The action from both Cheltenham and Newmarket continues today with the showcase race of Newmarket’s three day meeting, the Craven, going off at 3.35pm.
bet365 Craven Stakes
It looks a strong renewal of this 2,000 Guineas trial and it is possible to make a case for all 7 runners.
The rock solid option looks to be Larchmont Lad, who has already demonstrated his ability to handle the Rowley Mile. His stable has started the season well and the step up to 8f should really suit.
He got the nod ahead of Benbatl, but if there is to be a shock then GULLIVER might be the one to provide it.
Hugo Palmer has Classic winning credentials now and it is interesting that he starts this horse off here. He too will appreciate the longer trip and it is just a shame there aren’t eight going to post and three places on offer with the layers.
|Gulliver (ew)||3.35 Newmarket||33/1||Bet365|
Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle
The mares take centre stage at Cheltenham with 3 listed races kicking of their card.
The first of them is for novices over 2m 4f and despite his huge price of 100/1 we like NARANJA. The yard is going well and this horse returns to good ground for the first time since winning her bumper last year. She followed that up with a good run in another flat race here, so she has shown she handles the track. As long as eight go to post she could make the first three at those very big odds.
The main danger could be BRILLARE MOMENTO.
But for unseating on her penultimate start she could easily have won her last two races and looks to be going the right way. She has also run two nice races here in the past, including when not far behind Naranja in November.
|Naranja (ew)||2.05 Cheltenham||100/1||Sky Bet, Betfred|
|Brillare Momento (ew)||2.05 Cheltenham||8/1||Bet365|
Mares’ Novices’ Handicap Chase
If the novices chase at 2.40 goes anything like to form then only a couple of these can win as three of the seven runners are well out of the handicap.
The big drop in class should suit BRIERY BELLE and this former course winner looks the best bet at the prices.
|Briery Belle (ew)||2.40 Cheltenham||4/1||Bet365|
Mares’ Handicap Hurdle
The last of the mares’ contests is a handicap hurdle.
Some of these contested the big mares’ race at the Festival recently, including INDIAN STREAM who looks the one to beat here.
At a bigger price, THE ORGANIST should run well too. She was unlucky not to win at this meeting last year and the return to hurdles at the Festival seemed to suit her.
|Indian Stream (ew)||3.15 Cheltenham||4/1||Bet365|
|The Organist (ew)||3.15 Cheltenham||10/1||Bet365|
Llewellyn Humphreys Handicap Chase
The other horse to back at Prestbury Park this afternoon is the course and distance winner, LAMB OR COD in the staying chase at 3.50. He has his ideal conditions today, and looks to have Coologue and Virak to beat.
|Lamb Or Cod (ew)||3.50 Cheltenham||9/2||Bet365|