The True Story of Nell Gwyn day was a Derby prospect
16 April 2014
If we look back on Wednesday’s card at Newmarket at the end of the season I’m pretty sure the real story will prove to have been the undercard races, and perhaps even the racecourse workouts, rather than the Nell Gwyn itself.
That is not to say Sandiva is not any good but I think it is hard to envisage her winning the Qipco 1,000 Guineas on the back of her victory in the Nell Gwyn.
What is unlikely to be in most of the newspapers on Thursday morning is True Story’s facile victory in the Fielden Stakes, a race we must not forget produced Intello 12 months ago.
True Story put seven lengths on his rivals with Somewhat, the highest-rated horse on the card, back in fifth.
Trainer Saeed Bin Suroor nominated the Dante Stakes at York next month as the likely destination, and with a fit horse a proper race on the Knavesmire would certainly be in preference to the Lingfield Derby Trial, the other possible next outing for the black son of Manduro.
Bet Victor went 16-1 from 20-1 after the race, but they were bowled over in the aftermath and were forced to go 10-1.
He looks a real prospect for Epsom, and could be a good trading vehicle at a double-figure price to be laid off in the Derby build-up - he did not look without his complications.
To most gallop watchers, Lucky Kristale’s work at Newmarket was a little lacklustre, but jockey Tom Queally was adamant afterwards that it was routine spin, and that his mount would stay the mile of the 1,000 Guineas.
I liked more the look of Lightning Thunder, who strode out and beat her stablemates hollow under Harry Bentley.
There is a whole lot more to play out over the next few weeks before we start laying down wagers, however, and I’m not going to bet on any filly after one racecourse gallop.
As for Thursday's card the best bet of the day for me is Tropics to run away with the Connaught Access Flooring Abernat Stakes.
Just because it is my best bet of the day does not mean I am confident, but I just cannot see how Tropics will be out of the first three.
He has had a prep run on unsuitably soft going, and back on good to firm ground he should run the race of his life.
Last season Tropics improved from an official rating of 84 to his current rating of 116 but had very little exposure to good, fast ground.
The last time he raced on good to firm was in the Skybet Dash last season, when he posted by far the best speed figure of his career.
What's more, trainer Dean Ivory believes that as a six-year-old his charge will be reaching his peak this season.
Tropics is a big horse and race fitness will count for more than his 3lbs penalty that he must concede to Aljamaaheer, his chief rival, and the rest of the field.
Aljamaaheer's form is impressive and were he lining up in the Earl Of Sefton I'd back him blind to last home the extra furlong than the mile he excelled at last season.
He is dropping back in trip, however, on his first run for the season and with Dinkum Diamond in the field there will be no hanging about - he'll have to get his act together quickly and I just don't see it happening at price as short as Evens with Ladbrokes.
Toomore will be desperately hard to beat in the Novae Bloodstock Insurance Craven Stakes and with Saeed Bin Suroor uncharacteristically in form so early in the season Be Ready will be prepared better than previous Godolphin runners at this meeting.
That said, Anjaal was progressive on fast ground last season before becoming unstuck behind War Command on unsuitably soft ground and could run well at a double-figure price against two outstanding runners. With only six runners, however, you have got to go for broke, which is not always the best investment strategy.
Geoffrey Riddle's Thursday tips: