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Newmarket Preview

It's a busy Saturday afternoon of racing action in the UK as the Bank Holiday weekend gathers pace and Newmarket features amongst the meetings to enjoy.They race at Headquarters from 2.10pm through until 5.35pm, with a seven-race card, and the Racing Post has got race-by-race preview and analysis of all the Newmarket action.




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2.10 - Close Brothers Savings British EBF Novice Stakes (6f)

Superstar DJ cost 40,000 gns and has winners in the pedigree, so any market traction behind Richard Spencer's newcomer would be interesting but this looks a really good opportunity for MANACCAN to get on the scoreboard nonetheless.

The Exceed And Excel colt has run well in both starts, finishing close fourth at Ayr (6f, good to firm) on debut in June and then going a place better when only beaten a half-length at Yarmouth (6f, good to firm) at the start of July.

He likely wasn't helped there by a dawdling pace early on, but the winner Maglev is now rated 91, while the second won a Chelmsford maiden this month and the fourth has also enhanced the form in his two efforts since.

William Buick takes the ride here and it's not hard to see his mount obliging in the Newmarket opener. The likes of Jilmod, Adaay Atatime and Fat Gladiator are capable of better things but have work to do for sure.

Selection: Manaccan

Next Best: Superstar DJ


2.45 - Close Brothers Hopeful Stakes (Listed, 6f)

Tabdeed sets the standard here for Owen Burrows and Dane O'Neill. He was a winner at Group 3 level last season at Newbury over this trip and his most recent start saw him beaten only a quarter-of-a-length in defence of that crown behind Happy Romance. A replication of that effort could be good enough now, and he's got a favourites chance.

Both Summerghand and Mums Tipple have penalties to worry about here, enough to be put off them, but Royal Scimitar and KHAADEM are worthy contenders.

The former went close in a decent handicap at this course last month before running a fine third at Ascot (6f, good to soft) this month, an effort that must be judged in light of the fact he almost unseated his rider early in the contest. He hasn't won since his Newbury debut last summer but he must not be discounted.

Khaadem gets the verdict for Charlie Hills and in-form Andrea Atzeni. He has flattered at times this season but his Salisbury second behind Line Of Departure in June over this distance on fast ground was a solid effort and the only time he has encountered such conditions thus far. He didn't appear in love with Chester last time and he could bounce back in first-time blinkers now. In that scenario, he's a definite player.

Selection: Khaadem

Next Best: Royal Scimitar

3.20 - Close Brothers Asset Finance Handicap (7f)

Just four contenders but none can be ruled out with any degree of certainty. The Attorney is bidding for a hat-trick after wins at Leicester (7f, good to firm) and Lingfield (7f, AW), he's up 5lb for a short-head success 16 days ago but has to be considered in his current mood.

Roger Varian's Aquaman has been a model of consistency this term and comes into this off the back of a second win in five starts since April. He wandered about a bit in front at Redcar and should have a challenge in him from 4lb higher.

Run To Freedom won a Kempton novice in December and shaped with plenty promise on handicap bow at Sandown (7f, good) in June, but his runs there and at Glorious Goodwood since have amounted to backwards steps. This though is an easier assignment on paper.

A chance is taken with BIG NARSTIE, forecast to be the outsider of this quartet. Richard Spencer's 3YO grabbed a Lingfield AW maiden in January on second start before running well in Listed company at the same venue in March.

He chased home an impressive winner at Ascot (7f, good to soft) on handicap/turf bow in May (winner rated three-figures since) and it's probably best to forgive a poor run in the Britannia Stakes back there at the Royal Meeting in June.

He's back from a midsummer break now and can once more call on Angus Villiers' 5lb claim (rode in that first Ascot run) for an aid. He can rebound in these calmer waters.

Selection: Big Narstie

Next Best: Aquaman


3.55 - Close Brothers Asset Management Handicap (1m6f)

Live Your Dream is 3-4 this season having missed 571 days off the track previously. His only defeat came when second in a hot York handicap over 1m4f on soft ground in May. Most recently, he bagged a C&D win under a hold-up ride from Oisin Murphy last month. He's 7lb higher this afternoon but not discounted for that.

The other hat-trick seeker is Dancing Harry for Roger Charlton's team. He followed up last month's Sandown win with a five-length demolition over this track and trip at the start of the month (also under Oisin Murphy) and is raised 5lb for his troubles.

Hochfeld ran a better race last time at York (2m½f, good) but hasn't been noted for consistency lately and has ground to make up on Live Your Dream having finished mid-pack last month.

SPEEDO BOY could be the answer if the first-time cheekpieces have a positive effect. After near misses at Goodwood and Chester in June, he had his turn at Ascot (2m, good to firm) last month, scoring in good style under today's rider, and he was only nosed out since at Nottingham over the same trip. He can cope with the drop in distance now and is likely to go close.

Selection: Speedo Boy

Next Best: Dancing Harry

4.30 - Close Brothers Invoice Finance Handicap (1m4f)

The 3YOs are probably the ones to focus on here. Saligo Bay continued his trend of race-by-race progress when scoring a first success at Newbury last month over this distance on good ground. He is lightly-raced and that was just his second attempt at the trip, so there's likely more to come from him off this 4lb higher mark.

Geremia meanwhile has won on the all-weather at Wolverhampton (1m4f) and Chelmsford (1m6f) either side of a solid second at Yarmouth (1m6f, good to firm) late last month and needs considering again despite the drop in trip.

The vote is reserved though for BAGUE D'OR, Charlie Wall's charge having won at Yarmouth (1m2f, good to firm) in April on comeback/handicap bow and then gone close under a hold-up ride at Doncaster in June on his only run since. Both the winner and the third scored in their next two starts and, having been put up 2lb, there surely is a major challenge in this Belardo gelding, partnered here for the first time by Andrea Atzeni as he tackles this increased trip.

Selection: Bague D'or

Next Best: Saligo Bay


5.05 - Close Brothers Property Finance Handicap (1m2f)

Mark Johnston's Fairmac was unable to maintain his advantage from the front at Sandown last weekend, finishing fourth in the end. He's capable of better when in the mood but does seemingly need more if he's going to defy this mark today.

The filly Cambridgeshire was doing her best work late on over a mile on handicap bow at Nottingham this month - she could have more to give going up in trip to take on the boys now.

Mustazeed has been placed in both starts since winning at Yarmouth in June and should continue to run well, but the consistency of CONTINGENCY FEE is hard to knock. There'll be no secrets from Phil McEntee's charge, as he routinely seeks to make all, and if he can get across in front of the likes of Fairmac, another big challenge is forecast as he races from an unchanged mark after his runner-up finish at Brighton six days ago.

Selection: Contingency Fee

Next Best: Cambridgeshire

5.35 - Close Brothers Handicap (5f)

Newyorkstateofmind won on the Tapeta at Wolverhampton earlier in the month and should give a good account but there plenty dangers here. Not least of them is Passional, consistent this summer and able to back up a near miss at Ascot last month when turning up here to win only 24 hours later. She's 5lb higher now.

Han Solo Berger won this race in 2019 and was placed last year from a 7lb higher mark than he finds himself off now. He's part of a strong book of rides for Andrea Atzeni on this card and, while having two-lengths to find on Passional from last month's C&D meeting, he is 5lb better off having lumped weight to the winner that day. A big run is likely.

That said, preference is for SOUL SEEKER for the David O'Meara team. The Oasis Dream gelding has been very busy this season, winning four times in what is already a 14-race campaign. His last two efforts have been in better company than this and at York 10 days ago he met plenty trouble in running. Dropped in class now and with Angus Villiers taking off 5lb from his burden, he should go very close in the Newmarket finale.

Selection: Soul Seeker

Next Best: Han Solo Berger


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