Today is a brilliant day for sport with the Newmarket Cambridgeshire meeting on ITV and day one of the Ryder Cup taking centre stage.
Despite the constant flicking between the golf and racing channels throughout the day, my full attention turned to the racecards yesterday and as a result, two horses have grabbed my attention, so let’s see who they are.
1:50 Newmarket – Tarawa @ 13/2 General – 1pt EW
The Listed Rosemary Stakes opens today’s Newmarket action on ITV and I’m hoping Irish raider Tarawa can get her long-awaited head in front.
Sporting the first-time cheekpieces, the Dermot Weld-trained three-year-old has been a regular runner this year thanks to her six outings since the start of May; in five runs, she ran to an RPR in excess of 104, showing her consistency in quality races.
Tarawa is a horse that entered my tracker after her second run of the season in the Group 1 Irish 1000 Guineas where she found herself tucked away under Billy Lee for the majority of the race before staying on towards the finish behind stablemate Tahiyra (a four-time Group 1 winner), Meditate, and Comhra.
Tahiyra adds a Classic to her CV in spectacular style, winning the Group 1 @Tattersalls1766 Irish 1,000 Guineas ⭐️
— Champions Series (@ChampionsSeries) May 28, 2023
Furthermore, the supplemented Jackie Oh (now rated 107) finished two lengths behind her in fifth and Breege, the Sandringham Stakes runner-up, was even further back in seventh, so the form of the Irish 1000 Guineas looks above average.
Her held-up style of racing came to the fore again last time out in the Group 2 Dullingham Park Stakes at Leopardstown earlier this month, a contest that saw her complete the race in fifth while powering through the line from the rear of the field.
If her usual tactics are repeated today – something that has differed in the past, as shown by her third in the Group 2 Romanised Minstrel Stakes in July – she should have a few horses to aim at thanks to the prominent running styles of Queen For You and Quick Change.
Tarawa looks a strong contender in the second race at Newmarket today and with Shane Lowry lighting up Rome in the Ryder Cup, hopefully, another Irish star can rise to the top on overseas soil.
2:25 Newmarket – Novakai @ 6/1 with William Hill – 1pt EW
Novakai is a horse that I’ve managed to avoid backing on her last two runs which has worked out both positively and negatively.
The first of these misses came in late July when she made a big impression in the Listed Aphrodite Fillies’ Stakes under Sam James to sprint clear by nearly five lengths; this occurred on her first start at 12 furlongs, so she seemed to relish the new trip.
😍 Far too good
Fillies' Mile & Musidora runner-up Novakai blitzes her rivals dropped back in grade with a ready win in the Listed Aphrodite Stakes for @karl_burke & @samjock22 at @NewmarketRace pic.twitter.com/NSidhaTaL1
— Racing TV (@RacingTV) July 22, 2023
The form of this race received a boost two weeks ago as the fourth, Lmay, notably improved to finish a good third to Sumo Sam in the Group 2 Park Hill Fillies’ Stakes at Doncaster.
On her next start, the Karl Burke-trained three-year-old received plenty of market support in the 24 hours leading up to the Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks and even hit a low price of 7/1 in the morning of the contest.
However, the market corrected itself before the off and despite her starting price of 10/1, she disappointed to finish seventh, though she began to rally in the final furlong.
If you ignore her 11th in the Group 1 Prix de Diane earlier this year, her second to Soul Sister in the Group 3 Musidora stands out amongst the crowd and her runners-up medal in last season’s Group 1 Fillies’ Mile is also a great piece of form.
What a finish! 🤯
— Newmarket Racecourse (@NewmarketRace) October 7, 2022
With conditions set to suit and in receipt of weight from her elders, Voodoo Queen and Peripatetic, her price of 6/1 looks fair for the reasons stated above.