Steve Hughes looks at Newmarket’s first card of the 2018 season.
The Craven meeting is about the emergence of new talent in the 2yo and 3yo races for many racing folk, however there are two cracking handicaps on Tuesday’s card and those are the races I am concentrating on.
Newmarket 4.10: Roller & Sinfonietta
Stalls are on the stand side for today’s meeting and that means a high draw could be an advantage with a rail to run against. Both my selections are drawn in double figures.
Roller represents the Mick Easterby yard that has made its usual strong start to the season. Despite Roller being absent for ten months, he is fancied with the eyecatching booking of Silvestre de Sousa. He won first time out for his current trainer after a six month absence at Newcastle in late 2016. After that winter campaign he then defied another three month break to win at Redcar at this time last year. He went on to be narrowly defeated on softish ground at Ripon and remains unexposed.
Sinfonietta boasts excellent form fresh too. He was second on his seasonal debut last year in the ultra competitive Lincoln consolation race on the opening day of the year at Doncaster. His first run of 2016 was even more impressive, destroying his rivals at Nottingham by 6l on testing ground. He couldn’t win last term but did run some fine races, notably when third in the Irish Cambridgeshire. However his fine record fresh makes him betting material here.
Newmarket 5.20: Taurean Star
A winner on his first start of 2016 and again in 2017, Taurean Star can repeat the trick for a third time, on this occasion representing a new team in Ralph Beckett.
His win in 2016 came in a red hot handicap at Ascot where he defeated the top class Banksea. He continued to race solidly that year, but without winning. However he again stepped up his game to win first time out at Yarmouth last year, this time over today’s trip of 7f.
His form thereafter tailed off rapidly, but he is now back to the same mark as his Yarmouth win and perhaps a change of scenery will work wonders for him too.
1pt win – Roller – 4.10 Newmarket – 8/1 general
1pt win – Sinfonietta – 4.10 Newmarket – 10/1 Bet365
0.75pts each-way – Taurean Star – 5.20 Newmarket – 14/1 Skybet (1/5 odds first 5)