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2021 Craven Stakes Tips - 5/2 shot can Master his rivals at Newmarket

  • We've published our guide to the 2021 Craven Stakes
  • This Grade Three headlines the Craven Meeting at Newmarket
  • Master Of The Seas heads La Barrosa and Khartoum in the betting
  • Master Of The Sea is our best bet at 5/2
Master Of The Seas ridden by jockey William Buick wins the bet365 Superlative Stakes. (Getty)

The namesake race of the meeting headlines Thursday's card at Newmarket, as a field of classy three-year-olds enter the stalls ahead of the Craven Stakes. The Craven is viewed as a key trial for the 2000 Guineas, and several of this year's entrants hold an entry for the first Classic of the season.

2021 Craven Stakes Odds

Master Of The Seas5/2
La Barrosa11/2
Sandhurst 8/1

*Odds taken from bet365 on 13/4/21*

2021 Craven Stakes Runners

Khartoum2021 Craven Stakes Joint-Second FavouriteGET 11/2 HERE
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Aidan O'Brien is yet to win the Craven, with second the best any of his six runners have managed. The master of Ballydoyle has sent two of his top three-year-olds over to Newmarket this time around, and both have to be respected.

Khartoum made all to win second-time out at the Curragh, staying on gamely on soft ground. He's not entered in the British 2000 Guineas, but does hold entry in both the Dante and the Derby, so O'Brien clearly thinks he's more of a staying prospect.

Sandhurst, on the other hand, does hold entry in 2000 Guineas at Newmarket. O'Brien's charge stayed on strongly to beat 109-rated Flying Visit on his second start last season. However, he seemed to relish the heavy ground that day at Gowran Park, and I fear conditions may be a little too quick for him on Thursday.

Devilwala is actually the highest-rated runner in the field, and even flew the flag for Ralph Beckett at the Breeders' Cup. Rossa Ryan's mount used the rail to great effect when finishing fourth in the Dewhurst last season, and a similar front-running effort is expected after Devilwala was drawn in stall one.

Akmaam faded back to fifth after sitting on the pace in the Autumn Stakes, and he could make the running alongside Devilwala on the far rail. Mystery Smiles has never run beyond six furlongs, while Royal Air Force, The Rosstafarian and Imperial Sands will struggle to make an impact.

2021 Craven Stakes Tips

Master Of The Seas2021 Craven Stakes TipsGET 5/2 HERE
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Charlie Appleby won this race with future Epsom Derby winner, Masar in 2018, and he'll be represented by two top three-year-olds on Thursday. La Barrosa will be looking to bounce back after a disappointing defeat at Saint-Cloud on his last start, and has eight pounds to find on his market-topping stablemate in the ratings.

MASTER OF THE SEA has lost his last two races, but I fancy Appleby's star will be primed to make amends for those defeats and return to winning ways in the Craven.

After destroying his rivals in the Superlative Stakes, Master Of The Seas went into the National Stakes at the Curragh as the 2/1 favourite. William Buick's mount settled well behind the pace, but hit the front a little too soon, and was passed in the closing stages by three Irish rivals.

That same trio then occupied the first three spots in the Dewhurst here at Newmarket. William Buick didn't ask much from Master Of The Seas in the final 100 yards that day either, so that margin of defeat could have been smaller than two lengths had he been ridden through the line.

Master Of The Seas was the 4/11 favourite to win the Meydan Classic on his last start in February. Mikael Barzalona was asked to make the running on stablemate Naval Crown, as Buick dropped the favourite in. However, Master Of The Seas ran into traffic problems, and by the time they found their stride in open air, Naval Crown was home and hosed.

That sort of thing happens a lot around the tight track at Meydan, so I can see why the handicapper hasn't dropped the favourite's mark. William Buick will have been pleased with being drawn in three, and he can latch onto the likes of Devilwala and Akmaam as they make the running.


I'm confident that Master Of The Seas is the best horse in this race, and a mile seems like the perfect for this son of Dubawi. If first-time headgear brings about further improvement, then the favourite will be very hard to beat.

2021 Craven Stakes Tips: Master Of The Seas Straight Win @250.00 at BetMGM - 20 Units

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