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Craven Meeting starts Newmarket’s year

Newmarket’s Craven Meeting marks the start of the ‘proper’ Flat season. Its Group and Listed contests are full of interest for betting on horse racing. Moreover, the three-year-old maidens are well worth watching with an eye to the future. It’s amazing how many good horses come out of those contests.

Tuesday’s Craven Meeting card

The Fielden Stakes at 3.00 is over 1m 1f and it’s worth noting that Kadar misses Wednesday’s Craven Stakes to run in this. This son of Scat Daddy won on his debut at Haydock and trainer Karl Burke thinks a lot of him. John Gosden won this race with Golden Horn four years ago and saddles Kick On this time. He may well go close. However, Aidan O’Brien sends just one runner for the three-day Craven meeting. That’s Western Australia. He finished third, beaten less than a length in the former Racing Post Trophy (Group 1) at Doncaster. Great Scot finished fifth that day and went on to run a close second in the Greenham Stakes on Saturday. Western Australia gets the vote to give O’Brien his first Fielden Stakes winner.

The Nell Gwyn Stakes at 3.35 sees the first three from last season’s Oh So Sharp Stakes, over the same course and distance, cross swords again. They are Mot Juste, Angel’s Hideaway and Sunday Star. However, preference here is for Mark Johnston’s Main Edition. She won four times last year including the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot and Newmarket’s Sweet Solera Stakes. She finished second in the Group 2 Rockfel over this course and distance last time. Ryan Moore is an eye-catching booking.

Wednesday’s Craven Meeting card

Brando bids to repeat last year’s victory in the Abernant Stakes at 3.00. His main danger is Dreamfield, last seen finishing last of seven at Newmarket in August. However, he’d finished sixth in July Cup before that. Brando can win this again.

Godolphin runners hold the key to the Craven Stakes at 3.35. Saeed bin Suroor runs Royal Marine, who won a Group 1 two-year-old race in France on Arc weekend last year. Meanwhile, Charlie Appleby runs Zakouski, an easy winner of a 7f Kempton novice event on his debut. However, the runner-up in that race was only sixth at Newbury last week. Skardu won a 7f maiden over this course on his sole start last season and could be anything. However, Royal Marine looks the one to beat here.


About Chris Pitt

Chris Pitt is a racing historian and freelance journalist. He has written three books including 'A Long Time Gone', chronicling Britain's lost racecourses, and 'Go Down to the Beaten', stories of jockeys who didn't win the Grand National. He founded the Midlands Racing Club and was formerly racing correspondent for BBC Radio WM.

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