find out if “he still has it”.
This Charlie Hills trained 3yo ran a good bit below his best on soft ground at Sandown last time out. But I think it is worth drawing a line through that effort and instead focus on his progressive profile before that and his form on a faster surface.
There is still room for improvement on his BHA mark of 87 and with Silvestre de Sousa doing the steering, I’d be surprised if Artistic Rifles can’t stage a relative return to form this afternoon. The trip of a mile is fine and I am hopeful the July course will suit.
You can get in touch with me via email: Kevin.OMalley@GG.CO.UK OR by finding me on Twitter: @KOM_GGRacing
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