NAP of the Day: Take 5/2 about this royally-bred colt at Newmarket

 | 15th April | 

3 mins read

Owen McMahon's NAP of the Day

Following a fantastic few days at Aintree with eight winners - including Grand National hero I Am Maximus - from 15 selections, I'm looking to keep the ball rolling this week.

My immediate attention turns to the flat, with Newmarket's Craven Meeting starting on Tuesday - and it's on that opening card a half-brother to the Frankel catches my eye. He's the NAP of the Day, and here's why.

NAP of the Day

  • 16:05 Newmarket - Kikkuli @ 5/2

Pedigrees don't get much better than that of KIKKULI, who runs in the 16:05 Newmarket - a seven-furlong maiden - on Tuesday.

By Kingman and out of the late Kind, the three-year-old is a half-brother to arguably the greatest racehorse of all time in Frankel, Champion Stakes winner Noble Mission, Bullet Train and Joyeuse. Bred in the purple would be putting it lightly.

He's so well-related, in fact, that it'd be easy to view his debut defeat over course and distance in November last year - when beaten just over two lengths in second - in a negative light. However, that would be naive as far as I'm concerned.

It's likely he had issues at two, given how late in the season he started out plus the fact he went off 6/1. It was also heavy ground that day, which is far from ideal on your first day at school. The form has also worked out very strongly.

The winner Zoum Zoum, who'd already beaten an odds-on shot at Kempton just under a month earlier, went on to easily land a Listed contest at Saint-Cloud and has earned himself a BHA rating of 104. The third-placed Balmacara won next time out too, beating the 85-rated Manhattan Mirage who coincidentally lines up here against the selection.

On that evidence, on top of his extraordinary make-up, I would be very surprised if this isn't a 90+ rated horse Harry Charlton has under his care.

Speaking of Harry, son of Roger who has handed over the reins to the Beckhampton operation, he's made a superb start to training on his own. He's had four wins from his first 16 runners of the season and in the last fortnight alone he's operating at a 50% strike rate with two from four. The two that didn't win? Both came second.

That's a good omen for the selection, who has the added benefit of the outstanding Ryan Moore in the plate. Second to none in my book.

This looks a good field, featuring 11 rivals of similar inexperience and potential, but Moore's mount has a touch of 'could be anything' about him that I'm not really getting from the others.

Creative Story goes for a red-hot trainer and has fitness on his side which could prove decisive, but for me his form isn't quite as strong as Kikkuli's. Meanwhile, Skukuza has work to do also and it's hard to imagine the aforementioned Manhattan Mirage, who is winless in three, doing the business, as much as he too boasts a fitness edge.

The Amazon, Perry Mason and Mount Teide are nicely-bred, unraced types, but I rate this a very strong contest for the time of year and therefore they'd have to possess a serious amount of ability to win it first time out. Everything else is hard to advise.

I generally hate this argument but what price would Kikkuli be if he was trained by let's say Aidan O'Brien, or John & Thady Gosden? I make him a bet at 15/8 or greater.

Kikkuli to win the 16.05 Newmarket at 5-2

Find our NAP of the Day here at Betfred Insights

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