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Friday was a poor day and only one I can apologise for. Silver Lady just couldn't get into it and neither could Ylang Ylang. The latter needs further, that's 100% evident now, but I don't think sitting so far off the pace helped her. Chindit tried his socks off as he always does, and at times I thought he might've gone on, but the winner is 5/5 on the Rowley Mile now, which you can't fault.
Newmarket 3:00 – Vandeek 13/8 (2pt Bet365)
When studying Vandeek‘s win at Deauville on ‘very soft' ground you'd probably think it's worth taking him on now he's on faster ground, but that very soft ground that the Racing Post is total nonsense, it was much quicker that day and the times would suggest that so I think he will be perfectly fine on the faster ground at Newmarket.
It's a shame Atzeni has to give up the ride on this horse as he is now in Hong Kong, but the Crisford team have got a great replacement in James Doyle. On all known form Vandeek is the best horse in this race, and his form is head and shoulders clear of the rest in this field and he has finished ahead of a few. 15/8 is probably a fair price, arguably quite generous from the bookies, but I can see why River Tiber is fancied to potentially overturn the form as he was held up in Deauville and was running on strongly, plus the fact he is trained by the master Aidan O'Brien and ridden by Ryan Moore, but as well saw with Ylang Ylang yesterday his horses do get beat and they aren't always guaranteed to win when they come over and challenge the British.
Newmarket 3:40 – Thunder Ball 40/1 (0.5pt EW SkyBet 8pl)
If you play the lottery then Thunder Ball will be a fancy of yours in the big handicap of the day, the Cambridgeshire.
This is obviously one of the hardest handicaps to win as a punter and an owner/trainer/jockey, due to the sheer size of the field. It's very rare you see a flat field with 35 runners in it, so picking the winner out of them is a challenging task but I think Thunder Ball is a decent EW bet. I think being up with the pace in races like this can only be an advantage as you will not want your horse to be scrimmaging for a position or trying to weave a passage through a very busy pack, so having clean open air to run into is where I want my horse to be and Thunder Ball has been ridden that way on a few occasions so I think they might do the same today.
Mohammed Tabti is probably a name many of you won't recognise but he has been going under the radar this year as a progressive apprentice who rides a lot for he Paul & Oliver Cole team. The Cole's clearly think he is more than ready for a big ride and see his 5lb claim as very crucial to this horse's chances of winning. He is great for his 5lb claim and when you combine that with the fact that this yard won this race a couple of years ago with Majestic Dawn in 2020 winning at odds of 40/1, with the same horse being placed the year before, it shows they are very capable of getting one ready for this race.
This horse ran a very big race at Royal Ascot in a big field handicap which had 29 runners in it, he finished 4th and I think that is great to see as he will be used to the hustle and bustle of the big field, and clearly, something he thrives off, which isn't every horse's cup of tea.
Longchamp 1:33 – Emily Dickinson 7/4 (2pt Bet365)
As always, the French going descriptions are very conflicting but according to Turftrax the ground is good and good to soft in places. The weather forecast appears to have no rain falling so will Trueshan run? who knows. Even if he does run I'll be siding with Emily Dickinson.
I put her up at Goodwood in the Goodwood Cup which was won by Quickthorn who got a very easy lead and motored home after being uncontested, but Emily Dickinson did best of the rest and finished 2nd. I've always thought that she is a really strong stayer so the 2m 4f today, though it will be a stamina test, I think she'll relish it. She did well over 2m 4f in Ascot Gold Cup when she finished 4th on very quick ground, so that proves she'll handle the surface today, seemingly better than the favourite.
Trueshan proved last time out that he still possesses plenty of ability, but he is a very quirky horse which is strange at his age, and his free-going nature will massively go against him today over such a long trip.
Longchamp 2:58 – Louis Quatorze 33/1 (0.5pt EW PaddyPower 4pl)
I won't be putting too much on Louis Quatorze but I think he is worth a small bet in this.
David Menuisier does well when sending his horses to France, and he won this race back in 2019 with an average-looking horse, so it's very interesting that he sends two horses for this specific race. Jamie Spencer takes the ride on my selection so is going to be the stables number one pick, and though he hasn't set the world alight in his two races to date he has shown potential. He has been keen in his races so far, so if he can cut that out he will have a nice EW chance in this race.
Longchamp 3:33 – Shamida 11/2 (1pt Bet365)
On all known form Shamida has a lot of improving to do to mix it with some of these horses in this race, but I don't think we've seen anywhere near her best yet.
Dermot Weld does very well with this kind of horse and the fact he has decided to bring her to Longchamp is a big indicator that they strongly fancy their chances for this. She is a strong stayer, which she'll need to be to win this race as there will be no hiding places with a strong pace on offer. The ground should be to her liking with the expected good ground, with all of her wins coming on a similar surface.
Her run at the Curragh in the Irish Leger Trial Group 3 is better than it looks. It was only a four-runner field, and not a strong renewal at all, but the race was a total farce and run at a very slow tempo. That slow pace wouldn't have suited Shamida but she showed her class and versatility to win and see off the persistent runner-up. Dermot has a decent record at Longchamp with the small amount he sends over, so I've optimistic.
Newmarket - 3:00 pm
13/8 @ Bet365
Newmarket - 3:40 pm
40/1 @ The Pools
Longchamp - 1:33 pm
7/4 @ Bet365
Longchamp - 2:58 pm
33/1 @ PaddyPower
Longchamp - 3:33 pm