0.75pt win Tulius @15/2, 0.25pt win Bossy Guest @40/1, 16:30 Newmarket, Wednesday

It’s good to have flat racing back at its Newmarket HQ this week, with Guineas trials aplenty and many horses making their seasonal bows.

It may be a warm, sunny day in England but there’s been a lot of rain about and even though the official going was upgraded from ‘soft’ to ‘good to soft’ after a dry night, I’d be surprised if conditions were to suit any horses with a preference for a sound surface.

There’s Group Three action on the card in the shape of the Sefton Stakes over nine furlongs, a race for four-year-olds plus.

As such, seven of the nine in competition are geldings chasing an early-season payday and plenty arrive boasting match fitness with a run or more already.

That’s often crucial this time of year, and together with his preference for quick ground, Dutch Connection is fairly easily ruled out on his reappearance despite probably being the class horse in the race.

John Gosden’s Mahsoob did all his winning on good ground last year and also makes his reappearance, so I’d be hesitant to back him at around 13/2.

The 13/8 favourite is Air Pilot, trained by Ralph Beckett and making his reappearance too, who is where he is in the market after his fine fifth in the Group One Champion Stakes at Ascot back in October.

He’ll enjoy the conditions but is definitely a bad price and should be taken on, as his record after a break is far from prolific.

TULIUS seems to fit the right profile as he’s had a couple of runs – though both were fruitless – and has plenty of form both on soft ground and at Newmarket, which counts for plenty.

He’s lost his penalty for his Group Two win last season, where he had the re-opposing Custom Cut beaten six lengths and I’d expect him to hold that opponent off today’s terms – the latter has to concede 5lb.

That’s solid form and he might be value at 15/2.


The outsider I like is BOSSY GUEST, who was less than four lengths behind Gleneagles in last year’s 2000 Guineas at this track and won at this meeting last season.

He’s already had a few runs this year in Dubai and ran poorly over there, but many class horses do and, back at his favourite track, he should be an altogether different proposition.

He’s 40/1 with Coral, presumably because of the ground, but Newmarket officials have predicted a drying day and there’s an outside chance the going could be upgraded this afternoon.

At that price I’m definitely interested and he’s taken to outrun the odds at a time of year when upsets are frequent.

0.75pt win Tulius @15/2, 16:30 Newmarket (BetBright)
0.25pt win Bossy Guest @40/1, 16:30 Newmarket (Coral)

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