Betfred’s Owen McMahon picks out his best bet from all eight meetings in the UK & Ireland on Thursday 20 July 2023. 

NAP of the Day

  • 3.00 Chepstow – Azahara Palace @ 15/8

My strongest fancy on Thursday is Hughie Morrison’s AZAHARA PALACE who runs in the 3.00 – a 0-70 fillies’ handicap over 1m – at Chepstow.

I often find it pays to side with lightly-raced, improving types in these lower grade handicaps, which is exactly why I’ve settled on this three-year-old daughter of Adaay.

She’s had just three runs to date, improving on her debut effort at Windsor in May to place in an admittedly weaker affair at Catterick last month – but it’s her most recent outing I want to hone in on.

Morrison’s filly got off the mark over course and distance just 24 days ago, pulling away from a more experienced, 72-rated colt for David O’Meara with the rest of the field well behind.

Her exploits so far have earned her an opening mark of 68, which I personally think is a lot closer to generous than it is harsh.

Accounting for both the weight-for-age allowance and the very valuable 3lb claim of the talented Billy Loughnane, you’ve got the joint second-highest rated horse in the field running off bottom weight. Not bad, eh?

The fact she’s won over C&D is another major positive and frankly I struggle to believe that any of her five rivals are particularly well-in, bar maybe Eyeshadow.

All in all, I’m hopeful Azahara Palace can continue climbing the ranks with another victory here.

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