Unfortunately the ground was too quick for Geronimo at Ayr and Caius Marcius ran well, but not well enough! The big race this week is the Craven Stakes, a Group 3 for 3yos that is rin on the Rowley Mile. It is a trial for the big one in a couple of weeks time, the 2000 Guineas. There are other high quality races on the card too, including the Wood Ditton maiden and the Group 3 Abernant Stakes. Dave Stevos has studied the form and you can check out his Newmarket Craven Day tips for all live ITV4 races below…
Newmarket Craven Day Tips: 1.50 – Bet365 Handicap (Class 2)
The ground is currently good to firm at Newmarket and that probably explains why only eleven horses will line up at the start for this 6f handicap. It looks a very open contest and none of the runners can be totally discounted. The one that looks a shade overpriced back on quick ground is Oberyn Martell. Trained by Eve Johnson Houghton, this trailblazer likes to get on with things out in front. He will be ridden by Charlie Bishop and he is 2/3 when riding this son of Charm Spirit.
His two wins came over 5f at Sandown and 6f at Salisbury, both on rattling quick ground. Oberyn Martell will most likely try to make all and Bishop will be hoping he gets handed an easy lead. He was beaten just under 3L on handicap debut at York last season off 93 over 5f but that track probably didn’t play to his strengths. He was only a length behind the winner on his comeback at Wolves off 92 55 days ago and that should have put him spot on for this. Back over a straight 6f on a testing track, Oberyn Martell looks worth chancing each way at 12/1.
NEWMARKET CRAVEN DAY TIPS: OBERYN MARTELL E/W @ 14/1 (4 PLACES)
Newmarket Craven Day Tips: 2.25 – Wood Ditton Maiden (Class 3)
This 3yo maiden looks a fascinating race with a host of well bred newcomers taking their chances. With no form to go on this is a race where pedigree is the only real pointer, though market signals should be taken note of too. The bookies have installed UAE Jewel as the hot favourite and there is a lot to like about his pedigree. However, 11/8 is a very short price to be taking on a horse who has yet to see the track.
Last year Dane O’Neill and Owen Burrows won this race with Sawwaah, a 25/1 poke. They are back to try and repeat the trick with Damlaj. This fella is by Shamardal and on pedigree a mile looks an ideal starting point. Dane O’Neill has a fine record when riding for Burrows too. He has 15 wins and 33 places from just 106 rides for the yard. At odds of 14/1 Damlaj looks worth chancing each way for small stakes.
NEWMARKET CRAVEN DAY TIPS: DAMLAJ E/W @ 14/1 (4 PLACES)
Newmarket Racing Tips: 2.25 – Abernant Stakes (Group 3)
Eight horses will go to post for this 6f Group 3 and Brando is a warm favourite. He takes a big drop in class having run well in Group 1s on his last 4 starts. Brando won this race the last two years running and is unbeaten on his seasonal returns since 2015. He is unbeaten here over 6f on the Rowley 6f course (3/3) and he looks a very worthy favourite.
one that could go well at a slightly bigger price for each way players is Gifted Master. Hugo Palmer has his string in scintillating form and this fella loves Newmarket. He has won three races from 6f to 8f on the Rowley course on ground ranging from good to soft to good to firm. Gifted Master is a previous Group 3 winner and he should be fit after a run at Meydan last month. At odds of 7/1 he looks worth chancing each way, though the favourite will be hard to beat.
NEWMARKET CRAVEN DAY TIPS: GIFTED MASTER E/W @ 7/1
Newmarket Tips: 3.35– Craven Stakes (Group 3)
The Craven Stakes is an 8 furlong Group 3 and some big reputations are on the line. Nine will go to post and it looks a decent renewal. Royal Marine is the favourite but quick ground is a major worry. He flopped on his only start on debut on good to firm here on the July Course and there was juice in the ground for both his wins. Saeed Bin Suroor’s horses usually come to hand later in the season too, so for that reason he is overlooked.
One trainer who has his horses in rude health is Martyn Meade and he runs Confiding in this. This son of Iffraaj looked a proper horse when winning on debut at Newbury last June (6f gd/fm). He ran really well in defeat upped in class to Group 2 company next time, 3L behind Dark Vision at Goodwood (7f gd). He was no match for Guineas favourite Too Darn Hot next time at Sandown (7f gd) in the Solario on his final 2yo start, but there is nothing as good as him in this field. The return to proper quick ground and the stiff finish at Newmarket could play to his strengths, and at odds of 16/1 he is the each way pick.
NEWMARKET CRAVEN DAY TIPS: CONFIDING E/W @ 16/1