we drew a blank last Saturday. There is not a lot to say about our first selection Grand Inquisitor. He was out the back and never got into the race and was very disappointing, didn't look the same horse?
Illuminate is becoming frustrating. She is obviuolsy a talented filly and has won at Group 2 level last season but this season she has continued to disappoint having been tried at a mile a couple of times and now dropped back to sprinting. I think a watching brief is now required to see if she can recapture her two year old form.
Miss Majurie looked at one point as she was going to challenge for the honours as she made headway 1f out but then just stayed on at the one pace to finish a distant 3rd.
So we need to get back on track and we have 2 selections at Ascot tomorrow.
The team at Cleeve
2.55 Ascot - John Guest Brown Jack Stakes (Handicap) (CLASS 2) (3yo+ 0-100)
Top 3 Rated:
1) Sea of Heaven
Galizzi is a better hurdler than a flat horse and he is pretty high in the handicap on what he has achieved so far on the flat. He did win a Class 3 handicap over the 2 miles on similar ground at Goodwood in June, but he would need to show more improvement to win this.
Nakeeta likes cut in the ground and has struggled on fast going. He ran well in the Chester Cup to finish second just beaten by No Heretic, but has struggled a bit since that fantastic run. If replicating that run he will not be far away, but might find the ground too quick and as a result may not run to his best form.
Sea of Heaven was just pipped for us last Friday and will hopefully go one better this time. If Luke Morris can get him to settle earlier he should finish his race off better plus the drop in trip should suit. The stable is in good form and does well with horses being returned quickly to the racecourse.
3.30 Ascot - Carraig Insurance EBF Stallions Breeding Winners Valiant Stakes (Listed Race) (Fillies & Mares) (CLASS 1) (3yo+)
Top 3 Rated:
1) Light And Shade
2) Mix And Mingle
3) Irish Rookie
Irish Rookie has been running in Group Races to good effect and this drop to Listed company may well see her the likely winner here but at the current odds of 13/8f she is not strong enough on our ratings to warrant a selectioin
4.05 Ascot - John Guest Handicap (CLASS 2) (3yo+ 0-100)
Top 3 Rated:
2) Karraar and
Having done the write up below before any prices were available we were going to have a 2 points win selection on Bermondsey. We were looking for 2/1 or bigger but at the time of writing he is showing best price of 5/4 which is just a little too short considering he is stepping up in trip (breeding should suit) and being raised in the ratings. Therefore unusually this is a conditional selection based on you being able to get 2/1 nearer race time (though I doubt he will get to that)
Pinzolo has begun to tumble down the weights having been rated as high as 108 in March this year, but he is now rated at 96. He has run in Group 1’s in the past (including the Derby!), but has dropped to struggling in Class 2 handicaps. He did win on the all-weather twice in this class, but is unlikely to win this off top weight.
Karraar is interesting bearing in mind Willie Haggas being back in form and I do believe that he can improve some more. Karraar has been tried in this class on a few occasions without looking like winning and is likely to place at best.
Bermondsey looks like a typical Cumani slow burner and it has taken him a few runs for the penny to drop. Ryan Moore rode him last time and he won very decisively despite looking a bit lost when he hit the front too soon with over a furlong to go. Ryan Moore retains the ride and the step up in trip should suit him based on his impressive breeding. Based on his last run I think he will cope with both the rise in his rating and the class of the race. He holds an Ebor entry which shows the regard he is held by his trainer.
4.35 Ascot - SIS Live Handicap (CLASS 2) (3yo+)
Top 4 Rated:
1) Final Venture
2) Royal Birth
3) Caspian Prince
4) Alpha Delphini
Medicean Man is always a threat when running at Ascot and just a few years ago would have won this race easily; however he lacks that killer speed at the end of his races at the age of ten. He could run into a place as he is still game.
Caspian Prince is on a career high mark having won the Epsom Dash two runs back and his high weight and the quick ground is likely to put paid to his chances. He is another one with place claims although he may be campaigned to bring down his handicap mark a few pounds over the next few weeks.
Alpha Delphini should be suited by the uphill finish as he stays further than the five furlongs minimum. He does have to improve as he is untried in this class and is likely to find a few of these too good.
Robot Boy has a big pull at the weights with our selection but I think he will be pushed to overturn the last run here. I would not be surprised to see them finish 1-2 again.
Final Venture carries a 6 pounds penalty here for his very impressive win at Pontefract last time, which has resulted in a rise of 12 pounds in his rating. That race was a Class 3 and he has never been tried at this level and Pontefract is a long way from Ascot both geographically and class.
Royal Birth won here beating Robot Boy as I mentioned and has only gone up two pounds for that win. He has the impressive Aaron Jones on board again and they have won together three times when paired. If he repeats his form of two weeks ago I think he will win again especially as the stable form has improved in the last couple of weeks.