Steve Hughes looks at the first and last races on Friday at Newmarket
An interesting card at Newmarket and I like the look of a classy fillies race to open proceedings and the Silver Cambridgeshire that rounds off the programme.
Newmarket 1.50: Laugh Aloud
Despite two poor efforts on her comeback from injury I am happy to give another chance to Laugh Aloud who is the class act in this field on her day.
She won this race decisively in 2016 having made all the running and continued that progression into the spring of last season. Again she made all to win a listed contest at Goodwood by 5l before spreadeagling Group 3 opposition at the Epsom Derby meeting by 5l.
Sadly she met an injury that curtailed her 2017 and meant a delayed beginning to this term. She looked rusty when ridden with uncharacteristic restraint at Sandown and then lacked the pace to sustain her challenge over 7f at Doncaster last time. Hopefully she should be fully up to speed fitness wise now and returned to this front-runners track over a mile she should make them all go once again.
Newmarket 5.15: Cote D’Azur & Escape the City
Two against the field in this large line up.
Cote D’Azur is never one for consistency and was last on his final start at Doncaster. However his recent form had been similarly uninspiring ahead of the actual Cambridgeshire last season and he finished a close third from today’s mark of 93 on that occasion. Added to that he was second in the 2016 running of this race. Therefore he clearly loves the Rowley Mile course, something that can be explained by his keenness which means he almost always makes the running on a track favouring pacesetters. He will have his favoured fast ground and made all to win at Nottingham in July, so the ability is clearly still there somewhere.
The filly Escape the City is building up a solid record in big fields. She was third in the Sandringham at Royal Ascot and more recently fourth at Glorious Goodwood. Both those runs were at a mile but she has shown an ability to stay further when third in a valuable pot at Beverley over 10f last time. This strongly run 9f on a straight track could be ideal and a drawn near the far rail could prove to be an advantage.
1pt win – Laugh Aloud – 1.50 Newmarket – 7/2 general
0.5pts each-way – Cote D’Azur – 5.15 Newmarket – 18/1 Paddy Power (1/5 odds first 5)
1pt win – Escape the City – 5.15 Newmarket – 11/1 general