Date of Tips: 15/09/2020
Disclaimer The odds for these selections were correct at the time of publishing (15:00 15/09/2020) but may have changed since. Please check the latest price before placing your bet.
Warm autumnal sunshine has been the order of the week, and the high pressure is set to stretch into the weekend. A glance ahead to the weather for Newbury on the weekend suggests there will be a strong ENE wind which will follow the horses as they race down the home straight there.
Newbury can often be a track that favours those ridden prominently, but I Imagine, on what will be fast ground and with such a helpful tailwind, that this will be even more the case on the straight course on Saturday.
The 5f Group 3 at 1.40 – the Dubai International Airport World Trophy Stakes – has a lovely ante-post betting shape to it at this stage, and it is definitely worth having a few quid on Charlie Appleby’s Lazuli at 5/1 each-way with Ladbrokes or Coral.
There are just 11 entries for the race, including a couple of horses who ran last weekend, including the ante-post favourite Equilateral, who ran in the Flying Five Stakes at the Curragh. He has never been a horse that seems to take his racing that well, and is perhaps best fresh. So, whether he runs on Saturday or not, he takes a fair chunk out of the market at a shortest price of 7/4.
Lazuli is one of only two three-year-olds entered, and unlike many in the field, has only one entry this weekend or further afield into the autumn. It is quite possible this has been the plan since he finished a very creditable fourth in a 6f Listed race at Deauville five weeks ago, on the same day as the Prix Maurice du Gheest – a Group 1 over 6½ furlongs.
That the aforementioned Listed race was run in a comparatively quicker time than the Prix Maurice du Gheest is notable, as that Group 1 featured a whole host of proven Group 1 6/7f horses. If you watch back the Listed race that Lazuli eventually finished fourth in, you’ll be quite clearly convinced that a drop in trip to 5f is what Charlie Appleby’s speedball requires. To run as well as he did, over a trip that stretches him slightly, Lazuli emerges with a mountain of credit from that performance.
Before that run in France, he had won the Listed Scurry Stakes at Sandown, before going down on his sword in the Coral Charge, when serving to set the race up for the closers. Granted what will be a very fast 5f at Newbury, I can see Lazuli being very difficult to pass. He will have competition for the lead from the likes of A Momentofmadness, Ornate and Glamorous Anna, but I find it hard to believe any of them are as naturally quick, or progressive, as Lazuli.
Taking the 5/1 each-way with Ladbrokes or Coral now looks a wise move, as he will surely be shorter on the day, and there could well be a small field in opposition.