Betfred’s Owen McMahon picks out his best bet from all eight meetings across the UK & Ireland on Saturday 12 August 2023.
The King and Queen have enjoyed their fair share of winners lately – including Betfred St Leger hopeful Desert Hero in the Gordon Stakes at Glorious Goodwood last week – and I’m quietly confident they’ll be celebrating another at Newmarket on Saturday afternoon.
Andrew Balding’s two-year-old filly LADY WULFRUN boasts a highly-progressive profile and has been given an opening mark of 71, which may underestimate her at least in the context of this 0-80 Nursery Handicap over 7f.
The daughter of Saxon Warrior struggled on her racecourse debut over the minimum trip at Windsor in April before a much-improved effort when subsequently upped to 6f at the same venue. She was beaten 5L by a nice type for Paul & Oliver Cole that day, but it represented a significant step forward.
She improved again when taking in a Class 3 novice event at Carlisle exactly 45 days ago, placing behind the 90-rated Soldier’s Gold and the 78-rated Land Lover. Over three lengths behind was Richard Fahey’s Ajwadi, a winner at Pontefract just the other day.
Slowly but surely, she’s learning how to race – and I see no reason why she won’t come forward again, which makes her very dangerous first time out in a handicap off such a mark.
She shapes like this step up to 7f should suit too, and we know the ground – unless there’s a monsoon between time of writing and the off – will be no hinderance.
Of her nine rivals, I’m most fearful of Parker’s Piece for Michael Bell. He’s also improving and brings strong form to the table, but hasn’t been done many favours with his opening mark of 78.
Another I’d watch out for is Harry Eustace’s Phoenix Duchess. She’s been keeping good company all season and should enjoy this easier assignment off a mark of just 72 with a very useful 3lb claimer in Adam Farragher on board.
All that being said, I believe Lady Wulfurn has the most in hand and goes for a yard who’ve been in good form all season – while the booking of the brilliant William Buick can only be viewed as another major positive.