Newmarket Races: Tips, racecards and best betting preview for Day 1 of the July Festival on Thursday live on ITV

THE rollercoaster that is the Flat season shows no sign of slowing with the July Meeting kicking off at Newmarket on Thursday.

York gets in on the act too with the Dante, but our eyes will be on Newmarket as we race on the July Course for the first time.

PA:Press Association


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Race 1 – 12.10 British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Fillies’ Stakes

Definitely a race to sit back and have the notebook and binoculars out for.

We have plenty of the big local yards with interesting runners on paper and it’ll probably throw up a couple of above average juveniles.

On the form we have to go on, Willabell sets a very decent standard for John Gosden.

She was narrowly beaten on debut, before running in midfield in the Albany. That form has proven up and down, but it’s still the best on offer.

Karl Burke’s She’s So Nice and Hugo Palmer’s Glesga Girl were both runner-up on debut and will be more streetwise here. There were only fair races however.

It could pay to chance a newcomer and Charlie Appleby always enjoys running his smarter types at this meeting. MISS JINGLES makes her debut for Godolphin.

She’s the sister of Sound Of Silence – a smart juvenile from the same yard – and should be ready to rock and roll here. So long as she ticks the box in the preliminaries and the market speaks in favour, she could be worth a tickle.

Gosden gives Isle Of May her debut and she gets the first Godolphin colours. I wouldn’t read too much into that but it adds another layer into an intriguing opener.

MARKET WATCH: Miss Jingles

Race 2 – 12.45 Price Promise At bet365 Handicap

A competitive 0-105 sprint handicap next up and there are a few with major claims.

First up Archie Watson’s Highland Dress should not be ruled out off the back of his midfield run in the Wokingham.

He was only beat three lengths and that was off the back of two impressive wins, for which he is 6lbs higher for the latter of those on the Rowley Mile.

Form from Newmarket’s other track tends to work well on the July Course and expect him to be prominent under Hollie Doyle. He’s a big player.

As is William Haggas’s Nahaarr who is only a pound higher in the weights for his Silver Wokingham third.

He’s been well-backed on his two starts in handicaps this season and there is definitely a race in him off these marks. A well run six should suit him if Tom Marquand can get him to settle better.

He’ll likely be short enough but has big claims and I wouldn’t put anyone off chancing him.

But my bet will likely be PASS THE VINO who returns to a course and distance he thrives over.

Paul D’Arcy’s sprinter managed a first and second in similar races here last season and returned with an encouraging third behind Tinto in June.

He’s a tad higher in the weights this time around, but at an each-way price looks a good bet.

El Hombre and Woven are others to note at decent prices.



Race 3 – 1.15 Each Way Extra At bet365 Handicap

Another deep handicap, especially when you consider the 0-93 status.

There are a few of big interest and top of the list is Mark Johnston’s MAYDANNY.

He was as easy a winner as you’ll see all year on handicap debut and went well at Ascot in the Silver Hunt Cup. That form is strong and had he been drawn better, he may have finished a lot closer.

His current mark still looks workable and Johnston looks to have found a good slot for him.

Almufti has to be respected for the Richard Hannon team. Ryan Moore is booked and there might just be a bit more to come from this mark.

The other on the shortlist is Tom Clover’s Balgair who I backed last time out and should be winning again sooner, rather than later.

He goes well on the July Course – winning here in 2018 with a couple of solid seconds to his name too.

The stronger the pace on here, the better his chance. Lawn Ranger is the guaranteed pace, but aside from him, there isn’t much.

Bear Force One has been disappointing on two runs this year. But should not be ruled out just yet. Cheekpieces are now on and William Buick is booked.


Race 4 – 1.50 Bahrain International Sir Henry Cecil Stakes (Listed Race)

The first stakes race of the meeting and it’s a real cracker – a good few of these will be campaigned in much better company if all goes to plan before the season is out.

Al Suhail failed to fire in the 2000 Guineas but sets a very solid standard with a rating of 112 earned off his second to Military March in the Autumn Stakes and Solario Stakes third.

It’s impossible to read too much into his Guineas effort, but any of the unexposed types he comes up against have a fair level to aim at.

But there are some new kids on the block here that might spoil his party.

Lord Campari is chief of those and he was wildly impressive on his second start when pulling away like a serious horse at Newbury.

Roger Varian has taken his time – he reportedly had a small setback – but has found a good spot for him now. The second and third from that race have won since and it looked a good enough race.

The handicapper has given him a mark of 95, but the time he put up suggests that may be a bit generous. We’ll soon find out, but he’s too short for me to back in a race like this at current odds.

John Gosden ups Magical Morning in class who the handicapper actually rates higher at 99.

He’s well-bred and deserves a shot at this. I think he has more to prove than others though on what he’s achieved.

TILSIT has been very babyish on two starts so far, but has shown enormous amounts on both efforts at Newcastle – the second of those a 19 length win.

Producing those efforts after sweating up as much as he did is impressive and if he can be more professional beforehand here, he is the one to beat.

Ryan Moore is booked and so long as he behaves before the race, expect the market to come for him. He’s a big old horse and I’d have no worries about him trying the grass for the first time.

Ropey Guest will be there or thereabouts – he’s hard to fancy for win purposes, though.

The 107-rated Mystery Power was a Group 2 winner at two, but has shown little this season.


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Race 5 – 2.25 Bahrain Trophy Stakes (Group 3)

A St Leger trial in name, it may have some bearing on the Doncaster showpiece come the end of the season.

A few of these will have their eyes on Town Moor and William Haggas looks to have brought on AL AASY with his typically-patient approach.

He was fifth in a good Listed race behind the likes of Mishriff and Volkan Star – who have both boosted the form no end.

Al Aasy didn’t have to improve at all to win a nothing race on the Rowley Mile, but upped back in class, expect him to have benfitted from it.

He looks a smart type for the rest of the year and I’d side with him.

Aidan O’Brien sends over Dawn Rising who was a runaway winner at Limerick last time. The form of that is hard to get to grips with but he certainly improved for the step up in trip.

He’s another Galileo but O’Brien tends to use these sort of races to weigh up what others have and I can pass on Dawn Rising for betting purposes.

Al Dabaran looks to be a threat from the Charlie Appleby team. But he was flattered by his third at Royal Ascot as the race fell apart and I’d have him vulnerable to a few of the less exposed types.

Miss Yoda was poor at Ascot and was far from convincing when winning the Lingfield Oaks Trial. She’s best watched.


Race 6 – 3.00 Tattersalls July Stakes (Group 2)

The two-year-olds star here and it might be worth taking a flyer on YAZAMAN who caught the eye in a big way behind Tactical at Royal Ascot.

The Windsor Castle first and second re-oppose here and with an extra furlong I expect William Haggas’ horse to turn the tables.

Everything fell into Tactical’s lap that day, and why he was still a smart winner it was Yazaman who had to duck and dive late on.

He’s roughly twice the price, but I’d have him plenty shorter in this.

Qaader is the correct favourite. He achieved more with his second in the Coventry than those in the Windsor Castle.

He looked raw at Ascot and dare I say it, a bit reluctant to really take it to the winner Nando Parrado. He’s the one they have to beat and you’d expect him to be more streetwise on his third outing and after a real battle.

Swiss Ace has a pedigree to die for and has to be respected coming over from Ireland. He beat little on his debut though and he’s probably best-watched for now.

Keep an eye on Aidan O’Brien’s runner in the betting though.

Lauded failed to improve on his debut win at Haydock and needs more now.

Victory Heights looks an each-way player at decent odds after his sixth in the Windsor Castle.


Race 7 – 3.35 bet365 Handicap (Heritage Handicap)

The weeks first big handicap up next and there are heaps in with a major shout.

DANCIN INTHESTREET was a massive eye-catcher at Royal Ascot behind subsequent Group winner Art Power.

He’s only been popped up a pound for that third and has huge claims upped in trip to six furlongs. He finished like a train after running into plenty of traffic and a mark of 85 looks generous.

He has been well found in the betting though. Anything close to 5-1 and I could back him.

If the rain stays away then Richard Hannon’s Lexington Dash is a big player. He is two from two since undergoing a wind-op and switching to turf.

Good ground may be key to him though and I’d be waiting on that with a mixed forecast. He’s one to keep tabs on.

Meraas has looked smart on his three outings this year. I’d worry about him on a straight track given how free he has been.

At bigger odds Exceptional looks worth an each-way play given the way she won at Pontefract two stars ago.

Her next run was clearly too soon after that under a penalty, but she was punted off the boards and looks ahead of her mark if you forgive her her Newmarket effort.

SELECTION: Dancin Inthestreet

EACH-WAY STAB: Exceptional

Race 8 – 4.10 Princess Of Wales’s Tattersalls Stakes (Group 2)

The feature comes up in the lucky last and it is very hard to see past ENBIHAAR getting weight from the colts.

She progressed at a rate of knots last year and was beaten just over a length by Anapurna in her last start at four.

She won first time up last year and so long as she is fit enough to do herself justice – a parade ring and market check should suffice – I’d be confident about her getting the job done.

The drop to 12 furlongs isn’t much of a concern. While a mile and six is clearly her optimum, she won twice over 12 last season.

Alounak looks plenty short enough. I think he’s vulnerable to a good number in here.

Communique won this last year and has to be respected even if his form has gone off a cliff since. He’s a different proposition at Newmarket and of given an easy time out front could be hard to peg back.

Dame Maillot may be the one to chance at bigger odds. She was progressive last year before well beaten in the Park Hill where she was only 9-4.

The drop in trip is a plus and Ed Vaughan is seemingly coming into a bit of form.




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