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Thursday horse racing treble: Three tips and previews from Day 1 at Newmarket's July meeting


Newmarket's July meeting is upon us, and it's from there that horse racing pundit Jake Russell shares his best three tips from Thursday's racecard

By @ Jake Russell

1.50pm - Group 3 Bahrain Trophy Stakes

No doubt Ancient Wisdom will be a pretty short price for the boys in blue here, but I am all over Space Legend now stepped up in trip. The Willam Haggas-trained horse was a second on his only start as a 2yo, before going on to win a maiden stakes contest at Leicester by a little under 5 lengths. He then went on to step up in class and trip for his next two runs, coming a very unlucky runner-up in a Listed contest at Goodwood, only beaten by a neck when not getting much luck in running, although he did fire home late in the day. 

He then went on to run in the Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes, where he was well beaten by the easy French winner, who blitzed the field by 6 lengths, but Space Legend did stay on well to beat third by a little under 2 lengths, running on well once again. 

The bird had flown pretty early on at Royal Ascot last time, and no one was catching the eventual winner, but the Wathnan Racing recruit still ran well and has claimed some black type to his name already. 

This further step up in trip should suit, and the step down to Group 3 company from a Group 2 race should also be in his favour. He is clearly still learning on the job, so can easily improve past the rest of these. 

Ancient Wisdom came 8th in the Derby last time, and although he might have the class angle, I just don't think this sort of trip will be to his liking, whereas it should suit Space Legend a whole lot more.

  • Selection - Space Legend (2/1 Win)

2.25pm - Group 2 Kingdom Of Bahrain July Stakes

Whistlejacket was a very short price for the Norfolk last time at the Royal meeting, and although he did come in 4th, he was slightly disappointing in that he didn't really have as much speed as we thought he might have, and although he stayed on pretty well, there might be one or two who have a little more natural speed than him here on Thursday. 

Despite my normal love for Wathnan Racing’s two-year-olds, I will not be siding with Electrolyte here, but rather am leaning towards the Windsor Castle winner Ain't Nobody for Kevin Ryan and Tom Eaves. 

This horse was a very nice winner at Carlisle for his maiden win, landing the contest by a little under two lengths, and really looking like he knew his job down to a tee. One thing that really impressed with this horse is how he took the step up in class with aplomb last time when landing the 27-runner Windsor Castle Stakes, which was a really strong race on paper. 

He stayed on by far the best in that contest last time, suggesting that this step up to 6 furlongs should more than suit him here, and although there were a few big-priced runners-up in the Windsor Castle last time so the form could be a little hit and miss, he landed the race on his 2nd ever start by a length going away. 

Kevin Ryan knows how to get these good two-year-olds ready, and this Sands Of Mali colt could be the next stable star for him going forward. I am very excited to see this lad take the step up in class and trip, as he looked like a 6-furlong horse all over last time.

  • Selection - Ain't Nobody (4/1 Win)    

3.35pm - Group 2 Princess Of Wales's Stakes

Although we don't get to see him as often as we might like, Hamish is such a likeable horse who is still seemingly loving life at the racecourse. The William Haggas star is now eight years old, so does take on a few younger legs here, but you just can't beat class and experience when it comes to these sorts of contests, and class is something Hamish has in abundance. 

The last time he finished out of the top two places was back in November 2021, when he came 7th in the Listed Floodlit Stakes at Kempton on the all-weather. He has had 10 runs since then, all of them being either winning efforts or runner-up finishes, and that form includes 7 wins at Group 3 company, as well as a very good 2nd at Group 1 level, which was actually last time out.

Although it is not his favoured track, he still has not run any worse than 3rd place at Newbury, as well as winning a Group 3 there for his first start of this season, where he was in a real battle, but he stayed on well to land the contest. 

It is his last run that really shows the spark is very much still in his belly, where he lined up for the Group 1 Coronation Cup, and although it was not the strongest ever edition, he ran on very well but was beaten by only a length in the end to a runaway winner Luxembourg, but Hamish did finish a further 6 lengths clear to the 3rd placed horse Feed The Flame. 

That was arguably a career-best effort last time, and the fact he was an eight-year-old stepping it up to Group 1 company for the first time in a while, and still claimed a very good 2nd spot, that leaves me with plenty of confidence heading into this Group 2 contest at Newmarket on Thursday. 

He has only ran once at Newmarket (although not the July course) and that was a winning effort in a Group 3 contest late last year, so it is fair to say the trip and track will hold no issues for him come Thursday. 

I really hope he can land this contest, before maybe going on to run in Group 1 company once again, as there is no horse in training that deserves to win a Group 1 more than this lad. What I like about the Haggas's treatment of him is that they won't just chuck him onto a Group 1 for the sake of it, and they love to find these sort of races that he can win.

  • Selection - Hamish (11/10 Win) 

All prices are from Planet Sport Bet and are subject to change

 All previews and tips provided by @ Jake Russell

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