Today was a bit of a weird one with all the overnight rain and many non-runners doe to the changing ground. We had 2 selections that survived and I thought New Caledonian ran a cracker in the conditions and would have gone very close to winning had the conditions been faster. Englishman ran poorly and although low numbers were definitely favoured he ran too bad to put it just down to his 22 berth.
On to a busy day tomorrow and let's hope we keep our winning roll going...
The Cleeve team
1.45 Newbury Dubai Duty Free Legacy Cup Stakes (Group 3) (Formerly Known As The Arc Trial) (CLASS 1) (3yo+)
Top 3 rated:
Dartmouth – 57
Grey Gatsby – 54
Robin of Navan – 51
Dartmouth should win this even though the trip is on the short side for him; however a long break and running in what might be a swamp may not suit. Robin of Navan which will love the ground and may have a chance to turn him over but it’s no bet for us.
2.35 Ayr William Hill Ayr Silver Cup Handicap (CLASS 2) (3yo+)
Top 3 rated:
Intisaab – 124
Get Knotted – 121
Muntadab – 102
Muntadab is probably a class below this and despite having a good winning strike rate of one in four I don’t see him winning this. He does handle all types of going and that might mean he can run into a place. Nuno Tristan is another consistent type and has been running well in decent handicaps without winning and without looking like winning. He has also only won once on turf and that was over a furlong further although that actually is a plus in these Sprint Cup races at Ayr. Of those with bigger odds Louis The Pious is of interest despite being hard to win with as he goes well in big fields and at Ayr.
Both Intisaab and Get Knotted are rated well clear and having analysed them I could not spilt them. Both have course and distance form and both come here in decent form. Intisaab was caught on the line for us last time in Ireland and I am hoping the big field will give him enough cover to move late in the final furlong. Get Knotted also copes well in a big field with place finishes in a couple of big field handicaps.
2.50 Newbury Dubai Duty Free Handicap (CLASS 2) (3yo+ 0-105)
Top 3 rated:
Imperial Aviator – 122
Scarlet Dragon – 115
Muzdawaj was second in a moderate Class 3 last time and although he has scope to improve off a low weight it is hard to see him winning. He does seem to handle cut so perhaps the heavy going might suit. Baydar won a decent Class 2 from Goodwood Mirage last time by a short head and the runner up now has a pull at the weights. He seems to handle cut and being back Rock of Gibraltar has got some of his sires battling qualities. Three back to back wins have seen him rise 17lbs in the weights and that might slow his improvement. Scarlet Dragon was the last one I ruled out and that was mainly due to him having the apprentice with the least experience comparatively to our selections pilot. He does stay further which will be an advantage in the desperate conditions. I do expect him to place and could be one along with What About Carlo for the combination forecast. It would not be a surprise to see What About Carlo run well on this ground on a course that he likes.
Imperial Aviator drops back to handicap level, which must give him a great chance of winning this. He does have cheekpieces fitted for the first time which will hopefully help him settle. He won a better race than this when romping home in the London Gold Cup over course and distance back in May and a repeat of that should see him win this.
3.10 Ayr William Hill Supports Clic Sargent Ayrshire Handicap (CLASS 2) (3yo+ 0-105)
Top 3 rated:
Highland Colori – 109
Garcia – 106
Sound Advice – 96
Sound Advice is still a decent animal at the age of seven, but the ground is likely to be too slow for him to show his best here. Giving weight all round also makes this tough. Highland Colori has not won since 2013 and has only ever won once over today’s distance. He has dropped back to a winning mark but even allowing for that it is unlikely he will return to winning ways. Andrew Balding remains in good form and that might mean the horse is in good enough spirits to place. The inexperienced Morando is the main danger to our selection and the main thing that put me off was his ten pounds rise for his recent win. I think the handicapper had been a bit tough on him although I do think he will give our selection the most to do.
Garcia has only run five times and steps out of his own age bracket for the first time, but I think he has enough potential to win here. His top apprentice taking 5lbs off leaves this one on a very competitive mark.
3.25 Newbury Dubai International Airport World Trophy Stakes (Group 3) (CLASS 1) (3yo+)
Top 3 rated:
Muthmir – 110
Ridge Ranger – 106
Goldream – 106
Ridge Ranger seems to struggle on soft or heavy ground so it is hard to see him featuring here despite being pretty consistent. He has had a long enough season and despite the break may find this beyond him. Goldream was third last weekend in a Group 3 in Chantilly and has been running in Group races since May last year. If the ground had remained good to firm he would have been my main fancy for this; however all his wins have been on good or faster going.
Muthmir is another horse which prefers quicker ground and his indifferent form is also of concern. He will probably go close due to his ability but he is unlikely to win in these conditions.
Priceless was impressive when dropped to five furlongs for the first time in a Listed contest and has Ryan Moore booked this time. He may bounce after that and had previously only won once so may be best watched. Spirit Quartz at eight years old may seem like a strange choice but he gets his ideal conditions tomorrow and was not too disappointing in a Group 2 race last time. Prior to that he had won on soft going over five furlongs. Unlike several of his rivals he will enjoy the ground and I expect him to fly in the final furlong and take this.
3.45 Ayr William Hill Ayr Gold Cup (Heritage Handicap) (CLASS 2) (3yo+)
Top 4 rated:
Hoof It – 120
Final Venture – 113
Brando – 111
Magnus Maximus – 105
Growl is a very short priced favourite to deliver Richard Fahey another win, but he would need to improve to win and also show he copes with a really big field before I would back him. His price offers no value at all. Hoof It has been in great form for Nathan Evans winning two of his last three including the consolation race for the Stewards Cup at Goodwood. I think at nine this race is probably beyond him and most horses winning the race these days are rated +100 on official ratings. Final Venture has had only two starts this season and most winners of this are battle hardened. All his wins to date have been in fields of 12 runners or less and his wins have been on faster ground. His consistency could result in him running into a place. Dandy Nicholls has a great record in this race and Orion’s Bow and Kimberella will no doubt run well again for him, but I think that they have both peaked earlier in the season.
Brando would have been the sole selection if he wasn’t carrying top weight; however having said that he is a Group horse running in a handicap. He finished just over 6 lengths behind Mecca’s Angel in the Group 1 Nunthorpe last time and prior to that was second in a Group 2 and won a Group 3. He is proven in a big field having finished second in the Wokingham and his trainer has a great record in this race. Magnus Maximus comes here in great form having won his last two including an eighteen runner Class 2 at Ascot two weeks ago. He has been improving all season and I don’t think his penalty will stop him performing well here. Harry Bentley is a decent jockey and can land his biggest win to date.
4.20 Ayr William Hill Download The App Handicap (Registered As The Kilkerran Cup) (CLASS 2) (3yo+ 0-100)
Top 3 rated:
Speed Company – 124
Imishivalla – 121
Flight Officer – 102
The top three rated are all within 3 points of each other so on a busy day for us anyway this is just too difficult to call.