Racing: Sainte Marine looks the each-way saver

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The Independent Online
THERE IS no shortage of quantity at the better end of sprinting at present, with 17 horses lining up for today's Nunthorpe Stakes at York just a few weeks after the same number contested the July Cup at Newmarket. The matter of their quality, however, is still under debate, and there could be no better place to settle the argument than at the Knavesmire.

Dayjur and Lochsong are among the recent names to have burned themselves into the memory thanks to 56 seconds or so of concerted effort up the straight at York, and the most obvious candidate to emulate them today is Elnadim, who won the July Cup and broke the course record doing so. It has taken quite a while for John Dunlop's runner to realise his potential, but now that he has struck winning form, he will take some beating.

Given that he may start at less than 2-1, however, it is only right to point out a few troublesome details. That course record, for instance, owed as much to the lightning-fast ground at Newmarket as it did to Elnadim's innate brilliance. Today's trip, meanwhile, is a furlong shorter, and one over which he has yet to record a win at any level.

In the circumstances, an each-way alternative is required, and one runner in particular appears significantly overpriced. Sainte Marine (next best 3.10) finished only fifth in the King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot, but was badly drawn and unsuited by the ground. Her form in France gives her every chance of a place at least, and the 12-1 with Coral is definitely worth having.

The Lowther Stakes brings together too many fillies with great expectations to bet with confidence, although Mythical Girl (2.35) is probably the best of them. Opt instead for JAAZIM (nap 2.05) - front-runners have been very difficult to pass this week - and the progressive Sugarfoot (3.45).