Steve Hughes looks ahead to the best of the action from Newbury’s big flat day
Full credit to the authorities at Newbury for putting up some tremendous prize money (around £800k) across the whole card, and not just for an excellent Group 1 feature the Lockinge Stakes. I have selections from three races, plus a best bet elsewhere. Grandee was placed for the each-way bet yesterday – (advised 9/1 four places with Skybet)
Newbury 3.00: Sinjaari
After a taking victory to break his maiden at Windsor recently I expect Sinjaari to take this big step up in grade in his stride.
He only raced the once as a juvenile, albeit quite early on in the season at Salisbury. Presumably he met with a setback after that, but that could turn out to be a blessing as he comes into this summer totally unexposed. He did not get the run of the race when narrowly beaten by a more experienced rival at Redcar last month, his first start for William Haggas.
However he made no mistake at Windsor last time when storming to victory under Oisin Murphy. The jockey is back on board today and this colt looks to be improving at a rate of knots. This galloping track should suit as will the prevailing fast ground.
Newbury 3.40: Mustashry
This race will be Mustashry’s first attempt at Group 1 company in Europe, but this 6yo has the right attributes to feature in an open contest.
The gelding had the tactical pace to win over 7f to win a Group 2 at Doncaster last season, but the stamina to win a Group 3 over 9f at York previously, so a stiff mile likely to be run at a strong gallop should suit perfectly.
He made a perfectly satisfactory reappearance at Newmarket last month when third to Zabeel Prince, and should strip fitter for today. A mid-to-low draw is usually what you need at Newbury and this horse’s very best form has come on straight tracks.
Newbury 5.25: Robin of Navan
After thirty career starts already, this represents Robin of Navan’s first go at handicap company, but I believe the 6yo has the class to defy top weight.
A group 1 winner during a stellar juvenile season, the gelding has been an infrequent winner since. However he does not quite seem to have the raw ability now to compete at the highest level of races. In addition he is quiet a keen goer which is not ideal, especially as a lot of group races become tactical affairs.
A big field handicap might be right up his street though as he will find it easier to settle and the likely strong gallop will be fine for a horse with a high cruising speed. He has actually performed much better than his form figures suggest this season, but just not found much off the bridle. Against slightly inferior rivals today though that ability to travel could be put to more use.
Doncaster 8.05: Prestbury Park
I like hold up horses on the straight track at Doncaster where it often pays to pounce late and Prestbury Park might just fit the bill this evening.
In a race where there is plenty of pace, I expect the 4yo to be delivered late. Paul Midgley has taken over the training of this gelding this season and after needing the run on his return at Thirsk, he showed up much better over 5f at Beverley last time.
He is coming down the weights now to a realistic mark of 70. He paid for winning two of his first three races when with Mark Johnston and has struggled in handicaps thereafter. However in the care of a specialist sprint trainer I expect Prestbury Park to be placed to good effect this summer and he should be in peak fitness for today.
1pt win – Sinjaari – 3.00 Newbury – 4/1 general
0.75pts each-way – Mustashry – 3.40 Newbury – 11/1 Paddy Power (1/5 odds 1st 4)
0.75pts each-way – Robin of Navan – 5.25 Newbury – 8/1 Ladbrokes, BetVictor, Coral (1/5 odds 1st 4)
0.5pts each-way – Prestbury Park – 8.05 Doncaster – 16/1 general (Paddy Power 1/5 odds 1st 5)