Angus McNae
Angus McNae's Racing UK Blog
Wednesday 16th April 2014

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Track specialists need to be considered at HQ

As the Craven meeting cranks into gear let us remind ourselves about a couple of elements concerning racing on the Rowley Mile.

First up, and not for the first time in this blog, I have to highlight that the Rowley Mile is not a stiff track.

It is a track that suits front runners, or at least prominent racers. Horses seem to be able to get away on the front end. This is important when it comes to in-running betting, but it also matters to those who draw up pace maps and bet according to how races are going to be run.

Secondly let us remember which jockeys ride this track best. Jockey statistics at particular tracks are an untapped and under used aspect to form study in this country and with our tracks being so idiosyncratic that seems bizarre.

Last season the two leading jockeys at the track were Mikael Barzalona with an incredible 30% strike-rate and Dane O'Neill with 19%.

Frankie Dettori hits at 15% and Ryan Moore 13%. I highlight these figures not to make any particular point about today's racing, but to try to underline that these jockeys may well understand how to ride the Rowley Mile better than others.

The Nell Gwyn is the big event on Wednesday at Newmarket. I have already nailed my colours to the Miss France mast as far as the 1,000 Guineas is concerned and it would take a big time performance today to steer me away from her. Thus I am looking elsewhere for today's selections.

My nap is Wedding Ring in the Tattersalls Millions 3YO Sprint.

The key word in the title of the race with regards to the filly is “sprint”.

She is returning to this discipline after Godolphin tried to turn her into a UAE Guineas filly in Dubai.

She was fifth to Ihtimal in the UAE Classic, and now returned to six furlongs this strong traveller looks set to make her mark once again at a track where she goes very well.

She won twice here last autumn, once over six furlongs, and her ability to handle the track plus the 30% Barzalona in the saddle makes her a decent wager.

My next best is Somewhat in the Fielden Stakes at 4.40.

This track will suit this strong galloping son of Dynaformer and I see him as being hard to catch from the front.

He was impressive when winning at Newbury last year and his defeat here at Newmarket to Berkshire at  the end of the season was due to not enough being made of him.

Joe Fanning is certain to send him forward and at this track that is a massive advantage and Somewhat can go in at the first time of asking this season.

Angus McNae's Wednesday tips:

2.55 Newmarket: Wedding Ring at 5-2 with Betfair and Paddy Power

4.40 Newmarket: Somewhat at 9-2 with Coral