NAP of the Day: O’Brien juvenile to bounce back at HQ

 | Wednesday 10th July 2024, 16:58pm

Wednesday 10th July 2024, 16:58pm

Owen McMahon's NAP of the Day

There's no doubt the card at Newmarket, which features the G2 Princess Of Wales's Stakes, is the highlight on Thursday - and it's to flat racing's HQ we go for the NAP of the Day.

NAP of the Day - Thursday, July 11

  • 14:25 Newmarket - Whistlejacket @ 11/8

Before Royal Ascot I was adamant that WHISTLEJACKET was Aidan O'Brien's top juvenile, but that's hard to argue now.

The son of No Nay Never could 'only' manage fourth in the Norfolk Stakes despite being sent off 10/11f, while his masterful handler unleashed two superstar fillies in Fairy Godmother and Bedtime Story who, at least for now, look the best of Ballydoyle's youngsters.

That being said, I think connections sent the selection to the wrong race and as a result we didn't get to see the best of him. What do I know, and all that, but surely five furlongs on rattling quick ground was less than ideal for a horse whose debut was over further on soft to heavy?

I suppose the decision was forced by his authoritative Listed success over the minimum trip at the Curragh a few weeks later, when he beat subsequent Grade 3 winner Arizona Blaze, who was a place ahead in the Norfolk, by almost four lengths. However, conditions were also dire that day, bringing stamina into play.

I suspect his future, both short and long term, lies over further, so I'm pleased about this return to six furlongs for the G2 Kingdom Of Bahrain July Stakes at Newmarket on Thursday. The recent rain is also positive.

According to the 14:25 Newmarket Odds, it's Archie Watson's Electrolyte who poses the biggest threat to the selection. He was an excellent second in the Coventry Stakes at the Royal Meeting, but I think that form is a touch weaker than the Norfolk and it's unknown how he'll cope with conditions.

Ain't Nobody also ran at Ascot, extending his record to 2-2 in the Windsor Castle. Again, that is Listed form as opposed to Group 2 form and he steps up in trip on ground softer than he's encountered to date.

Amori City and Rajeko are both 1-1 which automatically makes them dangerous, but they've got to step up significantly to reach the standard of the aforementioned three atop the market.

Rank outsider Billboard Star has course and distance form and isn't completely hopeless, but he's where he is in the betting for a reason.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting this is an easy assignment for Whistlejacket. It's not. However, as I wrote earlier I think he could be in the upper echelon of this season's juveniles and I'm hopeful he can prove so here.

Whistlejacket to win the 14.25 Newmarket at 11-8

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