Tom Stanley brings you his best bets at Newmarket and York.
Quiet Reflection is obviously highly regarded and could prove tricky to beat in the opener at HQ. However, the consistent Kurland is back at the scene of her course and distance win on debut and looks overpriced. I thought she shaped for 6 at York when headed by Shadow Hunter before keeping on but she does have the toe for 5 and is worth another go. She was unlucky last time in the Flying Chliders when squeezed out before keeping on and racing up the less favourable side of the track. She drops in class and the return to this track could make the difference.
It’s a tricky rest of the card but the Fillies' Mile looks top notch. Minding’s form is the best around by some way but it’s interesting connections have supplemented the undoubtedly classy Nathra. I’d lean to her at the prices but without conviction. Belardo is tempting back at the scene of his Dewhurst win but he’s not one for ultimate faith. Al looks a big price given he runs off the same mark as his creditable 7th in the Melrose. Strong form, he was wide early and keen with no cover. He and Not Never did well to finish where they did having raced up with the pace but Al has been off since and given time to get over the run. This galloping, long straight will help his wind up style and cover should be easier to find. I’m surprised he’s double figures.
Over at York I have to go in on Gabrial’s Kaka again having dropped further in the handicap. He was out of form at the start of the season but much of that was down to a succession of poor draws. He was dealt a better hand here a few starts back and ran well under today’s jockey. Chester’s turns don’t suit and the headgear didn’t work at Ayr. The excuses are mounting up but he ran ok from the wrong side in the Cambridgeshire at a track where he has a weak record. This is a lesser race by some way and he should be involved for all there would ideally be a little more out and out pace on.