Thursday’s Action: Progressive Azraff a good bet at Newmarket
3.40 NEWMARKET: SOMERVILLE TATTERSALL STAKES (Group 3) (Colts & Geldings)
Plenty of progressive looking colts line up for Newmarket’s feature race and many will fancy their chances in an open looking contest. The William Haggas yard holds the strongest hand, with both Mubtaghaa and Valley Of Fire towards the head of the market for the Newmarket trainer.
This pair battled it out at York last time where Mubtaghaa came out on top in a decent 6 furlong contest. Both now step up in trip for the first time and, on breeding, the above mentioned would be the pick, although Valley Of Fire has plenty of room for more improvement having only his third start and it will prove to be a good battle between the stablemates.
Another who is progressing with every start this season is the Marco Botti trained AZRAFF, who will be attempting to make it three wins on the bounce. The Paco Boy colt struggled to pick up a maiden earlier in the season, but has been a revelation since going into handicap company with victories at this track and at Newcastle.
He makes the step into Group company for the first time today but stays really well and if getting a good pace, could just cause a minor upset. Any rain around would also be a help, as he likes to get his toe in.
Andrew Balding’s Make It Up and Saeed bin Suroor’s Maftool also deserve a mention and are given deserved respect. The latter in particular has strong claims under Richard Hughes, having finished a fine second in a Group 3 on the all-weather last time. Markaz was also a good second in a hot race at Doncaster last time, whilst Dancetrack is open to any amount of improvement. Natural Order completes the field but will need a career best effort in the first time hood to figure.
By Kevin Walsh 25/9/14
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