It is Craven Stakes day on Wednesday at Newmarket and we will be treated to the re-appearance of the over winter 2,000 Guineas favourite Native Trail. I had three winners from three bets Tuesday and all being well have a few up my sleeve for Wednesday; I am on nice and early overnight.
Best bets for the horse racing at Newmarket
At 2.25 we have some nicely bred unraced three-year-olds making debut and it’s certainly a race to keep an eye on with the future in mind. Secret State ticks a lot of boxes on breeding and is the tentative pick in the hope he is ready to go on debut. The Dubawi colt cost 525,000 guineas as a yearling and being out of Jacqueline Quest, who was demoted after being first past the post in the 1000 Guineas of 2012, is related to a number of good ones. He is a full-brother to Listed winning filly Onassis and a half-brother to several including his trainers Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner Line of Duty. I am on at 2-1.
The Group Three Connaught Access Flooring Abernant Stakes over 6f is next at 3.00. With the various allowances and without having to shoulder a penalty for last summer's Group 1 success in the Phoenix Stakes Ebro River looks to have a massive chance. Third in the 7f G.1 National Stakes behind Native Trail after that is decent form and this drop back to six looks to be ideal to for him me. I have 2-1.
Top European two-year-old and my ante-post bet at 9-2 for the 2,000 Guineas Native Trail is set to face six rivals on his return to action in the mile Group Three bet365 Craven Stakes at 3.35. The son of Oasis Dream won all of his four starts last season including G.1 victories in the National Stakes at the Curragh and the Dewhurst on the Rowley Mile. 122-rated he is unsurprisingly odds-on to take this and remain unbeaten, all being well he will win hard held and cement his place at the top of the 2,000 Guineas market. Charlie Appleby said: “We are looking forward to seeing Native Trail get his three-year-old season started. He has wintered very well and we have been pleased with preparation, so we don’t have any negatives going into this. William Buick has ridden him plenty lately and the whole team are very happy with where the horse is. It’s only two and a half weeks until the 2,000 Guineas, so we feel he is not going to need the run in the Craven, but it will help click his racing brain back into gear. It’s of more benefit mentally rather than physically.”
At 4.10 it is the 1m2f bet365 British EBF 'Confined' Novice Stakes. Team Godolphin has an outstanding record in this race and have thrown three darts at it again, all with chances. New London won on his two-year-old debut last October over track and trip and can get his three-year-old campaign off to a winning start back here. He was somewhat green that day but the penny dropped in time and he got up very late so assuming he has matured and grown over the winter he can take this; William Buick rides which is seen as a positive. I have the 2-1. An obvious danger is stable mate Aldous Huxley who won at Kempton last month on his debut.
They face a mile at 4.45 in the Best Odds Guaranteed At bet365 Handicap. Tranquil Night is one I have been keeping an eye out for having been fourth in a 7f novice stakes at Yarmouth in October 2021 came out and built on that by making all in a 7f Kempton novice in January 2022 and followed up over the same C&D in February. He was gelded in between his first two runs and makes handicap debut here off a mark of 84. This one might be the ‘Group horse in a handicap’ as they say and should be backed at 7-2. As a member of the Dirty Dozen for this season Ikhtiraaq is very much feared. A Tattersalls Autumn Horses-In-Training sale purchase I think he'll win races for his connections this season but this might be a big ask on seasonal reappearance against one as good as I think the selection might be.
I am a bit Appleby/Buick heavy in the selections so hopefully it’s a good day for the Moulton Paddocks team again– they did supply two of the three winners for me yesterday, Buick actually rode all three.