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2018 Falmouth Stakes tips – 15/2 shot to bounce back on return to Newmarket’s July Festival

Clemmie (second left, blue and orange) pulls clear to win the Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes at the July Festival last year.

Our expert takes a look through the ante-post betting for the Falmouth Stakes and provides readers with his tips this Group One on day two of Newmarket’s July Meeting.

The first of two Group Ones at Newmarket’s July Meeting is the Falmouth Stakes. This one mile Group One boasts a fantastic roll of honour. Great fillies like Timepiece, Goldikova and Lemon Souffle have all claimed this prize, with Sonic Lady and Soviet Song successfully defending their crowns in 87’ and 05’ respectively.

Sitting clear of her rivals at the head of the ante-post betting for this year’s race is Alpha Centauri (4/7 Coral), who smashed the course record over a mile at Ascot on her most recent start. Jessica Harrington’s star was bidding to prove her surprise win in the Irish 1000 Guineas wasn’t a fluke and she emphatically silenced any doubters, destroying her rivals in the Coronation Stakes by a wide margin.

This will be her first trip to Newmarket and it’s highly unlikely the track will cause her any undue problems. A third straight victory for Alpha Centauri is expected, but at her current price, she offers very little value for an ante-post bet.

Billesdon Brook was also a surprising Guineas winner at the start of the season, powering clear of Laurens and Happily to claim Classic glory on the Rowley Mile. A sluggish start meant Sean Levey had to bide his time at the rear of the field in the Coronation Stakes and by the time he had weaved a path through the field, Billesdon Brook could only finish fourth. 

Threading (7/1 William Hill) carried a victory in a Listed race into the Coronation Stakes, where Mark Johnston’s filly continued her good form by finishing a seven-length second to Alpha Centauri. Both of Threading’s worst performances have come here at Newmarket – finishing well down the field in the Cheveley Park Stakes and the 1000 Guineas. Although both runs came on the Rowley Mile and not the July Course, her record at flat racing HQ is a little off-putting.

Mark Johnston stablemate, Nyaleti (10/1 Ladbrokes) skipped Royal Ascot to enter the German version of the Guineas, where she duly hacked up to claim that Group Two prize by almost five lengths. Nyaleti will bid to land a hat-trick on Friday and she ran well to claim second in the Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes at this meeting last year, but I still have doubts as to whether she is up to Group One standard.

Alpha Centauri (near, right) powers clear to win The Coronation Stakes.

Opal Tiara (20/1 Coral) and Hydrangea could renew rivalries after Mick Channon’s experience campaigner lowered the favourite’s colours in the Lanwades Stud Stakes earlier in the season. That victory helped Opal Tiara regain a rating just one pound short of the career-high mark she reached in 2017. She could be an each-way danger if she can reproduce top form.

Hydrangea slipped from 2/5 to even-money before the off at the Curragh, so it was no surprise to see the favourite register a limp display. Another disappointing performance followed at Royal Ascot and I would be surprised if Aidan O’Brien entered her into this Group One over a trip which seems a little on the sharp side.

The same can be said for Rhododendron, despite her victory in the Lockinge earlier in the campaign. While that win seemed impressive on the day, Lancaster Bomber was the only member of the front five finishers to run to form on their following appearance and the Nassau Stakes looks her most likely summer objective.

A swifter start could help Billesdon Brook improve on the fourth she registered at Ascot, but I fear the team may be training her towards the Nassau Stakes around the Goodwood track she clearly loves. Altyn Orda (20/1 Paddy Power) loves it here at Newmarket and could run well above her lengthy odds. Yet, I’m prepared to take a chance on CLEMMIE (15/2 Ladbrokes) being the one to give Alpha Centauri a run for her money.

A set-back forced Clemmie out of her scheduled reappearance in the British 1000 Guineas and Aidan O’Brien’s filly looked in desperate need of the run when finishing well down the field in the Irish version of that Classic. The 4/1 shot managed to improve on the finish she managed in Ireland in the Coronation Stakes, but Clemmie was no match for Alpha Centauri on the day, trailing over the line a barely-mentioned fifth.

Last year, Clemmie was comfortably defeated on her first two starts of the season. She then ventured to Newmarket on her two following appearances, pulling clear of Nyalti to win the Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes before scoring a similarly impressive victory in the Cheveley Park Stakes on the Rowley Mile.

Clemmie’s pedigree suggests it’s only a matter of time before she gets her act together over a mile and she boasts an unbeaten record here at Newmarket. Aidan O'Brien's filly is a Group One winner, with plenty of speed and class. She was an each-way suggestion when sitting at 11/1 in the ante-post market, but after her odds came in following the final declarations, a straight win bet is the only profitable plan of attack!

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2018 Falmouth Stakes tips – 15/2 shot to bounce back on return to Newmarket’s July Festival

Our expert takes a look through the ante-post betting for the Falmouth Stakes and provides readers with his tips this Group One on day two of Newmarket’s July Meeting on Friday 13th July.

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