Steve Hughes provides his best bets for another sparkling Saturday’s racing
Today is mainly about the juveniles at Newmarket with two Group 1 races. To this end I have a selection for one of those, but there is also the small matter of the Cambridgeshire. Good action too at Haydock and Market Rasen, so I have selections for all three meetings.
Haydock 2.05: Alemaratalyoum
When with Ed Dunlop, Alemaratalyoum had been kept largely to soft ground, winning twice in testing conditions in 2017. This term he has improved for Iain Jardine, but mainly on faster ground. Therefore returned to a softer surface I think he will have yet more to offer at Haydock today.
Already a course and distance winner at this track (on good-to-firm) last month, he then clearly failed to stay 10f at York’s Ebor meeting next time. However his first outing on testing ground of the term came last week at Ayr. On that occasion he flew home for second over 7f.
Surely this extra furlong will be much more in his favour and given his past solid record with cut I think he can defy a career high mark of 88 today.
Newmarket 3.00: Jash
There are few 2yo’s that have impressed me as much as Jash did at Salisbury last time out. As such I think he can defy this massive step up in grade and provide trainer Simon Crisford with a first Group 1 win.
A 4l winner on debut at the July Course here, it was only an ordinary novice that he took part in at Salisbury next time. However what I liked was the positivity jockey Jim Crowley showed in him, sending him straight to the front, soon stringing the field right out and running right through to the line to win by 9l.
This track lends itself well to front-runners, should Crowley try the same again and I think favourite Ten Sovereigns could be vulnerable on this undulating track as he showed quite an awkward gait at the Curragh last time.
Newmarket 3.40: Alfarris & UAE Prince
A huge field as always for the Cambridgeshire, but such is the quality there is only a stone difference between top and bottom weights. As such two against the field looks essential.
Alfarris was undone by the draw at York last time having had to come from the very outside stall. To finish second was an excellent effort in the circumstances and suggests his progression has not come to an end yet. Prior to that York run he had won at Glorious Goodwood despite getting further back in the field than ideal. Fast ground is in his favour and whilst his ideal trip is probably 10f, that is no problem in a race over 9f today likely to be run at a strong pace on a straight track.
UAE Prince runs for only the second time this season having been narrowly defeated over 3f further on this track in May. He looked a certain winner that day until fading late on, and had consistent form in top 10f handicaps at Goodwood and York last summer. Again this drop in trip might be a good idea in a strongly run contest and he has the cruising speed to be able to lie up at this shorter distance – whilst first time cheekpieces can serve to sharpen him up a bit.
Market Rasen 4.00: Innocent Touch
Formerly a very solid handicapper on the flat, Innocent Touch has taken time to really settle in over hurdles. However he has enjoyed a profitable summer and should be suited by a strongly run 2m handicap on a sharp track.
The 7yo was rated as high as 94 last season on the level, but had probably reached his limit on that sphere. However he has enjoyed a new lease of life over hurdles and has won three times this season – a win at Bangor being followed by two wins on his last two starts at Stratford.
Both of those tracks are flat and sharp, so he should be at home around Market Rasen and his jumping has been much more fluent of late which will be crucial in a race sure to be run at a flat out gallop with Hatcher and L’Inganno Felice in the field. The selection’s experience in decent flat handicaps can be put to good use in this big field.
1pt each-way – Alemaratalyoum – 2.05 Haydock – 13/2 Bet365 (¼ odds first 3)
1pt win – Jash – 3.00 Newmarket – 4/1 general
0.75pts each-way – Alfarris – 3.40 Newmarket – 11/1 general – (Bet365 ¼ odds first 8)
0.75pts each-way – UAE Prince – 3.40 Newmarket – 14/1 general – (Bet365 ¼ odds first 8)
0.75pts each-way – Innocent Touch – 4.00 Market Rasen – 10/1 general