Aphrodite Stakes betting tips: Alwaysandforever value in Newmarket feature

Alwaysandforever heads the Horsebetting.com Aphrodite Stakes betting tips from Newmarket. Highgarden is feared most in this Listed 1m 4f feature contest on Saturday, 21 July, while Melodic Motion is an each-way alternative to be considered. Read all about these fillies and mares in our 2018 Aphrodite Stakes betting tips preview.

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Odds
11/4
Selection
Alwaysandforever
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Odds
7/2
Danger
Highgarden
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Odds
11/2
E/W
Melodic Motion
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Alwaysandforever appeals in Aphrodite

Alwaysandforever was an unlucky loser last time out, so can gain compensation with a Listed success in the feature 1m 4f Aphrodite Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday (14:45).

Trained by Luca Cumani, who has won two of the last three renewals, this four-year-old filly was a half-a-length second to Coronet on her sole start as juvenile and then belied a year off the track by making all in a 1m 2f Brighton maiden last September. The daughter of Teofilo surged further clear approaching the furlong marker to win easing down by 14 lengths.

She was value for more than the winning margin, but Alwaysandforever was put away for the winter and shaped as if needing the run on her return to action at Wetherby this season. There can be no doubt she stripped fitter for that outing, as she bolted up by nine lengths next time out in a class 3 handicap at Windsor.

Connections then decided Alwaysandforever was a worth a crack at Listed level, and she went down by just a short-head to Isabel De Urbina at Pontefract when headed close home by a superbly timed run from that rival. It was an agonising defeat for this hugely progressive type.

Alwaysandforever carried the third lowest official rating into that contest last time out, but is now the third highest in this lineup. As she’s only up 1lb from that narrow loss last time out, she looks a worthy favourite to land the spoils as she remains unexposed at the trip and is lightly-raced for her age after just five career starts.

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Highgarden has to justify reputation

John Gosden’s Highgarden is the clear pick of the three-year-olds in this year’s Aphrodite and she is respected while in receipt of 11lb from the older horses. A winner on debut over the straight mile at Newbury for her handler, this daughter of Nathaniel ought to get the trip now pitched into less competitive company.

The comfortable of her victory first time out last October meant big things were expected of Highgarden this season. She’s yet to show that, however, having reappeared at Sandown when sent off odds-on and finishing a 4 1/4 lengths third to Crystal Hope.

Highgarden was also a well-backed 5/2 favourite for the Group 3 Musidora Stakes at York’s Dante Festival on her penultimate start, but went down 2 3/4 lengths under a prominent ride from Frankie Dettori to finish fourth to Give And Take. She was then soon outpaced under pressure two out in the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot last time out and beaten 11 lengths by Magic Wand down in sixth place.

While that group form sets a clear standard in this lower grade affair, it’s not as though Highgarden has been a real danger in any of her starts as a three-year-old so far. This is obviously easier, but Dettori is riding elsewhere and Kieran O’Neill takes over in the plate.

She is the one that looks like giving Alwaysandforever most to think about, but Highgarden needs to start living up to the hype and soon. This may be the best chance yet for her to do that getting all that weight from her main market rival, so that alone makes her a definite danger.

Consider Melodic Motion each-way

In-form trainer Ralph Beckett and jockey Oisin Murphy team up to saddle and ride Melodic Motion for Qatar Racing here, and this four-year-old looks the best each-way value in the seven-runner field.

This other daughter of Nathaniel is the highest rated in the lineup and runs off an unchanged mark of 102 for the fourth consecutive race. Stepping up to 1m 6f last time out at York didn’t seem to suit on what was admittedly a belated return to action, so she is back down in trip to a mile-and-a-half.

While Melodic Motion does have a win on good-to-firm on her CV, she’s been seen to best effect with a bit of cut in the ground when half-a-length third and second in group contests at Glorious Goodwood and Doncaster’s St Leger Festival over 1m 6f last season.

Although she says, it seems quick going is not ideal for her. Melodic Motion is a course and distance winner, however, when landing a fillies’ handicap by an eased down 3 3/4 lengths last July.

Couple that clear plus with the placed efforts over further at a higher level, and it’s easy to make a case for her hitting the frame – especially if Highgarden doesn’t take advantage of the favourable race terms on offer.

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