As a rule, I look to take on shorter price favourites, but I can’t see beyond Wembley in the Group 1 Vertem Futurity Stakes ( 14:55 Doncaster ) after his excellent run in the Dewhurst at Newmarket last time out.
Aidan O’Brien ‘s colt was drawn wide that day in the middle of the track when all the pace was nearer the rail and the fact he was able to make a move down the outside to get into touching distance of the winner speaks volumes for his talent.
Only very good horses can make that kind of move away from the pace and get that close to horses that have had the benefit of being drawn nearer the pace and likely faster ground.
Wembley has been running-on very well in Group 1 races over 7f so the 1m distance in this race should bring out the best in him.
I had him down as an even money shout, so am happy to take the 7/4 on the Sportsbook.
Laafy in the 13:10 at Doncaster should get the day off to a great start. He’s highly progressive and ran in a Listed event last time finishing a running-on third when the ground wasn’t as soft as he’d like.
This may be a Class 2 race, but it lacks depth and isn’t very competitive and I’d be disappointed were Laafy not to take this.
You only have to look at his trainer Sir Michael Stoute’s record in bringing along middle distance horses through the handicap ranks into graded company to realise this horse could well go on to much better things.
That would suggest, even off a mark of 104, he could be well handicapped. Throw in the fact he stays really well, appreciates the ground (and any further easing) and has a touch of class then this trip on this galloping track should see him get on top close to home. Betfair Ambassador Ryan Moore takes the ride and it could well be the first of a few winners for him on Saturday.
Find Love at Newbury
Over to Newbury and the 15:00 for our final selection, Love Is You, who created a very favourable impression when winning on debut at Ascot on good to soft ground.
She only just won that day but, in the process of doing so, she displayed a turn of foot that marks her out as a decent two-year-old with potential to be a classic horse for next season.
Her trainer Roger Charlton knows what he’s doing with these top-class juveniles and everything about Love is You suggests she’s the one to beat here and, as such, has to be backed at around 5/2.
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