A blank day for the first day of the Flat season service. It was a tough day at Goodwood and Newmarket with most races being won by big priced horses .
We were right to oppose Air Force Blue who ran very flat but our selection Marcel was being pushed along by Pat Smullen a long way out and was eased down and tailed off along with Air Force Blue.
None of our other selections ever looked like troubling the judge so we have ground to make up.
We have 3 selections from the Guineas meeting at Newmarket one being our Ante post for the 1000 guineas.
So onto business.....
The team at Cleeve
1.50 Newmarket Qipco Supporting British Racing Stakes
Top 3 Rated:
1) Forgotten Hero
Oceanographer which is fourth highest rated has the most potential and the step up in trip should suit, but he has to give weight away to some tough handicappers here. If he had had a run I might have been inclined to support him, but he is likely to be too short in the market to risk first time out.
Forgotten Hero is top rated and that is due to him clocking up several Class 2 wins including one here; however he is five pounds above his best win and I think that puts paid to his chances here.
Snoano ran a lot of decent races last season in defeat and the best of those was his second behind Cymru on his final race when running over today’s distance. The big problem at the moment is his trainer form and he is best left alone until the winners start flowing. I do think he is also just below this level.
Watersmeet like a lot of Mark Johnston’s horses have a lot of racing, but they seem to stand up to it as they are well conditioned at home. He has the advantage of having had a few runs so is fully fit. He drops back to a level which he has won at previously and has also won off a mark two pounds higher. He won here last May in a very similar race and represents good value here.
2.25 Newmarket Charm Spirit At Tweenhills In 2017 Dahlia Stakes
Top 3 Rated:
1) Arabian Queen
2) Amazing Maria
3) Jazzi Top
I was going to leave this race alone, but I do reckon at the forecast prices that our selection delivers good value.
Arabian Queen delivered a defeat to Golden Horn last year, which is the best form in the race but I do not think she will be able to produce that first time out. She is likely to be tapped for speed over this shorter trip than her best and it may be she is being given a spin for future targets – she holds an entry over 10 furlongs at York on 12 May.
Jazzi Top is a very short priced favourite here in her first run of the season following her excellent second in the Prix d’Opera on Arc day. John Gosden has started the season in great form and this one despite dropping in trip is likely to be spot on. I do not think she should be as short in the betting as 11/8 and that opens the door to value elsewhere.
Amazing Maria steps up in trip here, but on breeding the extra furlong should not be problematic (her sire won a Group 1 over 10 furlongs). I really liked the battling nature of this filly last season and she looks as if she hates to lose. I think she has the potential to out battle Jazzi Top if they are close together in the final furlong. David O’Meara is not flying yet but has had a few winners and a lot of his horses have been going close. Amazing Maria is good value and even if she does not win tomorrow it is by backing at value that we make a profit long term – patience is vital!
3.00 Newmarket longholes.com Rehab and Pre-Training Handicap
Top 4 Rated:
1) Heaven’s Guest
2) Golden Steps
3) Teruntum Star
4) Huntsman Close
I was tempted to put up Huntsman Close here as he goes well first time out and was second in this last season, but his trainer is not in great form so we will leave the race alone.
3.45 Newmarket Qipco 1000 Guineas Stakes
Top 4 Rated:
2) Alice Springs,
4) Ballydoyle (Updated)
We put up Illuminate a while ago as our antepost selection for this race. We are sticking with her and her price has stayed roughly the same since we published the post.
Below is the original write up. The only change in our original analysis is we thought that Ballydoyle and Alice Springs would be targeted elsewhere but A P O’Brien has kept them in along with the long time favourite Minding.
Here is the ante post write up:
The fillies Classic has the same shape as the colts with Aiden O’Brien’s Minding currently heading the market as a strong favourite, and if she has progressed over the winter she will be hard to beat. She beat Nathra easily over course and distance in October and that one has come out and won over course and distance last week.
Alice Springs and Ballydoyle are both trained buy O’Brien (like Minding) but their targets are still not confirmed and they’ll avoid each other if possible with Alice Springs likely to go to the Irish Guineas and Ballydoyle either here or wait for the French Guineas, but interestingly there has been strong support for Ballydoyle in the market over the past few days from 10/1 into 5/1.
Lumiere has been well talked up by Charlie Johnston, assistant to his father Mark and he states that he fully expects Lumiere to win (oh for the enthusiasm of youth!). Lumiere was undoubtedly impressive last year when beating our selection Illuminate, Besharah and Alice Springs in the Cheveley Park under a very gutsy front running ride from William Buick who must have been confident he was on the best horse in the race, to be honest Illuminate had every chance and looked likely to win at least twice in the final furlong but just failed.
Lumiere has undoubtedly got plenty of speed and if getting a mile as connections are confident she will she could give Minding a lot to do. Watching her races again I think she shapes to be more of a sprinter than a miler despite her breeding giving her a chance to get a mile, and her current price of around 5/1 does not give us much scope for betting purposes.
Illuminate was beaten ½ a length by Lumiere but I think there are a couple of reasons to be hopeful she can turn the form around’ firstly she had been on the go for a long time so Lumiere would have been the fresher of the two and secondly she will improve for the extra furlong, she was not disgraced over a mile in the Breeders Cup Fillies Turf. She does need to settle better than she did at Keeneland, as she wasted a lot of energy in the early stages but there is enough stamina from the dam’s side to see her get a mile well if she does. She was a little on the small side as a 2-y-o and hopefully has grown and strengthened a bit, and the quicker the ground the better for Illuminate as she has shown her best form on good to firm.