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Falmouth Stakes Position Map preview: Alpha Centauri in another galaxy


Nick Seddon previews the 2018 Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket using Timeform's unique Early Position Maps.

The Falmouth Stakes has developed a tendency to be a tight and tactical affair in recent years, and should all of the current declarations take their chance, it will be contested by a field of seven for the fifth year running.

Four of the last five winners of this race took up a prominent position in the early stages, with two making all, including last year’s scorer Roly Poly.

Weak pace forecast

Whilst all seven in the field hold either a 2 or a 3 on our Early Position Figures, which means they generally sit in a prominent position, none of them tend to make the running, which means we’re likely to have a weak pace in the early stages.

As such, it is most likely that Nyaleti will make the running, who according to our pace maps has a 50% chance of doing so. Mark Johnston’s three-year-old is thriving on her racing at present, and produced a smart performance to win the German 1000 Guineas on her most recent start. She’s genuine, and will give her running, though she would need more if she is to feature.

Alpha Centauri sets a daunting standard

The absences of Rhododendron, Billesdon Brook, Hydrangea and Happily mean that Alpha Centauri sits a considerable way clear on Timeform’s weight-adjusted ratings for this following her stunning win in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot, the form of which any miler in Europe would have struggled to top.

She produced a blistering timefigure that day, and whilst she may not have a strong pace to track this time around, her considerable turn of foot means that she will be very difficult to stop regardless of how the race pans out in the early stages.

The three-year-old challenge

The form of the Coronation Stakes is key here, and two of those who finished behind Alpha Centauri reoppose, including Clemmie, who is likely to pose the biggest threat for an Aidan O’Brien team that has won each of the last two renewals. She was the best of these as a two-year-old, looking a strong Guineas prospect when winning the Cheveley Park Stakes last September. As such, her two runs so far this term have been slightly disappointing, including when failing to quicken two furlongs out in the Coronation Stakes. She has questions to answer at present, though it is hard to ignore the fact that she represents a yard that is more than capable of reviving her, and it wouldn’t be too much of a surprise should she take a step back in the right direction.

Second in the Coronation Stakes was Threading, who confirmed the improvement she had shown when winning a listed contest at York on her previous start in May. She came from off the pace as Ascot, and as such she could rely on stablemate Nyaleti to ensure that there is a fair gallop to aim at. She could well have more to offer yet, though she would need to take a large stride forward if she is to overturn the Ascot form with Alpha Centauri.

The final three-year-old due to take her chance is Altyn Orda, who is a specialist on the Rowley Mile, finishing fifth in the Guineas, but below par at Chantilly last time. She, too, would need a lot more if she is to feature.

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The older fillies have a lot to find

This tends to be the first meaningful clash between the classic fillies and the older generation, but the absences of Rhododendron and Hydrangea mean that the two who do take their chance, Arabian Hope and Opal Tiara, both have a considerable amount to prove conceding weight to their younger rivals.


It’s very difficult to get away from Alpha Centauri, who would have given any miler in Europe a hard time with the form she showed when winning the Coronation Stakes. She’s a prohibitive price, and as such the best option may be Clemmie each-way, who is the clear second best option in the field, and is likely to be shorter than the 7/1 currently on offer.

Recommended bet:

Back Clemmie each-way at 7/1 in Friday’s Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket



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Saturday 21 July
Donnacha O'Brien silk Donnacha O'Brien
Aidan O'Brien, Ireland hot trainer
3. MAGIC WAND (IRE) 127p
Ryan Moore silk Ryan Moore
Aidan O'Brien, Ireland hot trainer
6. SEA OF CLASS (IRE) 123p
James Doyle silk James Doyle horse in focus
William Haggas hot trainer
Go to Full Race



1st Ben Curtis silk 4. ETIKAAL 2/13f
2nd Tom Eaves silk ¾ 5. FULL INTENTION 11/112
J: Ben Curtis  
T: Grant Tuer  
All 7 ran.


1st Ms Lisa O'Neill silk 1. BRAID BLUE (IRE) 7/42.75f
2nd Mr T. Hamilton silk 6 6. BETSY BOOTS (IRE) 7/24.5
J: Ms Lisa O'Neill (3)  
7 ran. NRs: 7 


1st Connor Beasley silk 7. SPRAY THE SEA (IRE) 5/23.5jf
2nd Rob J. Fitzpatrick silk 4. QUOTELINE DIRECT 5/23.5jf
3rd Stevie Donohoe silk ½ 3. TAKE A TURN (IRE) 17/29.5
All 9 ran.


1st James Doyle silk 1. HIMSELF 9/25.5
2nd John Fahy silk ½ 8. ZAFARANAH (USA) 9/25.5
3rd Jim Crowley silk 7. FIELDSMAN (USA) 9/110
J: James Doyle  
12 ran. NRs: 2 


1st Franny Norton silk 3. ALMUNTHER (IRE) 7/24.5
2nd David Allan silk nk 6. BREATHABLE 5/23.5jf
All 6 ran.


1st M. P. Walsh silk 12. TIMIYAN (USA) 12/113
2nd J. W. Kennedy silk nk 11. ROGUE ANGEL (IRE) 4/15jf
3rd A. E. Lynch silk 22 4. FULL CRY (IRE) 8/19
J: M. P. Walsh  
14 ran. NRs: 15  16 


1st Stevie Donohoe silk 2. ATTICUS BOY (IRE) 4/51.8f
2nd Paula Muir silk sh 6. GRANITE CITY DOC 11/43.75
6 ran. NRs: 3 


1st Andrea Atzeni silk 2. GORGEOUS NOORA (IRE) 7/24.5
2nd Fran Berry silk hd 4. RESTLESS ROSE 8/19
T: Luca Cumani  
All 6 ran.


1st C. J. McGovern silk 4. WAARIF (IRE) 9/43.25f
2nd David Allan silk ¾ 7. FASHION THEORY 4/15
J: C. J. McGovern (5)  
6 ran. NRs: 1  3  8 
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