It's the first day of Newmarket's bet365 Cambridgeshire meeting and Robbie Wilders from the Racing Post serves up three selections.
Holloway Boy @ 1/1
Thunderous @ 1/1
Open Champion @ 1/1
The four-runner turnout for the Group 3 Tattersalls Stakes (3.00) is slightly disappointing but there is little to split three of the four in the early betting and each is a high-class juvenile.
However, I would make Holloway Boy the favourite and he gets the vote for Karl Burke over Victory Dance and once-raced maiden winner Nostrum.
Holloway Boy became the first newcomer to score at Royal Ascot since 1996 when easily landing the Chesham Stakes at odds of 40-1 in June, and would surely be shorter in the betting if he was arriving at Newmarket with an unbeaten record.
However, he lost that when downed late in the day in the Group 2 Vintage Stakes last time by Marbaan. That was only Holloway Boy's second run compared with Marbaan's fourth and inexperience may have cost him at Glorious Goodwood.
There was only half a length between the pair at the line Holloway Boy is open to bags of improvement.
Just about every race at Newmarket contains a short-priced favourite and some look more solid than others.
Jockey Club Rose Bowl Stakes (3.35) market leader Thunderous is one who is impossible to oppose and should have too much under Ryan Moore
Thunderous has run to a high level on a number of occasions this season, with his standout displays coming when a close second to Stradivarius and Hamish in good staying races at York and Chester.
The five-year-old faces no rivals of anywhere near that calibre here and is comfortably clear on official ratings, while there are question marks surrounding all of the other runners.
Island Brave and Skycutter are handicappers who fall short of Listed level, the out-of-form Nate The Great has only beaten one rival in his last three runs and Ranch Hand returns from 467 days off. Even if producing his best Ranch Hand would be a surprise winner.
Thunderous really should oblige for Charlie and Mark Johnston, who landed this last year with a similar type dropping in class in Nayef Road. There is every chance this perennial front-runner will pick up a soft lead too, only strengthening his claims.
A less bombroof favourite is Open Champion in the following 1m4f handicap (4.10) but I’m sure 86 is a mark that underestimates his ability.
A son of the Roger Varian yard's former champion Postponed, Open Champion was well fancied for his handicap debut in a competitive 1m6f contest at Haydock last time but never fired in sixth.
However, the three-year-old experienced a couple of traffic problems in a slowly run race and after briefly threatening to play a hand in the finish, his run petered out yet he still managed to churn out a career-best performance on Racing Post Ratings.
I'm sure he'll be seen to better effect over two furlongs shorter and the handicapper has dropped him 1lb, so there is plenty to like.
Open Champion is lightly raced with only four starts to his name and the Varian stable could hardly be in better form after an incredible seven-timer last Saturday.
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