Joel Stakes Tips: Mutasaabeq to bounce back to form at Newmarket

Check out our Joel Stakes preview here.
Check out our Joel Stakes preview here.

We are set for a fabulous few of days Flat racing at Newmarket between Thursday and Saturday as the Cambridgeshire meetings takes centre stage, and one of the feature races on Friday will be the Group 2 Joel Stakes, as seven go to post and are set to strut their stuff at Flat HQ and our man Steve Chambers previews the event here and picks out his best bet...

Charles Hills is bidding for a first win in the Joel Stakes, which is run over a distance of one mile, but the top class trainer will have a strong chance of claiming the prize for the first time as he unleashes a dual-pronged attack at this year's renewal with Pogo and Mutasaabeq lining up. Both prominent figures in the betting, they will both line up with superb chances and have to be considered leading contenders in what should be a fascinating renewal.

Pogo was a fine runner-up in this race 12 months ago to dual winner Benbatl, and the six-year-old son of Zebedee has continuously performed to a high level since last year's contest and showed when winning the Group 3 John Of Gaunt Stakes at Haydock Park and the Group 3 Criterion Stakes at Newmarket that he's a decent performer at Group level. Last seen finishing a decent second to Kinross in the Group 2 City Of York Stakes, Pogo will remain in Group 2 level here, but it could just be a stretch too far for him, and he may prove vulnerable back at this level and the 5/1 is worth ignoring.

On the contrary, MUTASAABEQ makes huge appeal if he can produce his best form, but he will need to bounce back from a poor showing when sent off a hot favourite for the Group 2 Celebration Mile at Glorious Goodwood. Potentially struggling in the softish ground that day, the Hills raider should enjoy quicker conditions on Friday and he showed when chasing home Chindit in the Summer Mile at Ascot that he can nearly win in Group 2 company and a repeat of that effort should see him go very close. He's struggled to get his head in front in recent times, but if he can produce his A game then he could be the classiest horse in the event. A dual winner at Newmarket, Mutasaabeq is the selection in a wide open renewal and at 9/2 he looks a cracking bet.

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Archie Watson's Tempus (3/1) has been hugely progressive this season as having won a handicap at Ascot off a mark of 103 back in July the six-year-old son of Kingman has gone on to win a brace of Group 3 events at Goodwood and Deauville. Hugely progressive all campaign, Watson will be hoping star performer can continue on a meteoric rise and land a first Group 2 crown, but the 3/1 market leader could be vulnerable to some classier rivals here, and he may just come up short.

Sir Michael Stoute has trained the likes of Confront and Rob Roy to victory in this race and the master of Freemason Lodge will fancy his chances of landing the prize again with Potapova, who was last seen storming to victory in the Group 3 Atalanta Stakes at Sandown Park. Relatively unfancied that day for the Group 3 contest, the four-year-old filly showed a fine turn of foot in the closing stages to pull over a length clear of Grande Dame and if she can replicate that on her first visit to Newmarket then she has to be respected and is the market leader at 5/2.

George Boughey's Oscula (9/1) has been in tremendous form all season and the three-year-old filly will be in receipt of significant weight from her older, male rivals here, and having won a brace of Group 3 races at Goodwood and Deauville this season then the 5/1 about her landing the prize is interesting. She failed to deliver in France on her last start when finishing third in Group 3 company, but on British soil she has been hugely consistent. Placed in the Rockel Stakes at this meeting 12 months ago, Oscula will enjoy a return to Newmarket, but it's just whether she has the class to deal with some proven performers at this level.

Completing the septet will be El Drama (12/1) and The Wizard Of Eye (25/1) and the former, who lines up for Roger Varian has failed to kick on from a Listed win in the Dee Stakes earlier in his career and was last seen finishing sixth of seven in the Strensall Stakes, while The Wizard Of Eye looks to face an uphill battle as he was well beaten in the Park Stakes at Doncaster last time out.

Joel Stakes
Mutasaabeq silk

Mutasaabeq

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