13:55 Dubai Duty Free Finest Surprise Stakes
Greenham day opens with a Group 3 for four year horses or older and it looks a cracking renewal.
Dai Harraild looks very much his best on a fast surface and the grond looks to be heading that way at Newbury for this meeting however he did need the run last year before coming to his best. William Haggas’ runner will have to do this from his highest ever mark of 109 but he can’t be ruled out. Chemical Charge has seen the grass of a racecourse once already this year and he has good form in the book. Narrowly beaten in a Group 3 race in Ireland last season if he has continued his progression he could also be one to consider. Midterm will be popular for Ryan Moore and Sir Michael Stoute and rightly so as he was second in the Prix Niel at Chantilly last year to Makahiki and he also ran in the Champion Stakes at Ascot behind Almanzor. He is lightly raced for a four year old with just five runs in total however this could be a stepping stone to bigger and better things and he could get caught cold by our race fit selection after 189 days off the track. Crimean Tartar (6) is also lightly raced with just two runs under his belt, he beat Chemical Charge into second at Kempton and the son of Sea The Stars could have the most progression to come. Likely to be held up by James Doyle he has a fantastic turn of foot and could utilise the pace likely to be set by Dai Harraild to his advantage. Hugo Palmer has good strike rate at Newbury and we think he is the one to be with.
14:30 Dubai Duty Free Stakes
The Fred Darling has thrown up a fantastic renewal and one that could have big pointers to Guineas both in the UK and around the world.
John Gosden has flown out of the blocks this season and Dabyah could continue that run. Third in the Marcel Boussac at Chantilly behind Wuheida she looks to be one of the most hotly anticipated fillies in training and if she is as forward as stablemate Daban she could take all the beating in this one. Queen Kindly (8) ran on to win the Group 2 Lowther at York last year for Richard Fahey and was perhaps a victim of her own success in the Cheveley Park when she faded into fourth after a busy season. Well rested now, we think she could be the one to be with. Rain Goddess strikes up plenty of interest for Aidan O’Brien, the master of Ballydoyle rarely sends a runner to this meeting and always warrants respect. Seventh in the Irish Guineas Trial earlier this month she will be fit and ready to go and those in ahead of her at Leopardstown could contest the best three year old fillies classics later in the year. This may be a fact finding mission for her trainer so we are reluctant to select her.
15:05 JLT Greenham Stakes
There is very little to pick between four runners in this Greenham and each of the runners has the potential to run a good race in the Newmarket Guineas.
Barney Roy has been the talking horse of the winter for Richard Hannon. The three year old was purchased by Godolphin after a storming run at Haydock winning by 3.5 lengths, the form coming from that race hasn’t been overly spectacular but his performance certainly was and if he can repeat that it could be good enough to win. Dream Castle also represents the boys in blue and much like his compatriot he cleared away well to win at Doncaster earlier this month for Saeed Bin Suroor. The son of Frankel is well bred and could be a superstar in time. War Secretary (9) ran in a maiden last year that has produced Van Der Decken and Guineas favourite Churchill making it easily the best form on offer. He has since won two on the spin and Ryan Moore is in the plate to help him hunt the hat-trick. With plenty of racecourse experience under his belt he is likely to be up with the pace and we think he will be the one to pass the post first. Zainhom is likely to play a part also and his second behind Best Solution is a nice bit of form however the winner has been beaten well in Meydan. The Anvil is a well thought of horse at Ballydoyle and Zainhom had his measure on that Newmarket run however it would be a big step up should he win this.
15:40 Be Wiser Insurance Spring Cup Handicap
Donncha was given almost the perfect ride in the Lincoln by Jamie Spencer, coming home at a rate of knots he could only finish third and whilst Jamie abandons him for this race he could still be one of the main protagonists. Robert Eddery employs Andrea Atzeni and the two enjoy a good strike rate. If he is closer to the pace this time his turn of foot could get him his first win since June 2015. Richard Fahey took this race last year with Gabriel’s Kaka and he throws two darts at the race this year with Home Cummins and Another Touch. The latter of the two looks to be the one to side with. He was given a stiff task after returning from Dubai but now well rested he is interesting. Chelsea Lad will be very popular after being balloted out of the Lincoln earlier this month, his trainer Martyn Meade is in good form and gave rave reports about this horse in the lead up to Doncaster. Ryan Moore gets the leg up and if he can overcome his lengthy absence he is very likely to be in the places. George William (13) was a stylish winner of one of our sponsored races at Nottingham recently and held off what could be one of the better handicappers of the year in GK Chesterton. Raised 4lbs for that win he has it all to do again but he does have the scope to keep on improving. A keen sort he should sit off the pace and appreciate the longer straight at Newbury and he is our selection for the race.
16:15 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships Maiden Stakes
A race jam packed full of potential and one that could turn out to be very informative come the end of the year!
Commander represents Roger Varian and the China Horse Club runner has one start under his belt already over this course. A well beaten seventh he didn’t seem to take to a mile and could be better seen over a longer distance in time. His trainer has won thois race twice recently so that is something to bear in mind. Red Royalist made waves in his final run last year at Newmarket, he does have to step up another two furlongs and that could find him out. Our selections is Najashee (8) for Owen Burrows and Jim Crowley. Sheikh Hamdan has had great success in this race over the last three years and the son of Invincible Spirit was a €700,000 yearling bought in France. The trainer doesn’t have the best of records but taking over at Kingwood from Barry Hills this could be the best horse to grace the yard under his tenure. Abjar and Call To Mind are two also to keep an eye on with a view to the Derby.
16:45 Carter Jonas Maiden Stakes
Dhalam (3) made an eye-catching start to his racing career on the all-weather at Kempton for John Gosden finishing second. He was a bit free that day but showed plenty of speed to close down the winner in the final few hundred metres and we think he is almost certain to place in this. Frankie Dettori keeps up the partnership and pitched in again unraced horses he could really lay down a marker. Tango Fire didn’t get off to the best of starts at Nottingham falling out of the stalls and was given an easy ride subsequently but he was passing horses up the straight and with racecourse experience he may be one that players put into their Placepot. Of the newcomers the headline acts look to be Anif and Musical terms but as they are unraced it is difficult to be confident about them.
Straight line Placepot:
Leg 1 – Crimean Tartar (6)
Leg 2 – Queen Kindly (8)
Leg 3 – War Secretary (9)
Leg 4 – George William (13)
Leg 5 – Najashee (8)
Leg 6 – Dhalam (3)