It’s the opening classics of the season already! The first chance for the three-year-old generation to claim one of the most well-known prizes in racing and add their names to the illustrious roll of honour. There are six races live on ITV Racing for punters to get their teeth into on Saturday.
I’ve had a closer inspection of them all to dig out my NAP of the day, an outsider and a favourite that I want to be opposing! Whether you agree with me or not, BetConnect is your perfect horse racing partner with the ability to back or lay, it’s entirely up to you!
NAP of the day
2.40 Goodwood – Zanbaq
Seen just a single time on the racecourse as a juvenile, the Roger Varian-trained filly is one of those ‘could be anything’ types. The form of her Kempton win over seven furlongs last back end has been well franked. The second, fifth and sixth all won next time up. That suggests that this is form to be taken seriously.
The rise to Listed class requires a step up but she can to cope. Things didn’t drop right on her debut, value for more than the official margin. Her dam is a sister to a pair of Group 2 winners as well as a half-sister to a Group 1 scorer. Of her rivals, Primo Bacio always makes a step forward from run one to two so she is more of a prospect next time while Almohandesah is starting to look exposed.
1.50 Newmarket – Summerghand
A real Newmarket specialist! His form on this Rowley Mile course reads 2221 and on the July course his form reads 1201. That sole below par run was in the Group 1 July Cup so that is easy enough to forgive. His last two wins have been in Listed and Group 3 company, his last handicap success off 108. That was the 2020 Stewards’ Cup, two pounds lower here.
Summerghand was below his best when running in Meydan at the start of the year but this return to a favourite stomping ground can spark him back to life. As big as 25/1 when the market opened for this race, he is into 14/1 at time of writing on Friday afternoon. That adds to the interest in a horse who loves Newmarket.
He really is a monster!
Native Trail powers away to win the bet365 Craven Stakes 🥇
— ITV Racing (@itvracing) April 13, 2022
Native Trail – 3.50 Newmarket
A 5/4 shot, this should divide the crowd! Without a doubt he is a class act, the top rated juvenile in Europe last year. That said, there are enough nagging doubts to be a little wary of him at the price.
First up is the draw. Newmarket is a tricky place to get a handle on any bias but he is in 15, while his three main market rivals are drawn 1, 3 and 4. The main pace angle is drawn 6 and on a straight course, having that pace to chase is a big plus.
Native Trail tends to hit a bit of flat spot before picking up. That is not ideal in a race of this quality. Connections have been quick to declare that Coroebus shouldn’t be written off and in Luxembourg, Aidan O’Brien has another huge shot at winning a race he has won 5 times in the last 10 years.
It could be that Native Trail proves to be a class apart. At the price, however, I’m more than happy to have the field on my side. One winning favourite in the last six years can be 1/7 on Saturday.