Thursday 22 March 2018

Fury value in betting without the favourite

Julian Muscat

Even shorter than Nijinsky. Those are the odds about Frankel emulating the great Ballydoyle champion by winning the 2,000 Guineas (3.10) at Newmarket today.

Yet while Frankel matched Nijinsky's unblemished record as a two-year-old, he does not have the physical scope of Vincent O'Brien's Triple Crown winner.

It also remains to be seen how the headstrong colt will cope with Newmarket's open spaces on his way to the start, when many a race is lost through over-exuberance. Impressive as he was in winning his Newbury trial two weeks ago, Frankel cantered to post under the tightest of holds under Tom Queally.

This time, however, Queally won't be afforded the narrow-railed strip that carries horses away from the Newbury paddock.

Frankel will be out on his own, with only the breeze for company. His pacemaker, Rerouted, cannot tow him to post, since he is due to parade after Frankel, and a further complication arose when Rerouted drew stall 13 of 13. Frankel is in stall one.

For all that, Frankel should win -- and win with authority. The golden child has infinitely more natural ability that his 12 opponents, and while his free-running tendency may catch up with him further down the line, he cannot be opposed here.

The best betting option lies in betting markets without the favourite, but this is a risky proposition. Those aligned against Frankel must try to beat him rather than settle for second place, and one which may pay the price is Roderic O'Connor. He made the running when he chased Frankel home in last season's Dewhurst Stakes, but similarly aggressive tactics could see him picked off late for the minor berth.

That leaves Pathfork, Native Khan and Fury as contenders for the runner-up berth. Native Khan seems beneath this level, and with Pathfork heading all betting markets without Frankel, Fury appeals as the value bet.

The colt's trainer, William Haggas, could have dodged the bullets with his unbeaten colt but Johnny Murtagh's mount can make his mark. Odds of 7/1 without Frankel are more than fair.

Double delight on cards for Dettori

Campanologist has excellent prospects of winning the Jockey Club Stakes (2.30), having done his preparation for the new season in Dubai.

He should lack little in fitness, duly obliged at the first time of asking last term and Frankie Dettori's prowess should come to the fore in what is

sure to be a tactical race.

Dettori will also fancy his chances aboard Prohibit in the Palace House Stakes (3.45) and this previous course winner can put its race fitness to good use at the expense of Astrophysical Jet and Borderlescott.

Others with appeal at Newmarket today are Well Sharp in the Racing Welfare Handicap (5.25), and Treasury Devil in the Newmarket Stakes (4.55).

Meanwhile, over at Goodwood, Anna Salai should take plenty of beating in the Conqueror Stakes (4.35).

Moonlight holds

1,000 Guineas key

It's a red-letter day for Joseph O'Brien, who has his first English Classic ride aboard his parents' Empowering in the 1,000 Guineas (3.15) at Newmarket. Empowering is one of three runners from the O'Brien stable, with Misty For Me boasting the best winning prospects.

Empowering is among a number of pace-forcing types in a wide-open contest. They include last season's champion two-year-old filly Hooray, which is unlikely to be as effective over this longer trip.

A fierce early pace could also undo runners with suspect stamina, among them Memory and Maqaasid. And it might just take those bred to get further, such as Havant and the well-backed Make A Dance, clean off their feet.

Freddie Head, whose handling of Goldikova has been exemplary, believes Moonlight Cloud is the best two-year-old filly he has trained. And with Moonlight Cloud so impressive on her comeback, she warrants the vote ahead of Misty For Me.

On the same Newmarket card, the Dahlia Stakes (2.35) sees Eleanora Duse conceding 5lbs to all her opponents. That looks beyond her, and better proposition is Field Day, from the Brian Meehan stable.

Strong word circulates for Primevere ahead of the Pretty Polly Stakes (5.0). This one impressed many when making a winning debut at Kempton last October.

Irish Independent

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