16:15 Newmarket - Falmouth Stakes
The Falmouth Stakes is the highlight of day two of the July meeting at Newmarket and this fillies Group 1 over a mile has some very attractive horses in the field.
Usherette will start as odds on favourite having won her last four races, including the Duke of Cambridge Stakes at Ascot last time out in taking fashion. That was just her fifth start and she is improving each time. That was also her second Group 2 victory and she makes the step up to Group 1 company for the first time here today. All of her runs to date have been on good ground or softer, and it will be interesting to see how she copes with the firmer ground.
Amazing Maria won this race very nicely last year and will definitely appreciate the firmer ground. She was well beaten last time out by Usherette and prior to that she was midfield in the Queen Anne Stakes in soft conditions at Ascot. She will need things to fall right for her but with the firmer ground and a furlong less, I expect her to be able to get a lot closer to Usherette this time around. Whether she is quite good enough to beat the favourite remains to be seen however.
Alice Springs, trained by Aiden O'Brien and ridden by Ryan Moore, was an excellent third at Ascot last time out in the Coronation Stakes given that she met plenty of trouble in running which put paid to any chance of victory. She stayed on really well though when Ryan Moore found some space and it would have been interesting to see how close she would have been to the winner Qesmah. She has won twice before on good to firm ground, including here at Newmarket, and I think she has an excellent chance of taking this. It is a smaller field than her previous race so trouble in running should be easier to avoid, however I still think Moore will keep her closer to the pace and that will ensure a shoot out with Usherette that I fancy her to win. As a three year old she also receives a nine pound allowance of the jolly which could prove crucial.
Newmarket 16:15 - Alice Springs - 1 point @ 13/2 (Bet365)