2.20 Newmarket: Our Verdict
Our racing team weigh up the best bets in the Sky Bet Money Back race on Saturday – the 2.20 at Newmarket.
Tara Celeb (centre) puts her unbeaten record on the line
Ben Linfoot – Island Vision
A tricky puzzle but I'm going to chance Island Vision in the Sheikh Juma Dalmook Al Maktoum away kit. She returned from a five-week break in a hot Doncaster nursery last time with a highly-encouraging fourth place. Not ideally positioned heading into the final furlong, Jamie Spencer had to switch her challenge towards the far rail as those in front of her came up the centre of the track. She stayed on well, really well, for a one-and-a-quarter length fourth, though, shaping as though the return to the full seven furlongs at Newmarket would be right up her street. In a rare example of generosity the handicapper has dropped her 3lb and a big run is expected off a mark of 78 with Champion Jockey-elect Jim Crowley booked to do the steering.
Ian Ogg – Flying North
This looks to be a typically competitive fillies' nursery and I'm going to take a chance on Flying North. Richard Hannon's filly shaped ok on her first two starts in maidens at Newbury and Newmarket – latterly behind the smart Spatial – before appreciating the step up to a mile at Ascot. She drops back a furlong here but this is a stiff track and hopefully the large field will lead to a decent pace which will bring her stamina into play. She certainly doesn't look overburdened for this handicap debut and I think she might have enough in hand to have a say at the finish.
Ben Coley – Seduce Me
Karl Burke and the Ontoawinner bunch enjoyed a memorable Future Champions Day last year when Quiet Reflection won the Cornwallis Stakes, and they can add to their success with Seduce Me in this competitive fillies' nursery. This daughter of Dutch Art was disappointing when fancied at Doncaster two starts ago, but ran a much better race over this course and distance last weekend when leading home the far-side group in first-time cheekpieces. They're back on here and from a middle draw in this smaller field she looks set to run her race. There may well be one or even two who are better handicapped but I wouldn't be absolutely sure of that, and Seduce Me looks a solid bet to hit the frame.
Will Hayler – Fire Palace
Hit-and-hope stuff, but Fire Palace was a shade unfortunate not to finish closer when third at Doncaster last time having had to pick her way through the field only to find the runner-up swerving across her at the furlong-pole. She still has improvement to offer on just the fourth start of her life and moving up in trip by half a furlong and holds a couple of these rivals on that form. Furthermore, the form of that Donny run was done no harm when winner Glitter Girl came out and finished second in the Oh So Sharp Stakes at HQ on Friday.
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