Thursday’s ITV Racing Tips: Cheltenham and Newmarket Tips from the Craven Meeting

ITV Racing Tips

The Newmarket Craven meeting reaches its final day on Thursday and the feature race of the meeting is due off at 3.35pm.

Elsewhere, there are three more live races from Newmarket and two from Cheltenham. Henry has previewed each race below and made his selections for each.

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1:50 Newmarket

The 1:50 contest from HQ is a Class 2 handicap over the 6f distance for 3-year olds. As you’d expect there is plenty of unexposed sorts in the line-up and any significant market movers should be noted.

The one I like is CREATIVE FORCE NAP (4/1). He was very impressive first time out as a 2-year-old when making all over this course and distance. When the ground is as fast as it currently is at Newmarket, near the front is where you’d like to be and I expect William Buick to utilise his decent draw and go from the front again here. He was disappointing at Royal Ascot but I’m happy to forgive that and he could prove to be a lot better than this current handicap mark.


2:05 Cheltenham

Our next race is from Cheltenham and it is a 2m handicap hurdle for the juvenile fillies. Fiveandtwenty makes a quick reappearance after a solid effort from the front at Aintree in a Grade 1 last week and will prove popular.

However, I prefer the chances of HER INDOORS NB (13/2) here. She was progressing well prior to finishing a well beaten 13th in the Boodles here at the Festival back in March. She’s been dropped 1lb for that effort and back in a small field I expect her to run a big race and continue her upward curve.


2:25 Newmarket

It’s back to Newmarket we go for the 2:25 contest. This is a red-hot maiden on paper with plenty of interest newcomers in the line-up. It’s another race to have your notebook at the ready as there will be plenty to take from this race moving forward.

The one I like for today is VALIANT PRINCE (2/1). He is bred to be a very good horse and we know the Charlie Appleby yard have what it takes to ready a newcomer. They have a fine record at this track, especially at this time of year. They sent out the winner of this contest in 2017 and I think this horse has potential to win the 2021 renewal.


2:40 Cheltenham

The 2:40 from Cheltenham is a wide open mares handicap hurdle over the intermediate trip of 2m4f.

The one for me here is BOURBON BEAUTY EW (6/1). She won a competitive little race last time out at Newbury and I think she is capable of defying the 8lb rise here. She made a mistake 2 out there at Newbury and still managed to stay on strongly to win well. She sneaks in off 10’0 here and a similar bold front running display should see her at least hitting the frame in my book.


3:00 Newmarket

The 3:00 race is the Abernant Stakes, a Group 3 contest for the sprinters over the 6f trip.

I really like OXTED (8/11) as a sprinter to follow this season and I expect him to resume to winning ways back in the UK. He was disappointing in Saudi Arabia last time out but he now returns to Newmarket where he’s won before, he returns to the quick ground he relishes and the Roger Teal stable are in red-hot form. Very tough to beat.


3:35 Newmarket

The finale on ITV is the Craven Stakes,  a Group 3 over the 1m distance and it may provide us with some pointers for the 2000 Guineas in May.

The one I like here from an each way perspective is IMPERIAL SANDS EW (14/1). I don’t think there’s much between the front few so I’d much rather chance one at a price to hit the frame. He won well on debut at Kempton making all before finishing a gutsy second back on the same track on his last run last season. I think it’s interesting that Archie Watson sends him here, it suggests to me that he’s working well at home. He has a nice draw and on a track that favours front runners, I’m hoping he can grab a place at worst from the front.


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