Race of The Day Tuesday August 07
18:551m 2f 50yds (2070m)

Smarkets Novice Stakes


  • Current Favourite  Spanish Archer
  • Current Odds 9/4
Race Analysis Runners 8 Going Good to Firm Distance 1m 2f 50yds (2070m)

Race Overview

A mile-and-a-quarter novice stakes for three year olds and upwards with guaranteed prize money of £6000, this contest has attracted one or two interesting contenders making it worth a second glance on a day of fairly run-of-the-mill action across Britain.

Plenty of leading trainers are more than happy to send their unraced or inexperienced horses to Nottingham as it is a very fair track with plenty of racing room and a half mile home straight that gives horses ample to time to get balanced and do their best on the run for home.

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Racehorse trainer James Fanshawe

Favourite Spanish Archer

James Fanshawe’s Lope De Vega colt probably sets the standard here having finished fourth when seemingly unfancied on his racecourse nbow over course and distance in May in a race that has worked out very well indeed.

The Queen in a lemon coloured outfit

Other Contenders

The Queen’s home bred newcomer Sextant has a lovely pedigree being by Sea The Stars and may prove useful, Side Effect shaped well for Johnny Murtagh in two starts in Ireland, and their could well be improvement from Gates Pass, for the shrewd Jamie Osborne team.

Race Analysis

SPANISH ARCHER is a fairly confident choice, even allowing for the fact that there are a few unknown quantities in this decent novice stakes. James Fanshawe’s Lope De Vega colt really caught the eye on his debut in a similar event over course and distance in May, staying on nicely when an unconsidered 50/1 shot to finish fourth to Raa Atoll. The winner has gone on to finish fourth in the Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot; the runner-up, Elector, was seventh in the same Royal Ascot race before finishing a good third in a hot York handicap; and the third, Occupy, was fifth in the King George V Handicap at the royal meeting as well.

On that evidence Spanish Archer is worth a rating of at least 85, by my reckoning, and with improvement anticipated with that first start under his belt he can get off the mark at just the second time of asking.

The Queen’s Sextant could be a nice horse. He’s by Sea The Stars out of a fair middle-distance winner who has produced good winners such as Math’s Prize and Pythagorean, but he makes his racecourse bow fairly late on in his three-year-old career and may have had an issue, or simply been a little backward. Given that his siblings have all need a run or two to hit form, he may be better for this initial racecourse experience, even allowing for the fact that the excellent Ryan Moore takes the mount.

Ryan Moore rides for The Queen at Nottingham on Tuesday evening


Side Effect makes her debut for Michael Appleby, and champion jockey Silvestre de Sousa takes the mount. She showed fair form in her two starts for Johnny Murtagh in Ireland, finishing fifth of 20 on her debut over a mile at Leopardstown in May, then running third of 16 in a Gowran Park maiden over the extended nine furlongs in a race won by a subsequent listed winner. The form looks strong, and if she has settled in well to her new surroundings she could be a danger.

The nicely bred Showcasing colt Gates Pass is another contender. He had a quiet debut at Lingfield before staying on from well off the pace to finish fourth over this trip, then came here for a mile novice race in June and was again ran on to finish third, suggesting he needs at least this trip to be seen at his best. He could be a decent handicapper in the making and any money for him would be interesting.

John Ryan’s Needs To Be Seen was formerly trained in Ireland by Joseph O’Brien and ran with credit on both starts. He was only beaten half a length when runner-up at Down Royal in June and the third has since come out and won, but he only joined his new handler last week and is asked to go to work very quickly.

The Nathaniel gelding and ex-Andre Fabre-trained Ecole D’Art cost 675,000 guineas as a yearling but failed to win for the ace French handler. He joined John Balding’s yard last year and his only run was when unseating in a Catterick juvenile hurdle. He had some form in France, but it seems likely that he has regressed since his last Flat start when runner-up at a provincial track 14 months ago.

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Betting.net Selection

Spanish Archer
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Betting.net Danger

Side Effect

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Paul Alster Betting.net

Written by Paul Alster

Paul Alster has been part of the British and international racing media for more than three decades working as a race commentator, TV/radio presenter, journalist, betting correspondent, SP returner, and form analyst. He’s always sought out overpriced runners in handicap races, a quest that excites him as much now as it did at the start of his career.