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  • Newmarket Best Bet: Dark Thirty Poised To Confirm Early Season Promise

Newmarket best bet: Dark Thirty poised to confirm early-season promise

Ahead of Guineas weekend, Newmarket serves up an appetising warm-up card on Friday, with this seven-furlong handicap sprint likely to produce one of the most competitive races of the day.

15:00 Newmarket: William Hill Epic Boost Handicap (7 furlongs)

It’s no surprise to see Noble Dynasty emerging as the early favourite for the formidable team of Charlie Appleby and Willam Buick after the six-year-old won three of his four starts in 2022.

However, he was then away from the track for 16 months before coming fifth of 16 on his long-awaited reappearance at Meydan two months ago, so he still appears to have plenty to prove at what appears to an unappealing price, considering the obvious question marks hanging over him.

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Arguably better value can be found in Ed Walker's English Oak, who won at the second attempt last year and rounded off his debut season coming a close-up second behind short-priced favourite Rohaan in a seven-furlong sprint at Ascot in October.

He is only one pound higher here and should give Tom Marquand a good ride, as should Thunder Ball after a couple of improving early-season outings, but our final nod of approval goes in the direction of the Richard Hannon-trained Dark Thirty.

A winner on career debut at Newbury two years ago, this likeable colt confirmed that promise by chalking up another couple of successes last summer, firstly at York, and then over this distance on Newmarket’s July course in August.

Suggested best bet: Dark Thirty in the 15:00 at Newmarket

He was far from disgraced when sixth behind Rohaan and English Oak in Ascot’s Iron Stand Handicap, his final outing of a busy 11-race three-year-old campaign.

Dark Thirty hit the ground running on this season’s reappearance, winning a shorter six-furlong sprint on this very track 16 days ago, holding off 17 rivals that included a host of experienced handicappers.

He appeared to have plenty left in the tank when Sean Levey drove him out at the finish, and having won over this longer trip before, there seems no reason why the same partnership won’t be right in the mix again here.



READ MORE: Friday ITV racing tips: Best bets for Newmarket and Goodwood May 3

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