Princess Of Wales’s Stakes Betting Tips & Predictions – Newmarket, Thursday 11th July 2019

Newmarket’s July Festival, one of the liveliest social occasions of British racing, begins this Thursday, and helping to spice things up on the opening day is the Princess Of Wales’s Stakes.

During its early days, this race was one of the most prestigious events on the racing calendar. Whilst it doesn’t carry quite the same reputation today, the Group 2 contest still attracts a good quality field, this year including none other than last year’s Derby king, Masar.

Top Tips

Baghdad each way @ 13/2

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

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Race Info

History suggests you do not want to pick a horse making their Newmarket debut for this race. It’s worth noting that 12 of the last 13 Princess of Wales’s champions had a former run on the course with six of them winning at least once. Form over the distance has also been a pretty strong indictor with 10 of the last 13 champions having previously won over a mile and a half.

GoingDistanceGradePrize MoneyRunnersEW Terms
Good to Firm 1m4f Group 2 £100,000 6 Runners 1/4 1-2

Recent Winners

In Masar we have a short priced favourite for the race this year, but with only one winning jolly in the past 13 editions, those looking to support the market leader may understandably be a little wary.

Sir Michael Stoute is unrivalled when it comes to winners in this race. The veteran trainer has saddled nine champions, the last coming in 2012, and he’ll be hoping Mirage Dancer can make it a round 10.

2018 Best Solution 6/1 Saeed bin Suroor Pat Cosgrave
2017 Hawkbill 7/2 Charlie Appleby James Doyle
2016 Big Orange 8/1 Michael Bell James McDonald
2015 Big Orange 25/1 Michael Bell Jamie Spencer
2014 Cavalryman 9/1 Saeed bin Suroor Silvestre de Sousa

Analysis: Johnston To Upset The Jolly

All eyes will undoubtedly be on Masar here, and rightly so, as it’s not every year that a Derby winner rocks up in this race. Whilst it would be good to see him bounce back to winning ways, he just has a few too many questions to answer for our money.

Appleby Ace Back In The Winning Groove?

A classic winner, and three pounds clear of the field on official ratings, there’s no doubt that – should all of the runners turn up in peak form – the one they all have to beat is Charlie Appleby’s Masar. The market certainly agrees with that assessment, making last year’s Epsom hero the clear favourite for the race.

The big question with Masar is just how close to his peak he will be. Off the track for 385 days prior to his recent comeback at Ascot, he split opinion with his four and three quarter length fifth to Defoe that day. He certainly wasn’t helped by stumbling at the start, and whilst he can be expected to strip fitter here, he will need to be on his game.

Johnston To Bag The Prize?

Mark Johnston has landed this pot four times in the past, most recently with Universal in 2013, and this year sends his rapidly improving handicapper Baghdad into battle. Four from seven in what has been an injury interrupted career, he has already risen 11lbs in the handicap on the back of two wins from three starts so far this season. A mark of 109 does leave him with work still to do if he is to trouble the principles, but such is the rate of this son of Frankel’s progression that it may not be beyond him. Also from the Johnston yard, don’t rule out a big run from Communique who could be dangerous on the front end.

Dancer To Go One Better

Fans of trainer trends will no doubt be keen to latch on to the Sir Michael Stoute runner Mirage Dancer, and he’s certainly not without a chance. Ahead of Masar when third to Defoe last time out, he boasts solid course and distance form having been beaten just half a length into second in this race twelve months ago. Joint second best in the field on official ratings, he clearly won’t need to step up much on that effort to go very close here.

Final Verdict: Baghdad Each Way

Masar is undoubtedly the best horse in the race on paper, but the fact that he retains all that old ability has to be taken on trust to some degree, which just puts us off at a short price. With Mirage Dancer not always looking the strongest finisher when under pressure, the one we like best here is the tough and tenacious Baghdad. This will be the acid test as to whether he is quite up to this level, but against a couple of vulnerable sorts at the head of the betting, we like his chances to hit the frame.

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