A great weekends racing ahead of us with top class action tomorrow at Newmarket and Ascot followed by Arc day at Longchamp and Treve's bid to be the first horse in history to take the race for the third time...
I have given the Arc selection today as the price is probably going to shorten, but I'll be back tomorrow tea time with another couple of selections from the quality supporting card in Paris.
And so on to tomorrow's action...
The Cleeve team
Ascot 14.00 - 5f class 1 Albert Bartlett Stakes (Registered As The Rous Stakes) (Listed) (3yo plus)
This race represents a drop in class for Wind Fire who was beaten just ½ a length in a 4 way headbobber when 4th in a Group 3 recently at Newbury on ground that would have been softer than ideal for her. Prior to that she was a respectable 6 lengths behind Mecca’s Angel in the group one Nunthorpe at York, but only a nose behind the proven group sprinter Muthmir.
The last time she had conditions to suit she was an unlucky 2nd to Waady in the group 3 Coral Charge at Sandown when she got no run, and Sandown form usually holds up well at Ascot. She gets the 5lb fillies allowance off male counterparts which is a big plus and she has her ground so should go very close here, so at an each way price she looks great value as a bet to nothing.
Newmarket 15:30 - 1m class 1 Kingdom Of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes (British Champions Series) (Fillies' Group 1) (3yo plus)
Last year winner Integral has had a very quiet campaign so far racing just twice. She made an excellent start to the season on her first run when a fast finishing 4th in the Lockinge before disappointing badly when well strongly fancied at Royal Ascot, where the very firm ground was given as the reason for her poor showing.
She is already a dual Group 1 winner and comes here fresh with trainer Michael Stoute in decent form and another positive is Ryan Moore back in the saddle after his injury. She has a good Newmarket record with this mile trip ideal. The ground will be nowhere near as fast as it was at Ascot and she looks a big price compared to the favourite Esoterique based on their past meetings, although Andre Fabre does not send his horses over for place money!
Ascot 15:45 - 7f class 2 Totescoop6 Challenge Cup (Heritage Handicap) (3yo plus)
Buckstay looks a worthy favourite for this given his recent form when 4th over this course and distance in Victoria Cup. Last time out he flew home when 5th just a length behind winner Don’t Touch over an inadequate trip in the Ayr Gold Cup, and before that he took a competitive handicap at HQ in convincing style.
This stiff 7 furlongs on good ground are ideal conditions for him, he travels well off a strong pace and shows great turn of foot at end of his races. It’s a positive to have Jamie Spencer back in the saddle and it is hard to see him not being involved in the finish here.
The ground has come good for Outback Traveller and he has already shown a liking for the course when he won here last season. He ran well for a long way last time out when beaten a couple of lengths by Majestic Moon over course and distance and the handicapper has dropped him a pound which gives him a good chance at the revised weights with the re opposing Majestic Moon and Mr Win.
The Noseda Yard is in great form and coincidentally Outback Traveller won on the Friday of this meeting last year by 7 lengths!
Sunday Longchamp - Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe
Were putting Erupt up now as he may well shorten before the race. The bookies make Treve a coin flip to make history by winning for the third time but although she comes here in impressive looking form to be truthful this i by far harder than anything she has achieved so far this year. Saying that this is the big day!
3-y-0s enjoy a major weight for age allowance in this race and have a great overall record. You need a proven mile and a half horse which Erupt undoubtedly is with 3 wins over the distance from 4 runs with his only loss coming on very soft ground. He is already a Group 1 winner over course and distance after taking the Grand Prix de Paris last July.
He is well drawn in stall 2 and likes to race fairly prominently which is important in this race where a poor position can force you wide and back leaving too much to do in the straight. This is only his 6th start so he should still be open to improvement and he looks well overpriced.