Day two at the Craven Meeting was the second winning day of the two thus far for Triple G with Soliloquy getting the job done in style in the Nell Gwyn Stakes and I had the early 5-1. The filly only had to be ridden out hands and heels to claim the Group Three prize by a length and three-quarters and bigger pots surely await. Deauville was held in second and Folk Tale a disappointing ninth.
And so to the races on day three and the main event, of course, the bet365 Craven Stakes. The sun will be shining again and there is plenty to enjoy so if you can get yourself along to the Rowley Mile do so.
The notebook will be close to hand for the bet365 Wood Ditton Maiden Stakes at 2.25 with Karaginsky and Military Band for team Godolphin just two potentially nice 2yo’s lining-up as well as the John Gosden trained colt Surya who is by Frankel out of Oaks winner Sariska.
French challenger Le Brivido is the star attraction in the Group Three Connaught Access Flooring Abernant Stakes due off at 3.00 over six furlongs. Andre Fabre's four-year-old has not been seen in competitive action since winning the G.3 Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot last summer, Spirit Of Valor second, and returns to Britain to make his long-awaited comeback. I backed him for the Jersey Stakes at 3-1 off the back of his second place in the in the G.1 Poule d'Essai des Poulains (French 2,000 Guineas) where he was just headed by subsequent G.1 Prix du Jockey Club (French Derby) winner Brametot. I am convinced he had far more in hand than the winning margin from the Jersey suggested, basically racing alone in the middle for the last furlong or so, and as he has won over six before dropping back in trip shouldn't be an issue either. After only four career starts, three wins and the second in the Prix du Jockey Club he is open to improvement at four and I have the 5-2 that is about overnight. A series of little setbacks prevented him running again last season but it should be remembered Coolmore bought a part-share in the unexposed four-year-old and the trainer clearly rates him “He's not a sprinter, but six furlongs at Newmarket is a good prep for going further," said Fabre on Wednesday. "I think he's going to be at his best over seven furlongs, but he's got speed enough to be competitive over this trip. There simply aren't many options over seven furlongs so this looked a good race to run him in with no penalty, on good ground and a nice course. He is in the Lockinge and we'll decide after this if Newbury will be the plan. I think it is better to run him over shorter than further (than his best trip) to begin with."
Oisin Murphy appears to be in a confident mood and looking forward to getting the leg-up on Roaring Lion in the Group Three bet365 Craven Stakes at 3.35. "I sat on him last week and he seems like he's done well from two to three, he's in good order, he's fit and well and I'm really looking forward to him." Murphy told At The Races earlier this week. Currently trading as the general 6-1 third-favourite for the Qipco 2000 Guineas a big run here will be expected after an impressive 2yo campaign in which the John Gosden trained colt won three of his four starts and was only beaten by a neck in the G.1 in the Racing Post Trophy by Saxon Warrior. He is odds-on to see off six rivals on his return to action here but his tendency to hang to the left does worry me and I couldn’t bet him at odds-on until I have seen for myself he has got over that habit. Charlie Appleby sends two Group Three winners that look the dangers to the jolly in the shape of Triple G Dirty Dozen member Masar, the trainer has earmarked the French Derby as a potential long-term target for this colt so this eight furlongs looks a tadge on the sharp side for him, but I will be watching to see how he goes with the 1m 2½f Prix du Jockey Club at Chantilly in June in mind and as he is in the Dirty Dozen have backed him each-way at the overnight 15-2. The other is Glorious Journey who will be racing in the famous old Maroon and White colours now of HH Sheikha Al Jalila Racing. The colt cost 2,600,000 Guineas as a yearling and it will be fascinating to see how he goes as a lot will be expected this season being by Dubawi out of G.1 Coronation Stakes winner Fallen for You. He won a Novice Stakes here at HQ before winning his Group Three over seven furlongs at Saint-cloud in September.