Newmarket notes: Day One
We run through the races on day one of Newmarket's Craven meeting with a view to finding winners now and in the future.
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Below our Ben Coley has unearthed one horse to watch out for today and one horse for the future, for each of the eight races on day one of the Craven meeting.
You can click on today's fancies and see them in action last time with our free Video Form service, which also gives you the opportunity to watch replays like Kingman's electrifying display at Newbury last weekend.
Then, if you click on the horse to watch you'll be taken to My Stable, our free-to-use tracking service which means you'll never miss another eye-catcher.
One for now: Provident Spirit
John Gosden's horse made an encouraging debut at Doncaster in March when attracting late support. The yard have run a few good horses in this including Invisible Man, and providing this quicker ground isn't an issue he should put experience to good use.
One for the future: Emirati Spirit
This well-related colt holds entries in the Dante and the Derby and it's quite possible he'll be ready to win first-time out for a yard with a fine strike-rate here at Newmarket. However, this is a maiden which has tended to favour those with a run. Obviously, the betting will help us assess expectations particularly in relation to stablemate Dynamic Vision, who holds no fancy entries.
One for now: Harry Hurricane
With 10 of the last 13 winners of this race having had previous experience, it may well pay to focus on the top three on the race card. Abscent Friends was thoroughly professional on his Southwell debut but the two with stronger, turf form are this one and Flyball, who finished ahead of Harry Hurricane at Leicester. With the benefit of that experience it's not hard to foresee a reversal in fortunes.
One for the future: Portamento
Charles Appleby introduces this son of Shamardal over six furlongs, but his future looks to be over further. He holds an entry in the 2015 Derby which may not prove an accurate indicator of potential, but does suggest he'll find this on the sharp side.
One for now: Toofi
A race which tends to be dominated by the boys can go the way of Toofi, who really impressed when beating the smart Jallota over course and distance in September before looking a shade unfortunate on his final start. He holds a couple of these on the form of that maiden win and his trainer Roger Varian reports his charge to be working well, calling him a "sharp horse with plenty of speed". The one to beat.
One for the future: Scrutiny
The form of his 20/1 win in a Newbury maiden doesn't stand up to scrutiny, but there should be more to come from this son of Aqlaam this year particularly when handicapping. He looks to have plenty of speed for this drop to six and ultimately remains a horse with potential, but one who is worth keeping an eye on for the time being.
One for now: Saayerr
Little between the principals in what looks a tight handicap so it might be worth chancing Saayerr in the first-time hood. Roger Varian's horse looked all at sea on soft ground when behind Parbold in the Gimcrack last year but had previously looked very promising, while all the time suggesting that this trip will suit. Similar comments apply to Richard Fahey's horse and perhaps we're in for a minor upset here with these two put up as alternatives to Shifting Power.
One for the future: Shifting Power
All that being said, Richard Hannon's horse oozed class in two starts last year and is one to keep an eye on. The issue today is that, while he clearly has speed, a mile and a quarter may be the real making of him and I could just see one of the speedier types picking him up, particularly as he's a big horse who may come on a bundle for the run. Also keep an eye on Mushir who has a sprinter's pedigree and could come into his own back at six furlongs in the future.
One for now: Sandiva
Richard Fahey's filly steps down in grade having finished in the pack on her final run of 2013 in the Prix Marcel Boussac. Previously, she'd looked very impressive over today's trip at Deauville and this ground should be perfect for her. On the ratings and the visual impression she made last season, she looks the one to beat having reportedly been working well in preparation for this.
One for the future: Miss Lillie
Odd perhaps to single out the lowest-rated filly in this field as the one to watch, particularly as this is a race which will throw up several Pattern winners in all likelihood. However, Miss Lillie had all sorts of things go against her last season and therefore has a handicap rating of 79 - for the time being. Roger Teal called her "one to dream about" after she won here in November and the fact that he goes this route tells you how well-regarded she is. I'm putting her up in the expectation that she's outclassed here, and the hope that she runs in a handicap next time.
One for now: Obliterator
A race that went the way of subsequent Arc third Intello can this time go to Obliterator, a half-brother to last year's 1000 Guineas second Just The Judge. Ger Lyons knows what he has when he has it and this son of late-maturing Oratorio holds entries in the Irish Derby and both English and Irish Guineas', plus the Dante. His victory at the Curragh last year was visually impressive and came despite the trainer expecting him to come into his own this year, and in a potentially weak renewal on paper he looks the one who could be very good.
One for the future: Madeed
Obliterator looks likely to be the best of these in time but in the spirit of variety, we'll add Madeed to the My Stable tracker. Brian Meehan's horse followed the formula of the yard by winning well on his second start having shown promise on debut, and it's worth noting that Kieren Fallon reckoned he had a lot of maturing to do as there was plenty of ability there. The form of the Goodwood maiden he won looks solid enough and we've yet to see the best of him.
One for now: Munjaz
There are any number of potential improvers here in a maiden which should throw up several winners, but for now the token vote goes to Munjaz. Well-backed on both starts last year, John Gosden's horse looked a shade unfortunate here in October and would've looked a good thing for many a maiden across the country. That he's pitched into a warm one tempers enthusiasm but Paul Hanagan evidently chooses him in preference to Mustadaam and he sets a good standard.
One for the future: Wahgah
Ayrad and Min Alemarat are debutants with Derby entries while Wrangler has one too and should leave his Yarmouth debut behind in time. Eye Contact attracted support on his Newbury debut last year and is also one to note but the vote goes to Wahgah. Saeed Bin Suroor's filly holds an Oaks entry and was punted into odds-on for her debut, in what's typically a good maiden. In truth it's a race which hasn't yet worked out but this big filly could change that to a degree and it'll be interesting to see what the market makes of her.
One for now: Kaab
Another race which isn't easy to be dogmatic about but again we'll hope that Hanagan has it right in his choice of Kaab over Greeb. The selection made giant strides between a modest debut and a decisive win at Yarmouth, and the third home that day is now rated 90 having progressed well on the all-weather. A literal reading of that form is of course dangerous but Ed Dunlop's horse looks the type to progress further this year off a mark of 85.
One for the future: Danzeno
Outer Space has his first run for Jamie Osborne and is interesting if you take his second at Royal Ascot at face value, while Desert Ranger has looked a big baby in winning twice at Wolverhampton and could prove well-handicapped. However, Danzeno gets the vote for Michael Appleby. Reported to have won at Redcar in spite of the ground, he could follow in the footsteps of half-sister Demora, who won a good handicap at the back-end of last year having progressed rapidly from a lowly rating.