Dave Nevison's top tips for Thursday: Percy Prosecco full of fizz

By Dave Nevison
Wed 10 Jul 2019

Things crank up to top gear right through to the weekend with the start of Newmarket’s best three days of the year.

Hopefully the weather stays dry and enables punters to enjoy the fantastic surroundings as well as the excellent racing.

I reckon Visinari will be ante-post favourite for the Qipco 2000 Guineas by mid-afternoon on Thursday provided he improves from his debut and beats horses with Royal Ascot form in the Tattersalls July Stakes.

He's a general 25-1 at present but was impressive over course and distance last month.

The quality races on the first day are not normally betting events for me but there is no shortage of punting opportunities at Newmarket and elsewhere.

1.40 Doncaster: Percy Prosecco at a general 11-4

Archie Watson has seemingly taken a very decisive view in amateur riders’ events at Doncaster and Newbury.

Becky Smith was on board Blue Medici when he won at Nottingham on Saturday - beating what I regarded as Watson’s good thing in Luna Magic.

It looks very possible that Watson believes her riding ability played a significant part as he has snapped her up to ride fancied runners at both tracks. She has previously never ridden for him.

There is a slight doubt about Percy Prosecco’s ability to last the two miles on the Flat given that he might have been outstayed the last time he tried the trip for his previous yard.

However, Watson’s ability convinces me he will have got improvement from Percy Prosecco and it certainly looked the case when he won over 1m 3f at Yarmouth last time.

I am sure Watson will instruct Smith to ride him prominently but make sure to have something left for the last two furlongs.

Given that Percy Prosecco is off the same mark as Yarmouth, where he won an apprentice event, I believe riding tactics are the only thing that can stop him and I don’t think Smith is likely to mess up.

5.10 Newmarket: Nkosikazi at 12-1 with bet365 and BetVictor

This one was regarded highly enough by Brian Meehan last year to contest the Coronation Stakes on only her third run and when still a maiden.

That proved way beyond her but possibly contributed to her being overly assessed by the handicapper and on balance she struggled in her three-year-old season despite some promising efforts.

She is now with William Haggas and it looks as though she might well start living up to some early expectations to judge by an encouraging reappearance at Lingfield last month, where she finished second after bing up in the van throughout.

A prominent running style is ideal on the July course and off the same mark I believe she is set to improve.

Franny Norton takes over and an each-way bet to nothing looks the way.

5.40 Newbury: Luna Magic at 4-1 with Paddy Power and BetVictor

I do not know what the travel arrangements Watson has arranged to get Smith from Doncaster to Newbury on time but I do feel congestion on the roads may be a bigger danger than the opposition in the race.

Rain-softened ground and an improved performer ridden by Smith meant this one got beat at Nottingham at the weekend but he looked the best horse in the race for at least nine of the ten furlongs and the straight mile at Newbury will be absolutely ideal.

As at the weekend the 5lb penalty he is carrying takes him only to a mark he has previously won off.

I am sure the Nottingham form will prove to be good for the grade and expect Luna Magic to make all.

7.05 Epsom: Arms Of The Angel each-way at 9-2 with BetVictor and William Hill

I thought I had found one for myself last week when this one ran in the last race at Beverley but she missed the break under Aidan Redpath and was playing catch-up from then on.

You pay your money and take your chances backing very inexperienced 7lb claimers such as Redpath and inexperience definitely showed.

To his credit the young lad did not panic at the back but the lengths lost were ultimately compounded by then sitting out the back off what was a pretty slow pace.

This horse is far from the quickest but she was making ground hand over fist up the straight.

The favourite won the race under a canny front-running ride from David Allan but my view is that this filly was an unlucky loser.

There is a lightly raced Sir Mark Prescott runner in the field who has started at over 100-1 on its final three starts last season but unless there is a massive market move this handicap is full of exposed slow coaches and only the Andrew Balding runner, Watch And Learn, looks a danger.

Dave's top quartet:

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