We hope you are enjoying the Bank Holiday and it looks like the weather will hold up for change.
We had a lacklustre Saturday which started off well with Willytheconqueror just missing out in a photo finish after the race went almost exactly as we called it, but the daywent downhill from there.
I think if Shady McCoy had not hung right for most of the race and then had trouble in running we would have got a place (dont think it would have won). And Eastern Impact just didn't show up which is strange for a very well fancied Fahey runner. He was in the vanguard 2 furlongs out but faded badly at the furlong pole and trailed in way down the field. I am pretty sure that was not his true running and we will wait to see if there is any news as to his poor run.
Second Step was very disappointing... we thought the drop in class would see him winning here and were not alone as he was well backed into 7/4, but he was never in the shake up and it looks like Berkshire has started to regain some of his promise.
So we move onto today with a couple of selections from Chepstow and Ripon...
The team at Cleeve
3.10 - Chepstow Oakgrove Stud Supports Sparkle&Serennu Childrens Centre Handicap (3yo+, 1m 14y, Class 2, 9 runners)
Top 3 Rated:
1) Glory Awaits – 79
2) Highland Colori – 79
3) Oh This Is Us – 71
3) Dessertoflife (joint 3rd) -71
Neither Glory Awaits nor Highland Colori have won for a while (2014 and 2013 respectively), and although both certainly have talent to win a poor race like this they cannot be trusted. Oh This is Us has a fantastic wining strike rate and narrowly beat Highland Colori last time over seven furlongs which has seen him go up in the weights again. I think the extra weight and the extra furlong will see him beaten here. Dessertoflife has been running over further than this trip, and if he had not been a slow starter in a number of those races he would have been the selection. His last win was over 7 furlongs as a two year old where he made all. If he was to make a good start here he would be hard to pass as his stamina should out last these, but the fact he has dwelt at the start recently suggests that a lead is unlikely.
They Seek Him Here ran in two Group races as a two year old finishing fourth on both occasions and winning his other start. He has not been seen for over a year so presumably he picked up an injury. For a prospective Group horse this could prove to be a very easy start for him considering the horse that beat him in the Solario Stakes has finished second in the French 2000 Guineas (Group 1) this season.
3.20 Ripon Ripon Rowels Handicap (CLASS 2) (3yo+ 0-100)
Top 3 Rated:
1) Treasury Notes -111
2) Home Cummins -109
3) Dubai Dynamo -93
Treasury Notes was tempting in this due to his decent win rate and he won nicely last time… but has never won at Class 2 level. He has gone up significantly in the weights which puts him on a career high mark. He could well win but has a few too many question marks to make him a selection. Home Cummins like Treasury Notes is on a career high mark at 92 and has never won over 87. He seems to struggle off the higher marks and despite Paul Hanagan on board I see him placing rather than winning. The old romantic in me was tempted to put up the 11 year old Dubai Dynamo as he loves Ripon and he gets in 7lbs lower than when winning this race last year (including claim). He has won again this season but at a lower level and this looks like a better race than last year.
Knight Owl was fourth top rated here but only 1 point behind the third rated. James Fanshawe has had a quiet season (perhaps because of the virus which has affected a number of Newmarket stables), but is back amongst the winners. The fact he has shipped Knight Owl up to Ripon is a strong signal that the horse is ready. Knight Owl pulled too hard after a break last time and I think that was more due to the small field size with only four runners rather than a lay off. His young apprentice George Wood takes off 5lbs and that gives him a great chance here.