Peerless can be top

Newmarket selections Thursday 8th July

The opening day of Newmarket’s popular July meeting takes place today. This is certainly the lowest profile card, but there are two big field handicaps I am getting stuck into.

Newmarket 3.00: Jadwal, Peerless & Akkeringa

The difficulty with this contest is knowing if and where there will be any draw advantage. As a result I am having three aims at this race, looking to take on a relatively short priced favourite Boomshalaa, who has had issues with starting slowly previously.

JADWAL ran a cracker when fourth at York last month in a similar big pot and there is no doubt this horse possesses plenty of natural pace. His main fault has been racing too keenly early, but he definitely benefited from a big field and some cover at York. He has not quite been seeing out his races, but hopefully he is benefiting from the experience and I think his cruising speed makes him an obvious each-way candidate here.

This is a race Charlie Hills has done well with in recent seasons, winning it three times in the past decade, so no doubt Jadwal has been targeted at this for a while.

PEERLESS just had too much ground to make up on The Cruising Lord over an extended 5f last time, but impressed with his finishing burst and this step up to 6f looks an obvious move. He had already beaten an experienced handicapper in Stake Acclaim at Lingfield on fast ground and is a big improver having won at Nottingham in the spring. He is striking up a good partnership with Saffie Osborne who has been on board the last two times and the 5lb claim means he carries bottom weight here.

AKKERINGA must run from 3lbs out of the handicap here and had already been put up 10lbs for winning twice recently – here and at Doncaster. However he has impressed with his ability to extend off a strong gallop, especially at Doncaster where he really quickened up from off the pace and he may be up to maintaining his improvement at a higher level here.

Newmarket 4.45: Path of Thunder & Dingle

An open race to close proceedings on the July Course.

I like the chances of PATH OF THUNDER here. He had a busy start to his juvenile career, winning his novice at Haydock then winning on handicap debut at this track – both in July. That latter win was gained in first time headgear – something that might be used to maximum effect here as blinkers replace the usual cheekpieces.

We only saw him once last season, at Royal Ascot and then once in Dubai over the winter. However he has started the domestic campaign well with second places at Newbury and Chelmsford and his front-running tactics tend to lend itself well to Newmarket. I am hopeful that the blinkers will sharpen him up enough to make that difference to go one position better.

As a live alternative DINGLE is suggested. A fine third in a maiden at the Ebor meeting at York last summer, he then went on to win on handicap debut at Kempton two weeks later. Put away after that, he made an eyecatching reappearance when third to Mithras over 7f in a red-hot Newbury handicap back in April.

He was then made favourite for the Esher Cup at Sandown the following week, but ran below par, also meeting trouble in running. That race may have simply come too quick after Newbury. He has been withdrawn due to softening ground twice since, but won’t have that issue today and having had a nice break, he should be back to top form today. I like his ability to travel during a race in a big field and that bodes well for his chances today.

Recommended bets:

1pt each-way – Jadwal – 3.00 Newmarket – 10/1 Bet365

1pt each-way – Peerless – 3.00 Newmarket – 25/1 Skybet, William Hill (1/5 odds 1st 6)

0.5pts each-way – Akkeringa – 3.00 Newmarket – 10/1 Paddy Power, Skybet (1/5 odds 1st 6)

1pt each-way – Path of Thunder – 4.45 Newmarket – 4/1 general

0.5pts each-way – Dingle – 4.45 Newmarket – 8/1 general (William Hill 1/5 odds 1st 4)

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