Third day of the Craven meeting. But my eyes are drawn to Bath for an eye-catching betting proposition. Though, I also want to take a look back at the Craven Stakes.
Native Trail was the main act on Wednesday at Newmarket. The way he won the Craven Stakes was impressive. Even though, one could also argue this was expected after what he had done as a juvenile.
Personally I think the performance was impressive for the simple fact that we have seen often enough in the past how these top-class 2-year-olds wouldn’t train on or simply lose their edge as the rest of the pack has caught up physically and mentally.
That sort of fate may still beckon for Native Trail later the year. For now he must be considered the prime candidate for the 2000 Guineas, though, and the betting market says as much. There’s no secret here.
However, the fact he ran out an easy victory yesterday, achieving a topspeed rating of 100 on his seasonal reappearance, is impressive in my eyes. He’s ran three times in a row to TS 100 now. That’s the sign of a quality colt. And I would be more than hopeful that he can improve on that if properly asked for full effort in the Guineas.
My eyes were naturally drawn to Claymore in the Craven. Having called him out as one of my 5 To Follow I was anxious whether the bubble would burst as early as his first run as a 3-year-old.
It didn’t. He finished a gallant runner-up. Clearly still green, raw and what Jane Chapple-Hyam called a “big baby” afterwards – who was also seriously unruly before the race – he’ll learn plenty from this experience. He’s not quite cracked topspeed 90 here, but improved on his debut 83 from last year. Surely there is more to come.
Chapple-Hyam mentioned the French Guineas as the likely target as opposed to the Newmarket classic.
4.20 Bath: Class 6 Handicap, 5.5f
As uncompetitive as this Bath opener looks, as much does experience tell us that these races can be pure carnage and tend to produce many hard-luck stories.
I still have to back favourite Fristel. He was one of my eye-catchers from last week and I feel this test over 5.5 furlongs will represent the ideal race for him. He finished much the strongest last Monday at Windsor on his turf debut while not getting a run until very late.
In this class and of his current mark I feel he is seriously well handicapped, particularly with another 3lb off the weight with apprentice Stefano Cherchi on board – which is his sole ride today.
This is Fristel’s 6th career start, only the third in Handicap company. He caught the eye as juvenile on the All-weather as well and as long as he gets a clear run, which is the main danger more than anything in this field, he will have a major shout.
Money is coming all morning so prices may vanish soon. any additional money is an obvious positive pointer to his chances.
10pts win – Fristel @ 7/2