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Falmouth Stakes Position Map preview: Alpha Centauri in another galaxy

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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.

Conclusion

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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GOODWOOD 3:35

Wednesday 26 September
3. SPARK PLUG (IRE) 128
Oisin Murphy silk Oisin Murphy horse for course
Brian Meehan
7. THREADING (IRE) 124
Silvestre De Sousa silk Silvestre De Sousa
Mark Johnston
1. FIRST SITTING 124
Gerald Mosse silk Gerald Mosse horse for course
Chris Wall
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