Newbury racecourse stages an interesting meeting on Saturday 13 June. Both the Abingdon Stakes and the Diomed Stakes are great races this year, but they could also highlight lots of future winners with many of the runners having their first runs back after the Covid-19 suspension.
Check out our trends, analysis, and free tips for Newbury.
Abingdon Fillies’ Stakes Listed [Newbury 3.00]
Nine of the last 10 winners of this Listed race over 10-furlongs had enjoyed a prep run, but only two runners have squeezed a run in after the Covid-19 horse racing break. Chamade is hard to recommend on her seasonal appearance, while it’s hard to know what to expect off Shatha who was sent off at 66/1 on debut before winning a class 5 novice race on the all-weather.
The gut feeling is this will go to one of the three fillies that raced just once last season, Domino Darling, Franconia, and Cabaletta.
Domino Darling has been installed as the favourite on the back of her win over a mile at Doncaster last season, and this daughter of Derby winner Golden Horn is bred to appreciate the further step up in distance here. The worry is her win came on heavy ground and, as he was sent off at 10/1 that day, there’s a slight worry she just handled the difficult conditions better than her rivals that day. But William Haggas did train the excellent Sea Of Class to win this race in 2018.
John Gosden is the leading trainer for the Abingdon Stakes in the last decade, with three winners in the last eight years, so it’s interesting he relies on Franconia who was second on the all-weather on debut in November. The form is nothing special but her half-sister Winsilli won over course and distance before winning a Group 1 over today’s trip.
Cabaletta is the first of our free tips for Newbury, as she looks to have the strongest form in the book after beating another John Gosden-trained horse Frankly Darling on her racecourse debut last season. Frankly Darling bolted up at Newcastle on her seasonal debut, and Cabaletta can also step up here. Trainer Roger Varian isn’t one to over-face his horses too early in their careers, but he must be confident of a big run after winning with both of his runners at Newbury on Thursday.
Tip: Cabaletta @ 3.00 William Hill, Betfred
Diomed Stakes [Newbury 3.35]
The 2020 Diomed Stakes is a fascinating renewal of this Group 3 race over a mile. It takes place at Newbury this year instead of Epsom, two very different courses, so the past trends may not have much bearing on the results.
One trend that did catch the eye was the last 10 winners had all had a prep-run before winning. Of course, this is a very different occasion after the Covid-19 suspension, but Marie’s Diamond could enjoy a fitness edge as he’s the only runner to have run this season. He was an impressive winner at Newmarket 8 days ago but seemed to get the run of the race that day and faces potentially better opposition here.
This renewal also features the last two winners of the race, Zaaki and Century Dream. The former has yet to run at Newbury, but Century Dream has won here. The same can be said of Stormy Antarctic, who goes well fresh and won’t be inconvenienced by any further softening of the forecast good-to-soft ground. The problem with backing any of this trio is they must concede weight to some potentially useful rivals.
Tabarrak has yet to win above Listed level, but he’s yet to take on Group horses at Newbury where he has a perfect 3 from 3 record, though he may be better at 7-furlongs. Look around also can’t be dismissed given the fantastic form of the Andrew Balding yard, and Balding has won this race twice in the last eight years.
King Of Comedy is the second of our free tips for Newbury, as his neck second to Circus Maximus at Royal Ascot last season looks the best piece of form on offer.
Connections opted to step him up in trip after that and that tough race may well have taken the edge off him for the rest of the season. He goes well fresh and, in receipt of weight from some lower-rated rivals, this looks a great opportunity for him to get his nose back in front providing the ground doesn’t get too soft.