We’re into day two of Newmarket’s The Craven meeting and with results and form to go on from Tuesday, punters are in a good position to dish out a bit of a bookie bashing on Wednesday. There’s plenty to keep us busy too, including a couple of Group 3 races sure to spark your midweek to life. Here are our Wednesday April 17 Horse Racing betting tips.
The afternoon’s racing gets started at 1.50pm with an 11-runner handicap and takes us through to the conclusion at 5.20pm, a 15-runner handicap. Finding a few winners and lining your pocket is our aim and our team of horse racing experts preview the day’s best races, offering views on who deserves your stake money, as well as the bookies offering best price on the most popular runners.
Bet365 Handicap – 1.50pm Newmarket
We get started right away and give a selection in the opening race of the day, a handicap run over six furlongs by a field with Breath of Air as the favourite. Ryan Moore sits on the jolly and that booking has caught the attention of both punters and bookmakers who are keen to keep him close in the early exchanges. We can see why.
The three-year-old colt, out of Charlie Hills’ yard, has already won over this trip and connections will be confident he has what it takes to repeat the feat in front of a big crowd, opening the show on day two. His breeding leapt off the page at us and those in the know will fancy him to win this with a bit to spare, if running to the best of his abilities, before going on to contest bigger and better things. Was impressive when scoring at Newbury and deserves a shot at 9/4 with Ladbrokes.
Abernant Stakes – 3.00pm Newmarket
One of the best races of the day, this Group 3 sees eight runners thrash it out over the snappy 6f sprint trip and with plenty of speedsters in the race it should be a joy to watch. With almost £35,000 in prize money paid to the winner, it’s no great surprise to see some famous names in the line-up, all battling to claim the crown worn by Brando for the winning partnership of Ryan and Eaves 12 months ago.
Traders have a repeat performance chalked up as favourite at the time of writing with Ladbrokes offering no more than 6/4 on Brando defending his honour, a price that will appeal to a fair share of accumulator backers. He’ll take some shifting but we’re happy to go for one at a bigger price and will be sticking with the Moore and Hills combination, taking Equilateral.
Not Always a Winner
The pick has let punters down in the past when ending as a beaten favourite, but he has won over this trip and there will be plenty happy to forgive him for small stakes. He has experience of running in Group 3 company where he held his own and if everything falls into place here, he has the turn of foot to trouble the leaders.
Not one to get carried away with but we do think there’s value in his 7/1 price tag and will take a shot. Those looking for the safety net of each-way will benefit from 1/5 the odds a place 1-2-3 and that seems like a shrewd approach. More fancied runners in the field, other than Brando, are Dreamfield at 3/1 with Ladbrokes, with the same firm giving Yafta at a generous 11/2.
Craven Stakes – 3.35pm Newmarket
This is what the day is all about, the Group 3 Craven Stakes run over the mile and this year’s renewal has a 10-runner field printed in the programme. Masar won the race for Charlie Appleby and William Buick last year, but we’ll have a new champion this time and finding out who that is will be a thrilling watch with chances coming from throughout the pack.
Bookmakers have had their say and are setting up in support of Zakouski who has been chalked up as a strong favourite at Ladbrokes with 2/1 the offer at the time of writing. That’s short in such a competitive race and despite the jolly being a progressive runner who is more than capable of winning this, coming from the same yard as last year’s champion, we’d much rather take a chance on an outsider for modest stakes to make this one a bit more interesting.
The one trusted to turn the tables on the market leader is Royal Marine who is a gutsy three-year-old trained by Saeed bin Suroor and owned by Godolphin. This well-travelled sort was most impressive when winning the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere, a Group 1 race run at Longchamp over seven furlongs. He battled bravely to hold off the attentions of runner-up Broome that day and if we see anything near a repeat performance, he’ll go close to banking the prize money again here.
Banking on his Best
It’s fair to say Royal Marine has blown hot-and-cold at times during the early exchanges of his career but we’re backing him based on his best and if we get it, the 3/1 being offered by Ladbrokes at the time of writing will look a generous offer.
This is sizing up to be a fascinating battle between our pick and Zakouski, but we don’t think there’s an awful lot in it and will happily go with the runner carrying the better price.
Those looking to have an each-way play on an outsider will get 1/5 the odds a place the best three finishers in the race and that opens the door for you to have a pop at one capable of grabbing third behind the first two in the betting. Global Spectrum is a 10/1 bet with Ladbrokes, the first double-figure odds runner in the race, and his stats appeal.
He has already claimed a couple of wins in lesser company over 7f, including one at Doncaster and another when tried at Longchamp. This is a step up in class, but that’s reflected in the price.