independent

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Parliament Square looks value option on Newmarket card

THERE were mixed fortunes for this column last weekend and consequently, my equine bankroll went on a bit of a rollercoaster ride. With a trip to Ascot planned for next week, I'm getting uneasy about the fact that all the girls behind the counter in the local credit union know me by first name.

Last Saturday went rather well, with the main bet, Mince, taking a group three at 9/4. She's a very smart filly and one to watch next year if they stick to their plan and keep her in training.

With Mandy Layla landing a seller later on at odds of 11/10 at Dunstall Park, the Ascot coffers were beginning to look pretty decent.

But, as it says in the book of Job, 'the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away', and unfortunately I was only holding on to the winnings overnight.

Looking back, my confidence in Camelot for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe was severely misplaced, although with Solemia coming home at 33/1, I wasn't the only one who called it wrong.

While it was frustrating to see Camelot run so poorly, spare a thought for those who backed runner-up Orfevre all the way down to 1/100 in-running on the machine.

With last Saturday's winnings cancelled out the following day, I could do with squeezing a few bob out of today's action.

Step up Aidan O'Brien's Parliament Square, whose odds of 14/1 make him a very attractive each-way proposition for the group one Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket (2.20).

O'Brien also runs Gale Force Ten and Cristoforo Colombo, who is as low as 11/2 despite finishing a tame second in the Railway Stakes on soft ground the Curragh.

He clipped heels in the Phoenix Stakes last time when he was going well, but he's yet to live up to his promising line of form when third behind Dawn Approach and Olympic Glory in the Coventry Stakes at Ascot.

With the ground likely to be on the softer side of good, the selection looks set to thrive, with both his wins to date taking place when underfoot conditions were somewhat testing.

Considering the hefty weight he was carrying in a sales race at Doncaster last time, he ran a credible race in fifth and that followed on from a career best when finishing third to today's favourite Reckless Abandon in the Prix Morny on good ground at Deauville.

Unbeaten in four starts, you can't argue with Reckless Abandon's record, but unless the ground dries out, we enter unknown territory, which makes his odds of 15/8 seem a little short this afternoon. Moohaajim must be given a mention, too, and is likely to be thereabouts. He showed a wonderful turn of foot when taking the Mill Reef Stakes last time and a good run today should see his odds of 20/1 contract for next year's Guineas.

EACH-WAY

A massive field of 35 go to post for the Betfred Cesarewitch Handicap at Newmarket (3.35), but the one to watch at 8/1 is Montaser, which has slipped in nicely at the bottom of the weights. He's versatile, will love the trip and has loads of scope for improvement.

• Last week's each-way selection was placed at 12/1.

TODAY'S SELECTIONS

1.50 Newmarket: Scarf

2.20 Newmarket: Parliament Square (e/w)

2.55 Newmarket: Dawn Approach

3.35 Newmarket: Montaser (e/w)

4.05 Newmarket: Melody

8.45 Wolverhampton: Lulla

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