8:25 Nmkt – 1pt e/w Goodbye Girl @ 10/1 (Hills, Betfair, Paddy Power)
8:55 Nmkt – 2pts win Fighting Temeraire @ 5/2 (general)
Total staked 4pts
I’m not usually a fan of betting in fillies’ handicaps, but am making an exception in the case of Goodnight Girl (20:25 Newmarket – Nap) in the British Stallion Studs EBF Fillies’ Handicap where the topweight holds solid claims, but will be underbet due to an ostensibly poor run last time, as well as the low profile of her jockey and trainer. In this instance, her run last time can be ignored as it came over a trip beyond her best, in a class too high for her and where she was drawn badly and forced to race wide. She has been unplaced on her last four attempts at seven furlongs, whereas her record since going handicapping and confined to tonight’s trip of six furlongs reads 531211223232, the only unplaced run coming when she raced too keenly in blinkers.
She is, in short, a mare to set your watch by given the right conditions, and as a straightforward ride she is an excellent mount for a claimer. Her rider here is Tyler Saunders, who has lots of experience for his 7lb claim, and is an improved rider this season, with 60% of his rides making the frame. She’s well drawn to get a position behind likely front-runner Bungee Jump, and she has been beaten less than a length off her current mark twice this season, and Jonny Portman is utilising a claiming jockey for the first time since 2017. It’s often dangerous to suggest that claimers are worth the full value of their allowance, but this looks an uncomplicated affair, and the 7lb ease in her burden really ought to see her home in front unless the unexposed pair Furious or Shorter Skirt show marked improvement.
Fighting Temeraire (20:55 Newmarket) looks to have outstanding claims in the finale at Newmarket, and while I’m normally against horses who are hiked up markedly in the weights, there are exceptions, and Dean Ivory’s 6-y-o gelding is a striking one. Going up 9lb for winning a Class 6 handicap by a neck sounds like an overreaction, but he was much better than the narrow margin of victory at Lingfield last time, the first two pulled a mile clear, and the runner-up has won twice since. In addition, this talented sort hadn’t been plying is trade in similar company for ages which might lead us to believe there is an element of fluke about his win. In fact, it was only half a dozen starts before Lingfield that he was rated 83, and not long before that, he was a winner over this C&D off 89.
He’s had some issues since, and missed over a year, but the assessor has been dropping his so quickly, that he’s still much lower than he was at the start of the year despite the fact that it’s taken him a few outings to reach his peak. The Lingfield win suggests he’s not far behind the old model, and he belongs in a better class than this if his trainer can keep him sound.
Coverham is the one for the forecast, James Eustace’s charge likely to be a biggish price having been beaten seven lengths by Angel’s Whisper over a mile here last time. He shaped a fair bit better than the result, will benefit from the drop in trip, and is fancied to reverse form on 11lb better terms.