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Friday, 20 July 2012

Bible Bash the Bookies at Newmarket

This Saturday sees our favourite race of the British flat season with the 1m4f King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes & although we'll be backing Sea Moon as we've always held a belief Sir Michael Stoute's charge can be just about the top middle distance horse around we can't find the evidence to advise anyone else to get on board at the prices this time. Instead we're taking a look at the Listed race for fillies at Newmarket & Ascot's supporting race in the Group 2 Summer Mile Stakes.

(Bible Belt looks the best filly in the Aphrodite Stakes at Newmarket)

The Aphrodite Stakes over 12 furlongs at Newmarket looks an eminently solvable puzzle to us & we're surprised to see Bible Belt available at odds as big as 5/2, maybe it's because so much focus is on Ascot that we're getting such a gift here! Bible Belt is the highest rated horse here yet gets 3 pounds off of Set To Music & only has to give weight to the 3 year olds who get their weight for age allowance. Bible Belt has some excellent form when finishing 2nd to Oaks winner Dancing Rain at Ascot last October & although Jessica Harrington's horse didn't run brilliantly on comeback this year, that was in the Group One Tattersall's Gold Cup at the Curragh & it should have put the filly spot on for this after an 8 week break.

We're not convinced Set To Music has quite the stamina to last out over this distance on soft gound & whilst Dorcas Lane will love the cut she's got quite to bit to find with Bible Belt on a form line with Gertrude Bell. Of the three year olds in the race Ambivalent is bred to appreciate the cut & deserves respect being the great young trainer Roger Varian's entry, we've a sneaky feeling that Hazel Lavery could run a big race & odds of 16/1 may be underestimating her. Bible Belt is the selection though & 5/2 could be gone by the time the race comes around, unless there is a significant drift on her though we'd be confident she can really get her 2012 season going.

(She will be cross but we'll be happy if Carlton House can get beat at Ascot)

The Queen's horse, & last year's Derby favourite, Carlton House looks to be hugely underpriced for our money in the Summer Mile at Ascot - at odds of just 4/5 this one looks a lay for any punters using Betfair. We've been happy to take the Stoute trained colt on at nearly every opportunity & we haven't gone far wrong after laying it in the Derby last year & then at very short odds in the Irish Derby for a place on his next outing. Connections are now trying to drop back in distance to just 8 furlongs after more positive showings after moving back to 10 furlongs from the mile & a half distance, they seem to think he travels well enough but this race is no gimme with some smart rivals who definitely are mile specialists. Carlton House ran very well last time when 2nd to So You Think in the Prince of Wales Stakes but we never particularly rated that one either, Farrh who finished 3rd that day has given the form a big boost after coming 2nd in the Eclipse but we'd suspect that was quite some level of improvement shown.

Both Questioning & Red Jazz are capable of running to a high level of form, get the distance & won't mind the ground whichever way it goes & you'd expect them to be close come the finish. Pastoral Player will be trying a mile for the first time but seems to be improving now as a 5 year old & shown his best form over 7 furlongs, things certainly happened a little too quickly over 6 furlongs in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes when 10th to Black Caviar last time. Tullius could be theone to win this as the Vie De Colori colt is the real improving horse in the race & on all his form & breeding points towards 8 furlongs on softish ground being the ideal conditions for this one, so long as the ground doesn't dry up too much Jimmy Fortune will have an outstanding chance on him. With so many potential challengers, Set The Trend also has a chance on ratings, we can't see value in anything below 5/4 for Carlton House & we'll be layers this time.

3.10 Newmarket - Bible Belt to win at 5/2
3.20 Ascot - Lay Carlton House at 4/5 (1.80) or lower on Betfair

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