Maria Amazing Value For Falmouth Stakes
For many, Newmarket’s three-day July meeting is one of the finest fixtures of the summer, and Friday’s Group 1 Falmouth Stakes (3.15) has again attracted a stellar line-up.
Lucida‘s Backed To Win First Group 1
Heading the betting is Jim Bolger’s, Lucida (11/4), who has been placed in two Group 1’s this season, and aims to finally grab a “big one” on Friday.
Having been runner-up in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket (1m, good to firm), she was then beaten under 1l in Royal Ascot’s Coronation Stakes when arguably unlucky (1m, good to firm). Lucida was given too much to do from the back that day, before finishing strongly, but she should find a few more gaps appearing on the wide straight at Newmarket.
Although 4yo’s won five of the last six renewals of the Falmouth, 3yo’s struck on several occasions since 2005…
Of the last 10 Falmouth winners…
9 were 3-4yo’s
9 were officially rated 108 or more
9 were drawn in stall 4 or higher
Integral Looks To Follow-Up
The above stats show that 3-4yo’s held sway in this, including Sir Michael Stoute’s, Integral (4/1), who returns to defend the crown as a 5yo. A 2l winner from Rizeena 12 months ago, Integral, added another Group 1 here in October, but has been unplaced in both outings this term.
While it may be too early in writing Integral off, she was beaten almost 8l when odds-on at Ascot last month, and has the age trend to overcome. With that in mind, better value may come via the French 4yo, Avenir Certain (4/1), who makes her British debut having won both the French 1,000 Guineas and Oaks last season.
French Look Strong
Dropped back to 1m on both outings this season, she arrives in form having almost caught Andre Fabre’s, Fintry (6/1), in a Group 3 at Chantilly last month (1m, good). The only question mark surrounding Avenir Certain is the forecast fast ground, though she did win the 2014 French Oaks on good ground.
As for the aforementioned, Fintry, she could adopt the front-running tactics which saw her win last time, though she was beaten over 1l by Integral over C&D last October.
The French challenge is strengthened by the 4yo filly, Bawina (6/1), who was beaten under 2l by Avenir Certain in the French Oaks last year, but was on the mark in a Group 2 on her return in May (1m, soft). She is another, however, who would not have faced ground this fast.
Maria’s Amazing Odds
One who will have no problem with the ground is David O’Meara’s, Amazing Maria (11/1), who recorded a career best in landing a Group 2 at Ascot last month (1m, good to firm).
It’s interesting to note that this 4yo also beat Rizeena 2l that day (the same margin Integral beat the same runner in this race last year), and her star is rising.
Lucida is respected following two excellent runs at the highest level this season, but Amazing Maria is improving, will enjoy the likely fast ground, and has to rate good each-way value at 11/1.
*Prices correct at time of publication