Paul Ferguson has two picks at Newbury for us today; Aljamaaheer in the 14.20 and Wrotham Heath in the 16.55. Compare odds and bet
Roger Varian appears to have his string pretty forward in the opening weeks of the turf season and his Aljamaaheer (2:40) is fancied to score at Newbury this afternoon.
The Dubawi colt won his sole start at two, beating Mezzotint (won his next two) in taking fashion at Yarmouth in October, and is clearly held in high regard as he holds entries in both the 2,000 Guineas and the Derby.
Just 20/1 for the Newmarket Classic, he should be able to handle easy ground (Dubawi certainly did) and he needs to be winning this handicap off a mark of 88 if he is to emerge as a genuine Guineas contender.
The selection opened up at 9/4 with Paddy Power on Thursday evening and that should be taken as he could well be sent off at much shorter odds.
Later on the card the same connections will be hoping for a bold showing from Ektihaam in the conditions stakes, but he has to give away 4lbs to a couple of interesting colts, notably Wrotham Heath (4:55) who can score for Sir Henry Cecil and Tom Queally.
Rated just 87 he has a fair bit to find with Ektihaam and it is a shame connections opted not to run in the concluding handicap at Newmarket yesterday, but he looks open to any amount of improvement this term and the step up to 1m2f looks ideal.
Cecil stated in his Racing Post stable-tour on Monday that his Dansili colt, who won a Nottingham maiden on his second start at two, needs a bit of cut in the ground so conditions ought to be ideal on this seasonal debut.
Entered in the Dante and both the Epsom and Irish Derbies, he can book his place in a more recognised Epsom trial with success here. The selection opened up at 6/4 with Paddy Power last night.
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