Criterion Stakes betting tips: Tabarrak a tempting punt

Criterion Stakes betting tips for Newmarket from Horsebetting.com experts talk up Tabarrak as the value bet in the feature 7f Group 3 race over the July course on Saturday, 30 June. Dutch Connection may be the danger but the narrow ante post is worth taking on, while Larchmont looks the each-way bet of the race. Find out more in our 2018 Criterion Stakes betting tips preview.

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Odds
5/1
NAP
Tabarrak
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Betfred logo
Odds
7/2
NB
Dutch Connecton
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William Hill logo
Odds
9/2
E/W
Larchmont Lad
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Tabarrak can take Criterion crown for Hannon

The 7f Group 3 Criterion Stakes was a race that trainer Richard Hannon’s father enjoyed success in before handing the reins over to him, so the yard’s sole entrant Tabarrak looks worth a wager to land this feature contest at Newmarket on Saturday (13:45).

This five-year-old son of Acclamation is a dual Listed winner at the trip with some very solid form in the book. Tabarrak won two of his first five starts before being gelded and won over the straight mile at Listed level on his second appearance last season at Ascot.

He also then ran with huge credit when a 3 3/4 lengths fifth to Zhui Feng in the notoriously competitive Royal Hunt Cup at the royal meeting. Connections have alternated with Tabarrak either over a mile or the seven furlongs of this since.

Although then a disappointing ninth in the Bunbury Cup over course and distance, he was carrying top weight in that hot handicap. Stepping back up into Group company next time out in the Sovereign Stakes at Salisbury so nearly brought victory with it, but he went down by a neck to Ballet Concerto.

Tabarrak rounded off the last campaign with victory, albeit a narrow one when doing just enough to deny Accidental Agent at Newbury. Given that rival has come out this season and won the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot, the form must be good.

Soft ground on Tabarrak’s reappearance run at Doncaster clearly didn’t suit, and the return to a sounder surface saw him add a third career Listed success when asserting late on to land the spoils by three-quarters of a length from Mubtasim.

He was desperately unlucky not to follow-up when headed late on and held as a half-length third in the Group 3 John Of Gaunt Stakes at Haydock last time out by D’bai.

Connections have been banging on the door with Tabarrak and, in a small field with one exception you can throw a blanket over on official ratings, he has as good a chance as any to get that big race success here.

1.
William Hill
Really Good 94/100
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Betfair
Really Good 94/100
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Betvictor
Really Good 93/100
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100% up to 40£

Dutch Connection worth taking on

The assessor puts one horse narrowly ahead of the others in this year’s Criterion and top rating goes to Godolphin’s Dutch Connection, but his display when beaten into fourth by Tabarrak and others means he may not be entitled to narrow ante post favouritism.

Trained by Charlie Hills, this six-year-old has won just one race – albeit in this grade and over the trip – since his finest hour at Glorious Goodwood 2016 when a 1 3/4 lengths victor in the Lennox Stakes.

Connections have highly tried Dutch Connection, but it’s worth bearing in mind that three of his five career victories have come at Goodwood. As a three-time Group 3 winner, however, he is respected but must improve after disappointing last time out.

Dutch Connection looked to be back in-form when outrunning odds of 50/1 when a 3 1/2 lengths fourth behind Rhododendron in the Group 1 Lockinge Stakes at Newbury over a mile on his returned to action.

As a result of that, he was sent off favourite for the John Of Gaunt but he was never able to land a blow at Haydock. Based on that run, Dutch Connection have almost two lengths to find on Tabarrak and another who re-opposes.

Larchmont Lad the each-way play

A former Hannon inmate now with David O’Meara in Larchmont Lad looks an each-way angle in this tough puzzle – if able to repeat or better his narrow second last time out.

The four-year-old is a Newmarket winner over the trip and in the grade, albeit on the Rowley Mile course as a juvenile. His head second in the John Of Gaunt when just held by D’bai was arguably his best performance since that victory.

Owned by Cheveley Park Stud, Larchmont Lad was first past the post on his final start of last season in a Listed contest at Leopardstown only to lose the race in the stewards’ room.

It was the prominent nature of his run last time out when he rallied and ran on well under pressure last time out that made him a gallant runner-up.

The return to a venue in Newmarket – where he has put in some of his best performances and also mixed it up with Classic contenders as a three-year-old when running the Craven and 2000 Guineas – may see Larchmont Lad make the frame again.

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