We had a day of mixed fortunes last Saturday, but were close to having a bumper day with Yorker running a blinder to finish second after being off the track for 800 days. Before that Dark Red looked very much the winner 2 1/2 furlongs out but was beaten into second by Scarlet Dragon who bounced back to winning ways. Both of our other two selections didn't trouble the judge so we ended up all square on the day.
Tomorrow we have a busy day around the country with selections from Beverly, Goodwood and Windsor. Lets hope we can get some winners and boost the profits for this season.
The team at Cleeve
3.10 Beverley totescoop6 Beverley Bullet Sprint Stakes (Listed Race) (CLASS 1) (3yo+)
Top 3 Rated:
1) Muthmir – 92
2) Mr Lupton -92
3) Alpha Delphini -84
This is a very good renewal of the Beverley Bullet with winners at Group level including Muthmir, Mr Lupton, Maarek and Kingsgate Native. Kingsgate Native won his last race which probably saved him from retirement, he certainly doesn’t owe his owners anything having run 59 times and winning or placing in 23 races. However this is much tougher and I think he is very unlikely to win. Mr Lupton and Muthmir are the best horses in the race and it would be no surprise if either of them were to win; however both are drawn fairly wide which makes things very tough at Beverley which like Chester has a pronounced low draw bias in sprints, so being drawn in 8 and 7 may be too wide especially over this tight five furlongs.
Alpha Delphini was tempting at the odds with his good win strike rate of 40% and a decent draw in four, but this would be the highest class he has ever won in so further improvement is necessary which may be beyond him having risen 8lbs pounds for his latest win and a total of 17lbs this season. Maarek also came under consideration, as he won this race last season when drawn in four and he now has the prime slot of one. He has been given a rest of two months so will come here fresh, but he tends to dwell at the start which means he could lose the rail position which would really diminish his chances.
Willytheconqueror is a fairly speculative choice at first glance and figures well down the ratings but he finished second in a Listed sprint behind the impressive Easton Angel earlier this season so has the required class for this. He should start better than Maarek and can cut across to grab the rail, he may then be able to hold off Muthmir and Mr Lupton in a close finish. He can hopefully go one better here.
3.20 Goodwood Goodwood Revival Stakes (Handicap) (CLASS 2) (3yo+)
Top 4 Rated:
1) Shady McCoy – 138
2) Donncha – 133
3) Flash Fire – 131
3)Heaven’s Guest -131
I was tempted to go with Donncha to win this, but he has disappointed us before when looking the likely winner. Donncha just seems to fall short at Class 2 level and despite winning over course and distance he is likely to fall short again here. Flash Fire has had a busy season with nine runs and has only won once and I think he struggles off this current mark. He is still 4lbs above his last winning mark and probably needs to drop at least that amount before winning again.
Heaven’s Guest is a favourite of mine, but in three runs at Goodwood he has never finished better than tenth so it appears the track doesn’t suit. Like Flash Fire he probably needs to drop a few pounds in the weights and when he does and runs at Ascot or Newmarket he will be of interest again. Certificate was the last one I ruled out as it appears that the penny has finally dropped and he won very well at Doncaster in similar conditions. He did go up 6lbs for that win and this is a much better race… and ultimately I thought our selection provided better value.
Shady McCoy gets in here off a low weight and has 7lbs taken off by his impressive apprentice Mitch Godwin who does well on horses aged 4 years plus. The stable is in cracking form and the horse has gone from strength to strength this season showing a winning attitude. He does need to improve again, but off this weight he has a chance to win at this level for the first time.
3.35 Newmarket Fly Stobart Air Handicap (CLASS 2) (3yo+ 0-105)
Top 3 Rated:
1) Yorkidding – 99
2)Walpole – 97
3) Real Dominion (joint) – 96
3) Knight’s Table (joint) – 96
I did a full analysis of this race but changed my mind three times about which horse was going to win – Knight’s Table, Real Dominion and finally Walpole so it appears best to wait for a more clear cut opportunity.
3.55 Goodwood Lewis Badges 1832 March Stakes (Listed Race) (CLASS 1) (3yo+)
Top 3 Rated:
1) Platitude – 79
2) Goldmember – 79
3)Glaring – 78
Again this was just too close to call between the top five in the ratings.
4.10 Newmarket Stobart Club and Shop Hopeful Stakes (Listed Race) (CLASS 1) (3yo+)
Top 3 Rated:
1) Eastern Impact – 86
2) Mayfair Lady -78
3) Baccarat – 77
A decent sprint at Listed level with several likely challengers for the lead.
Mayfair Lady would have been the selection but she has been disappointing the last twice and may need a break after a busy season or even a step up in trip. She is bred for further so going up to seven furlongs may bring the best out in her. Baccarat is at the opposite end of the weights and that has been his problem this season. He has been running well enough in races including finishing third last time in a decent handicap. But he is going up in the weights for not winning and is 5lbs above his last winning mark so is again likely to place at best.
Fourth rated Raucous comes from the in form Willie Haggas stable and has placed in three of five races this season. I think he can give our selection most to do, as he has been running in very good races, however he seems to lack an effective finishing kick so may have to settle for a place again. Eastern Impact is pretty quick as he has shown when placing in a Group 1 over course and distance. He has been running well in decent races this season and can open his account now dropped back to Listed level. He is generally up with the pace and if getting a reasonable start he can get a good position to win this from Raucous.
4.30 Goodwood Doom Bar Celebration Mile (Group 2) (CLASS 1) (3yo+)
Top 3 Rated:
1) Thikriyaat – 46
2) Toormore – 45
3) Zonderland – 43
This is another top class race but a very disappointing turnout with only five runners which is poor considering the prize money on offer. Any one of the five could win on their day so no there is bet although Toormore may bounce back to his best if they go steady… one to enjoy watching.
6.35 Windsor Sri Lanka August Stakes (Listed Race) (CLASS 1) (3yo+)
Top 3 Rated:
1) Second Step -74
2) Berkshire – 70
3) Tashaar – 70
Yet another decent Listed event – there definitely seems to be a spate of them today! Tashaar has been off course for about six months after disappointing on seasonal debut in a top class Listed race in Doha. As a two year old he won three out of four including at this level at Newmarket. If back to full fitness he will be a serious threat to our selection; however he could pull too hard being a bit fresh after been off for so long… especially as he is still fairly inexperienced.
Berkshire has frankly been a frustrating animal, who started his two year old career winning a Group 2 over a mile, and then as a three year old he won at Group three level over 9 furlongs at Newmarket. He then missed a year through injury and his comeback season has seen him finish last twice and the closest he has got has been second over ten furlongs. He does not look as if he retains the same level of ability since his injury and has to give weight to the field to boot.
Second Step has been running consistently well in Group 1 and 2 races having won a Group 1 race in Germany last season. He has won at Newmarket and with the drop in class here he can win for the first time this season. First time blinkers should aid his concentration and he can win from Tashaar.