Steve Hughes has selections for the big handicaps at Newmarket and Market Rasen on Saturday
The Cambridgeshire is the big betting race of the day at Newmarket and I have two against the field for this cavalry charge. I also have suggestions for two other contests.
Newmarket 3.40: Jazeel & Le Don de Vie
The Cambridgeshire perhaps lacks the strength in depth of most renewals and I have two choices in a field now consisting of 31 runners.
Jazeel deserves a major pot such as this having run so consistently throughout his career. He has generally been campaigned beyond this 9f trip, but has a cracking record over this course and distance. He won the consolation race on the card last year when trained by Mick Channon. He than ran a cracker first time out for Jedd O’Keeffe when beaten just a neck on Guineas weekend. Apart from two below par efforts at York (a track that does not seem to suit him) he has performed well since. He won at Sandown and twice placed second at Epsom and Goodwood in valuable handicaps. Jamie Spencer has been on board for the majority of those races and takes the mount again today.
Le Don De Vie is the unexposed option. He did well to come from off the pace in a slowly run race to win at Goodwood last time and I think he will improve again in a stronger run affair as this will inevitably be. He probably did not quite see out 12f when fourth at Glorious Goodwood but had previously won twice at Epsom and I think there will be more to come from the 3yo on a more galloping track such as this.
Market Rasen 4.00: Storm Rising
He made his mark on his first two starts for Richard Newland last autumn, and it might be worth following Storm Rising again at this time of year having had a recent wind op.
He had already shown consistent form for Denis Hogan in Ireland, including a win at the Galway Festival, but took a definite step forward with easy wins at Cheltenham and Wetherby in the space of a week on joining his new stable. He found things tougher from a higher mark thereafter.
However he was a laudable fourth in the Imperial Cup at Sandown and on his last start in May he was second at Newton Abbot. He has started coming down in the weights though and with the presence of the classy Mohaayed in the field has a lovely low weight of exactly ten stone today. The decisive factor though could be the summer wind op which will hopefully see him finish off his stronger. This sharp track will also play to his strengths.
Newmarket 5.25: Vitralite
Speed often pays in smaller fields at Newmarket and Vitralite has plenty of that, even dropped back down to 7f today.
He has been gaining valuable experience in Haydock novice contests this season having not raced as a juvenile. He has shown plenty of ability too on that speed favouring track, winning his first two starts from the front before finding the concession of two penalties slightly too much on the final occasion.
He proved well up to the rigours of a competitive handicap when only just touched off a neck by Pogo at the Ebor meeting at York last month. Despite a 4lb rise he remains totally unexposed and this track ought to suit a point and go type such as this.
0.75pts each-way – Jazeel – 3.40 Newmarket – 14/1 general (Skybet 1/5 odds 1st 8)
0.75pts each-way – Le Don De Vie – 3.40 Newmarket – 7/1 Skybet (1/5 odds 1st 8)
1pt each-way – Storm Rising – 4.00 Market Rasen – 8/1 general
1pt win – Vitralite – 5.25 Newmarket – 11/2 Betfred, Totesport