2.35 Newmarket: Nafaqa
Elm Park has been a real money spinner for me however he comes up against the best horse he's faced and I reckon he'll struggle. Nafaqa has impressed me, his debut 4th in the Chesham was very likeable and following a workmanlike maiden win, he confirmed the promise of that debut run when winning at the Leger meeting. The form is good as the runner-up hacked up in the Mill Reef and the step up to 1m will suit.
3.10 Newmarket: High Celebrity NB
Of course Tiggy Wiggy is the horse to beat on pretty much all of her runs this year; but she could be forced to go quicker than ideal and consequently be run out of things on this stiff track; therefore I prefer Andre Fabre's filly who impressed the world when winning at Chantilly on debut (was 10 lengths up at one point). This horse has blistering speed and learned to harness it last time when winning a Group 3 over 5.5f back at Chantilly when recording a very quick time; she looked very good there despite still not quite settling. She should settle okay with a strong pace here likely and I think it's interesting Fabre pitches her in against Tiggy Wiggy and co, especially as his last 4 runners on the Rowley Mile have all won.
3.50 Newmarket: Velox nap
To be honest I'd be quite disappointed if this horse were to lose despite it being a 35-runner handicap. Cumani hasn't won this event since 1986 but he hasn't had many runners in it and this horse has really solid claims. Originally campaigned at 1m 2f+ since winning his maiden at Leicester over 1m last June, I thought Velox just struggled to get a win under his belt due to a general lack of pace at that sort of distance. This season, he has put the record straight dropped to 1m, a very unlucky 7th on Oaks day (badly hampered when making his challenge and likely to finish 2nd) when not far behind subsequent Betfred Mile winner Red Avenger. Velox then won at Sandown on Eclipse day when the strong pace/stiff finish played to his strengths; he will get a similar scenario here and it's interesting that Cam Hardie won on him that day and is reunited with Velox here for the first time since. Velox ran a superb trial for this event at 1m last time at Donny a fortnight ago; he was held-up (restrained more than usual) off just an even early tempo but was running on strongly at the death. 1m 1f on fast ground at this track will suit him down to the ground and I think he will take some stopping.