It was a good day for followers of the Autumn Update with Alcohol Free (advised @ 8/1) landing a major gamble in the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket. Andrew Balding's filly had won on her debut at Newbury before finishing runner-up in the Group 3 Dick Poole Stakes at Salisbury. Given an aggressive ride by champion jockey Oisin Murphy, the daughter of No Nay Never ran on strongly to fend off the late challenges of Miss Amulet and Umm Kulthum to prevail by half a length. Last year's winner Millisle had also finished second in the Dick Poole Stakes en route to Group 1 glory here. It was a pulsating race to watch and an excellent result.
The two selections in the Cambridgeshire, namely Lucander (18/1) and Bell Rock (advised @ 14/1) ran well in second and third respectively. While no match for the 40/1 winner Majestic Dawn, they gave us a good run for the money. The winner, who finished fifth in the race last year, had finished last of ten on his only start this year and was very hard to fancy on the basis of that run.
The only other fancy of the day, Lucky Vega (advised @ 4/1) also finished second in the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes behind Supremacy. Jessica Harrington's Phoenix Stakes winner had every chance but could reel in Clive Cox's winner, who looks tailormade for next year's Commonwealth Cup. Therefore the 4 selections in the Update on Saturday finished 1223.
It certainly paid to race handily at Newmarket on Saturday with the three major races dominated by either front runners or those who raced to the fore throughout.
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