Tip of the Day: Exalted company
Matt Brocklebank is looking forward to an exciting card at Newbury, but is willing to wait until the penultimate race for his tip of the day.
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There can only be seven victors at Newbury this afternoon, barring dead-heats of course, but it's one of those cards that looks certain to throw up handfuls of future winners, and possibly even a couple of stars of years to come.
Chesham Stakes fourth Nafaqa sets a particularly warm standard in the opening Highclere Thoroughbred Racing EBF Stallions Maiden Stakes (2.00), but Marshall Jennings won't be a maiden for too long judged by his Sandown debut effort, while Derby entrant Dissolution features among a host of fascinating newcomers in opposition.
Brian Meehan has won two recent renewals of the Al Basti Equiworld EBF Stallions Maiden Fillies' Stakes (2.30), including last year, and his Sulaalaat ran a race packed with promise when just denied on her Lingfield bow.
Godolphin's choicely-bred Raven's Pass filly Evening Rain could pose the biggest danger if fully tuned up for her first public outing.
With so little form to work with, however, I'm happy to watch these races unravel with an eye on the future and I'm not going to dip into my pocket until the TKP Surafacing Handicap at 4.45.
It's a wide-open race on the face of it, with Mark Johnston's Insaany bound to attract plenty of attention in receipt of weight from his elders.
He's now 17lb higher than when first starting out on the handicap trail and although clearly appreciative of a return to fast ground when scoring at Newmarket last time, the assessor might now have his measure.
It's hard to think that is the case with ENOBLED, however.
A close third to the now 103-rated Greatwood on his sole start at two, Sir Michael Stoute's colt has disappointed on more than one occasion since taking a Goodwood maiden last May but Stoute is a patient operator and he looks to have almost brought the son of Dansili back to the boil following an eyecatching fourth at Sandown last month.
It's worth watching that race again here as he was denied a clear run at a vital moment before running on strongly to be beaten only a couple of lengths, and the winner did the form no harm by finishing fourth in the Royal Hunt Cup subsequently.
There's a strong impression a mark of 84 remains well within Enobled's compass and, despite his pedigree suggesting otherwise, perhaps the step up to a mile and a quarter for the first time will eke out the required improvement for him to claim a second career success this afternoon.