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? It’s another competitive card on the Rowley Mile with the going officially good and hopefully no rain on the day. I am once again on overnight with four bets for Thursday. 

Best bets for the horse racing at Newmarket

The Bet365 Wood Ditton Maiden Stakes at 2.25 will be worth a watch with a few nicely bred three-year-olds making their belated racecourse debuts. The team from Moulton Paddocks send First Conquest to make debut, so the colt will be backed as per my rule of backing Charlie Appleby debutants here. The grey son of Teofilo, the unbeaten champion two-year-old before injury eneded his career, is out of Patroness, a Dubawi mare making him a sibling of five winners including his full-brother Key Victory who won on his racecourse debut here back in 2017. I have the 9-2 early.

The 6f Group Three Connaught Access Flooring Abernant Stakes at 3.00 has a number lining-up you will know and does look a bit of a punting minefield but I quite fancy one.  Garrus got the better of Commanche Falls by a head in this last year renewal and both have to be considered. Spycatcher was consistent throughout 2023 and will win a race like this at some point during the season you would think. Shouldvebeenaring was also consistent throughout last year and I think the four-year-old could pick up more than a couple of races this season with likely a bit more to come from him yet. I tipped him in the Listed 7f BetMGM Lady Wulfruna Stakes at Wolverhampton last month where the grey looked to be coming with a winning run at one point having not been ideally positioned only to run out of steam late on after around five months off the track; he'll strip fitter today. At the 9-2 I am taking a chance in what should be a good race. 

The mile Group Three Bet365 Craven Stakes is at 3.35 has Alcantor, Eben Shaddad and Haatem in the line-up rated over 100 and as such looks a fair renewal but the Godolphin-owned Native Approach is the one for me. He didn’t run until January this year when second at Kempton Park over seven-furlongs before returning there to win over a mile in February. By Too Darn Hot, a champion unbeaten two-year-old and multiple G.1 winner, he is out of Sperry, a Listed winning Shamardal mare hailing from a family that has produced plenty of winners. Charlie Appleby has won this with the likes of Masar, Native Trail and Master Of The Seas so the fact he pitches in his charge off the back of two All-Weather runs suggests he likes the colt a lot; the three named had all enjoyed Group-race success as juveniles. He looked quite a long-striding type so my fingers are crossed that hopefully the dip won't cause him any issues. The trainer said this week “We have been very happy with how Native Approach has progressed physically since winning his maiden. It’s his first start in Pattern company but he has pleased us at home and with what he has achieved on the racetrack so far. We are hopefully going to discover where we will be pitching him for the rest of the season.” I am on at the 5-2 available. 

At 4.45 it's the 1m2f bet365 EBF 'Confined' Novice Stakes (For horses Which Have Run No More Than Once) so there isn't a great deal of form to go on. Endless Victory would have gone in many notebooks comfortably taking a  1m1½f Novice Stakes at Wolverhampton on debut in February. There is every reason to think there is more to come from this one and I am on at 11-10 for Thursday. Stablemate Kalidasa and Meydaan from the yard of the Crisford's look the ones that may give him something to think about. 

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