Talking Horses: Best Thursday bets for Newbury and Nottingham

Talaayeb is naturally a hot favourite for today’s big race but her fine Guineas effort is no guarantee of success

Today’s best bets, by Chris Cook


There’s a very lopsided look to the betting for Newbury’s Lord Weinstock Memorial, thanks to the presence of Talaayeb. A fair fourth in the 1,000 Guineas, she undoubtedly has the standout piece of form in this race and is therefore very short at 4-7. 

She showed plenty of quality at Newmarket but I feel practically forced to take her on, since it’s 8-1 the field and there are some interesting, unexposed fillies lined up against her. After all, running fourth in the Guineas does not make you the fourth-best of your generation.

One could even be put off by the unambitious nature of this target. The Oaks was mentioned after Talaayeb’s Guineas effort, while she would have had options at Royal Ascot next week. Why is this Listed prize the summit of their ambitions just now? And she’s no certainty to want as far as 10 furlongs if they go a proper pace. 

I’ll take a chance on Ebbesbourne (3.05), who settled well in a first-time hood to win at York last time, her first attempt at this distance. She is trained by Sir Michael Stoute, who won this last year and for whom a race in memory of Weinstock, one of his great supporters, must have special resonance.

Half an hour later, Wind In My Sails (3.40) is interesting at 14-1. He needed his reappearance run, when the hood was left off, and I’m not worried about his subsequent all-weather flop, sand not really being his thing. 

He raised his game on turf quite pleasingly after being gelded last year, winning three of his last six runs of the year, and is now only 2lb higher than for the latest of those. Jamie Spencer is an eye-catching booking. This could be the right day to take an interest in him. 

At Fontwell, Brown Bear (4.40) seems a runner with an up and down record but I notice he has won his last three when the excellent Leighton Aspell has been aboard. Aspell even got him to win over too short a distance round here in April but today’s trip is more like it and he still looks nicely treated to me. He’s 3-1.

At Haydock tonight, I like 11-4 about Adam’s Ale (6.35), who scored handily on his debut for Marjorie Fife here a week ago. Even with the penalty, he’s 8lb shy of the mark he had at the start of last year. 

Thursday racing tips

Newbury
1.30
Being There 2.00 Cuban Heel 2.30 Shimmering Light 3.05 Ebbesbourne 3.40 Wind In My Sails 4.15 Limelite 4.50 King’s Coinage 5.20 Attain 

Nottingham
1.40
Kit Marlowe 2.10 Arabic Culture 2.45 Miss Tree (nb) 3.20 Magical Effect 3.55 Arctic Angel 4.30 Ocean Drive 5.00 Patent 5.30 Mrs Biggs 

Fontwell
1.50
Kublai 2.20 Minella Tweet 2.55 Amron Kali 3.30 According To Trev 4.05 Calling Des Blins 4.40 Brown Bear (nap) 5.10 Present Destiny 

Uttoxeter
5.55
Icanmotor 6.25 Charlie Wingnut 6.55 Steve Prescott 7.30 Trafalgar Rock 8.00 Wynford 8.30 Bay Fortuna 9.00 Fingareeta 

Haydock
6.05
Albert Boy 6.35 Adam’s Ale 7.05 Stage Magic 7.40 Mythical Madness 8.10 Gulf Of Poets 8.40 Barwell