Best bets for day three of the Craven Meeting at Newmarket

The race the meeting is named after, the Craven Stakes, takes centre stage at Newmarket on Thursday; will we see a Classic winner in the making on Thursday afternoon? Follwing a good day on Tuesday with two winners from two bets yesterday so me tip three and all three get beat! That's the early season for you sometimes. Following a lovely sunny day on Wednesday the going is drying out and for Thursday is officially good-soft as I write on Wednesday evening, surely close to good by racing tomorrow.

Best bets for day three of the Craven Meeting at Newmarket

The opener on Thursday is the 6f Bet365 Handicap at 1.50. Changing Colours was turned over at odds-on under a penalty when last seen in June at Pontefract but the form of the race is looking fairly decent and I wonder if an opening handicap mark of 88 has given the team at Moulton Paddocks something to work with. By Dubawi out of Listed winner Blossomtime (Shamardal) he might want a bit further as the season progresses but this looks a good place to start. Gelded last summer he has been off for a while but is worth a punt here at 100-30. Shouldvebeenaring, fit from the All-Weather, is a fair each-way punt. 

The Wood Ditton Maiden Stakes is well worth a watch but with not a line of form to go by its a race to try and spot future winers not bet in. 

A favourite of Triple G Creative Force goes in the 6f Group Three Connaught Access Flooring Abernant Stakes at 3.00. The five-year-old was thereabouts on Group Ones all last season barring a terrible run at Meydan in March when jolly for the G.1 Al Quoz Sprint. The five-year-old is three for three over this track and trip and without doubt the one to beat eased in class for his seasonal reappearance. He has gone well in the past and if anywhere near his best should win easing down. 11-10 was the best price on Wednesday afternoon and I have that. Talking to Jim McGrath on the Godolphin website this week Charlie Appleby said “It was unfortunate that he missed travelling to both Saudi and Dubai, but I can report he is now back in sparkling form, in great order. He heads to the Abernant and hopefully he will embark on his usual summer campaign, which takes in races such as the G1 Platinum Jubilee, over six furlongs at Royal Ascot.” Garrus was second in this last year and has a run under his belt this season so looks the most likely to chase home the jolly.

The main event, the Group Three one-mile Bet365 Craven Stakes is due off at 3.35. My Derby ante-post punt Naval Power was entered for this but now doesn’t run. Mysterious Night is the sole runner for Charlie Appleby now and not that surprisingly heads the market. The colts record stood at three wins from six starts at the end of his two-year-old season, the crowning achievement being his triumph in the G1 Summer Stakes by five and three quarter lengths at Woodbine in September. Talking before Naval Power was taken out, Appleby said “Both he (Mysterious Night) and Naval Power are the ones who have risen to the top at this early stage of the season.” It is yet another for Appleby and Buick I am putting up but he looks a solid bet at the 2-1 that is about overnight. Mostabshir looked potentially decent making a mining debut in a race at Kempton in November. He hails from a good family being out of Shadwell mare Handassa and connections must be hoping he turns out above average. Will he be ready for this though after just one start on the All-Weather? The Foxes progressed nicely last season and took the G.2 Royal Lodge Stakes over tack and trip last September. On paper the form of that win is good but it was a steady run tactical four-runner affair where they all finished in a heap, plus the second and third both won over further afterwards which makes me wonder if this one will ultimately want further - all nine of his siblings/half-siblings have won over middle-distances up to 1m6f! Indestructible chased home Chaldean twice last season, no disgrace in that, and moved to the yard of Karl Burke over the winter. He has had wind surgery and if he stays, far from guaranteed on breeding, he could be in the mix and there was a little cash for him Wednesday afternoon it appears. 

I admit I have been all about Charlie Appleby and William Buick this week, it wasn't planned honestly, just the way I have seen the races; hopefully they are back in the Winners Enclosure on Thursday. 

Be lucky