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Queenie Newall was a welcome winner on Wednesday, winning at odds of 3/1 which was a small drift. Today has some good racing for a Thursday, and I've opted for today's two big races, with some decent priced selections.
The ground for Leopardstown will either remain as Good To Yielding, or it should dry out a little and might change to Good. If that is the case, then it would not be a surprise to see Create Belief withdrawn, as she clearly thrives on soft ground. She is ridiculously short in the market, and I think MILITARY STYLE offers good value against that horse, if they do decide to keep Create Belief in the race.
This lightly raced son of War Front makes his seasonal reappearance for Aidan O'Brien and Ryan Moore, and though he has to show more than what he did in his most recent performance at the back end of the flat season in 2020, there is definitely a chance he will do that. He made all at this track in a Group 3 over 7f last year, and though that performance didn't exactly scream out that he wanted further, there is a strong chance that the break he has had between races, he will have filled out and will now relish the step up in trip. He is out of a Galileo Mare called, Together Forever, and that filly stayed 12f, but was also a Group 1 winner over a mile, so this trip should be straight up Military Style's street.
The time off the track isn't a concern for me, even though it would normally be for an Aidan O'Brien horse. My reasoning for this is because he has been a Non-Runner two times in the last month, which means he will have been somewhat race-fit on both of those entries, so there is no reason to believe he isn't ready for this race on his first run of the season. Aidan's do generally come on for their first runs, but the fact he was entered in the middle of last month, but was withdrawn, there should be no excuses for his fitness levels, as he would've been fit to run on that day.
If I'm honest, I don't think this is a great race at all, and if Create Belief runs, which I hope she does because if she is a NR then we'll get a big Rule 4 and nobody wants that, plus I think she's is very beatable. Create Belief has obviously been progressive this year, but that was on soft ground. The form of her Royal Ascot win doesn't scream out at me, as I think she benefited from a good ride by Ben Coen who had her sat in a prominent position, so she avoided no trouble in running, but also she was on the right side of the track, and the form of the race hasn't exactly worked out great since. I really hope she does run, but I can't see it happening. I think the main threat would be Real Appeal who has been great so far this season, but the fact he'd have to carry 9st 12lbs against some 3yo's, that would be a problem.
A horse who will more than likely be overlooked in this race due to their time off the track and strange campaigned career is KING VEGA. This horse ran well in a Maiden as a 2yo, was then pitched into a Group 3, where he was placed, but then ran poor in the Vertem Futurity Group 1. He made his seasonal reappearance this year in a Class 5 novice race, where he finished second to Tasman Bay, and has not been seen since.
There is obviously talent in this horse, and the recent Gelding operation might have been the key to unlock it. It is interesting that they've opted for the Gelding operation so early into his lightly raced career, so he must've been showing signs at home and in the prelims when racing that this is what's needed, as he has only raced four times and his ceiling is still an unknown. The time off the track is obviously not a plus, but if you would want him to race on the back of a layoff from any yard in the country right now, you'd want it to be Andrew Balding's as he is on fire right now and is heading the trainers' championship. To match that statement, Oisin is riding out of his skin currently and the chances of him retaining his title for champion jockey is looking more and more likely each day. He is currently riding at a 26% SR in the last fortnight which has seen him rack up 18 wins, he is riding very confidently at the moment and that is what you want in a jockey.
As for the form, I think he is massively being overlooked and when you compare the price of Megallan and King Vega, they are miles apart in the market, which doesn't quite work out for me. Megallan is 5/2 fav, and though he has shown more this season than King Vega, due to the fact he has been missing, I think the price of that horse is a little wild. He's ran well in the Dante, and the form of that race has been on show with Hurricane Lane being a brilliant horse, but that was 2.5f more than what he'll race in today, and in my opinion he is better over that trip, and his trainer's must think that too, as he was in the French Derby over the same trip. However, when you compare King Vega and Megallan from their 2yo form, they were both beaten by Yibir, but King Vega finished 0.75 lengths behind that horse on debut, as opposed to Megallan who finished 1 length behind on his third run. King Vega was unlucky in the Solario stakes at Sandown, where he didn't get the best of runs. The winner had the jump on him and King Vega still looked quite raw, but stayed on well to suggest a mile would be right up his street. On seasonal reappearance he was beaten by Tasman Bay, and the form of that race hasn't worked out too bad, as that horse is now rated 107.
For the others in the race, I think a lot of them have questions hanging over their heads on different things. A lot of them have to answer questions about the ground, the track, the trip and their recent form. I'm not saying King Vega is going to win, and I wouldn't be very confident, but I think he could run better than his odds suggest. He will get the weight for age allowance, and he is still lightly raced, and has a red hot trainer and jockey.
13:55 Newcastle - Race: 3
14:10 Exeter - Race: 3
14:25 Newcastle - Race: 4