The Messenger has two bets at Newmarket on Friday and he likes Exmouth against Fair Eva and Dal Harraild in the listed 12 furlong contest.
Fair Eva is the very short price favourite in this contest and there is little doubt that she has the best form. She was an impressive winner on her debut and then followed up in grand style at Ascot on her second start. She then started a ludicrous 4/11 for the Lowther Stakes at York and finished only 3rd to Queen Kindly. It was a very solid run and the step up to 7 furlongs will suit, but she makes no sort of appeal at the prices today.
The filly that makes appeal here is the Sir Michael Stoute trained Exmouth. She has a lot to find on form, but she was very impressive on her debut at Yarmouth last month. She was very slowly away, losing 3-4 lengths at the stalls and had a lot to do from there. However she travelled kindly through the race and really picked up well in the final couple of furlongs to come from last to first and reel in Textured. The second has not done much for the form since, but Exmouth should improve plenty from that debut effort. She is out of a mare that won the Oh So Sharp Stakes as a two year old here in 2010 and she is bred to be very useful and to handle this firm surface. She looks a decent each way play against the favourite here at 13/2 with 1/4 odds paid each way with Bet365.
1 point each way Exmouth at 13/2 with Bet365
Dal Harraild was actually a little disappointing for me last time given how he managed to get himself out of trouble to win a hot Goodwood handicap on his penultimate start. At Ascot last time he travelled much better than previously and looked set to win, but did not quite finish his race off as well as expected. However it was still a very solid effort off a mark of 102 and now getting plenty of weight for age in this listed contest and on slightly faster ground, he should take a lot of beating here.
Barsanti has to be respected after winning a Yprk handicap off a mark of 105 last time. However the weight for age allowance at this time of the year seems to favour the 3 year olds and he is asked to give 8lbs to an improving 3 year old here. We will side with the Haggas team, who are in great heart at the moment and he could have a very good day on the Rowley Mile this afternoon.
1.5 points win Dal Harraild at 3/1 with Skybet