Betfred’s Owen McMahon picks out his best bet from all eight meetings in the UK & Ireland on Wednesday 19 July 2023. 

NAP of the Day

  • 5.35 Yarmouth – Dark Kestrel @ 4/1

Apprentice races can be tricky to predict, but at a time where the likes of Harry Davies, Billy Loughnane and Benoit De La Sayette – to name just a few – regularly mix it with the big boys, jockey bookings are worth their weight in gold.

That’s a significant part of the thinking behind my selection of DARK KESTREL in the opener at Yarmouth on Wednesday.

John & Thady Gosden’s three-year-old has an instant advantage for he has the extremely capable De La Sayette in the plate.

Not only that, but he looks well-handicapped to strike in this company.

The form of his second at Newmarket late last month is not to be sniffed at. The winner Havana Blue is now rated 93 and the third-placed In These Shoes has since gone close off 82 in a decent handicap at Newmarket.

I’m confident that Dark Kestrel is better than his current mark of 77 and will appreciate what looks on paper a weaker contest. It’s also likely there’s a lot more to come from the selection over this trip, for he’s only had the one run over 7f or further so far in his career.

Of his 13 rivals for this 0-78 handicap, you’d have to be fearful of Sir Mark Prescott’s rapidly-improving Desert Falcon and the in-form George Boughey’s Serious Look, but I suspect the Gosdens and Derby-winning owner Saeed Suhail will be disappointed if this son of Dark Angel can’t take this.

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