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Craven Stakes: Timeform preview and free Race Pass

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The Craven Stakes, due off at 15:35 at Newmarket on Thursday, is available as a free Race Pass, which means logged-in customers can view all our premium comments and ratings.

Wednesday’s Nell Gwyn Stakes saw the runner-up Dance Sequence ease in the betting for the 1000 Guineas next month, but will a colt be able to enhance their Classic claims in Thursday’s Craven Stakes (15:35 Newmarket)?

Timeform weight-adjusted ratings are topped by Eben Shaddad (121p). He is the first colt of an unraced half-sister to the smart winner up to 9f Lady Speightspeare and made a good impression when winning a six-furlong minor event on the July Course on debut by 3¾ lengths from Give It Up. That was far from the strongest race run there, but he duly improved when upped in trip when third in the Tattersalls Stakes here and then progressed again when 4½ lengths third to City of Troy in the Dewhurst Stakes on his final start in 2023. Fitted with a hood for the first time, he very much looks the type to improve further at three.

The Craven Stakes still hasn’t been won by a subsequent 2000 Guineas hero since Haafhd 20 years ago but the 2022 Craven winner Native Trail went close, only finding one too good back at Newmarket 17 days later, and his trainer looks to have leading claims once more with Native Approach (113p). He has achieved less on the book than last year’s disappointing favourite Mysterious Night from the same yard but possesses plenty of potential after winning a maiden with plenty in hand at Kempton last time by 2¼ lengths from Calumet.

In-between that pair on Timeform weight-adjusted ratings, albeit closer to Eben Shaddad than Native Approach, is the French raider Alcantor (120). His dam is from the family of dual Arc winner Treve and started his own career well last season, with wins at Saint-Cloud (twice) and Deauville. He was a little keen but only headed late on when a half-length second to Sunway in the Criterium International at Saint-Cloud when last seen and should be more suited by the quicker ground here.

It’s a long time since this prize went back to Ireland (Democratic Deficit in 2005 for Jim Bolger) and it isn’t a race that Aidan O’Brien tends to target, but he saddles Cambridge (111p) who scraped home in a minor event at Salisbury (by a short head from Houstonn) and was still green when 4¼ lengths second to Grosvenor Square in the Eyrefield Stakes at Leopardstown on his final start of 2023. He remains capable of better still, but doesn’t look a stable star.

Haatem (110) represents a yard in very good form and this workmanlike colt's wins last term included the Vintage Stakes at Goodwood (by a length from Iberian) in 2023. He was a respectable 8½ lengths fifth to City of Troy in the Dewhurst and, though more exposed than his main rivals, shouldn't be discounted too readily here.

Champagne Prince (104p) steps up significantly in grade as he bids for a hat-trick. The first foal of Maid Up, who won the March Stakes and was second in the Lillie Langtry Fillies' Stakes, he won at Chelmsford and Newcastle (by 3½ lengths from Artistic Mission after setting a slow pace) in 2023 and remains open to improvement this season.

Sons And Lovers (100p) completes the field. He caused a 33/1 shock when winning his maiden over seven furlongs here (by a head from subsequent winner Placo) and looks sure to improve, though it’s hard not to think that this may come a little too early in his development.

Timeform analyst’s verdict

This looks a cracking renewal. Eben Shaddad sets a good standard on his Dewhurst third and there should be more to come this year so he's preferred to French raider Alcantor, another with Group 1 form in the book, and Godolphin's Native Approach.

Timeform weight-adjusted ratings

121p Eben Shaddad

120 Alcantor

113p Native Approach

111p Cambridge

110 Haatem

104p Champagne Prince

100p Sons And Lovers

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Just log in and click here to view the full card and Timeform analysis for the 15:35 at Newmarket on Thursday. You can subscribe to Race Passes to access every race here.

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CURRAGH 15:45

Sunday 26 May
9. OPERA SINGER (USA) 126p
Ryan Moore silk Ryan Moore horse for course
Aidan O'Brien, Ireland hot trainer
7. FALLEN ANGEL 123
Daniel Tudhope silk Daniel Tudhope horse in focus
K. R. Burke
14. VESPERTILIO (FR) 120
Declan McDonogh silk Declan McDonogh
W. McCreery, Ireland
Go to full race

LATEST HORSE RACING RESULTS

20:45 WINDSOR

1st Georgia Dobie silk 5. GREAT ACCLAIM 7/24.5
2nd Ross Coakley silk 8. DELICACY (IRE) 25/126
3rd Gina Mangan silk 9. MAGNA VEGA (IRE) 50/151
J: Georgia Dobie (3)  
9 ran. NRs: 10  3 
FULL RESULT

20:30 SALISBURY

1st Trevor Whelan silk 5. WARRANTY (FR) 5/61.83f
2nd Silvestre De Sousa silk 1. CLAN CHIEFTAIN 11/43.75
3rd George Downing silk ns 4. VIN ROUGE (IRE) 14/115
T: Sheena West  
8 ran. NRs: 6 
FULL RESULT

20:15 WINDSOR

1st Dougie Costello silk 1. AL KHAWANEEJ RIVER (FR) 5/23.5f
2nd Jack Mitchell silk 3. THRILLING DREAM 11/43.75
3rd Liam Keniry silk 8. COMPTON BAY 12/113
10 ran. NRs: 10  12  14  6 
FULL RESULT

20:00 SALISBURY

1st George Downing silk 8. GELICEAUX 9/110
2nd Dylan Hogan silk ¾ 2. MIDNIGHT RUMBLE 5/23.5f
T: Ed Walker  
7 ran. NRs: 3 
FULL RESULT

19:45 WINDSOR

1st Finley Marsh silk 3. TONY MONTANA 4/15f
2nd Edward Greatrex silk ½ 5. AL ANOUD (FR) 11/26.5
3rd Jack Mitchell silk sh 8. ISLAND STAR (IRE) 9/25.5
J: Finley Marsh  
T: Michael Bell  
All 11 ran.
FULL RESULT

19:30 SALISBURY

1st Shane Kelly silk 5. TEST OF LOVE (IRE) 3/14f
2nd Joe Leavy silk 6. WONDER SMILE (IRE) 7/18
3rd Joshua Bryan silk 2 4. LOADED QUIVER 17/29.5
J: Shane Kelly  
All 10 ran.
FULL RESULT

19:20 CARTMEL

1st James Bowen silk 7. VILLAGE MASTER (IRE) 10/34.33
2nd Mr Alex Chadwick silk 4 3. MY GIFT TO YOU (IRE) 5/23.5f
3rd Richie McLernon silk 4 9. DR SANDERSON (IRE) 17/29.5
J: James Bowen  
9 ran. NRs: 5 
FULL RESULT

19:15 WINDSOR

1st Jack Doughty silk 7. JUMBEAU 85/403.12f
2nd Jack Mitchell silk hd 1. DEMOCRACY DILEMMA (IRE) 9/43.25
J: Jack Doughty (7)  
T: Tom Clover  
5 ran. NRs: 2  4  8 
FULL RESULT

19:00 SALISBURY

1st George Downing silk 3. SILVER TRUMPET 6/17
2nd Silvestre De Sousa silk 4 1. FLAVOUR MAKER (IRE) 4/15
3rd Joshua Bryan silk ns 5. YELLOW PAGES (IRE) 13/27.5
8 ran. NRs: 2  9 
FULL RESULT
Go to Horse Racing Results