Another winning day today with Hope is High being given a very confident ride by SDS. He was patiently ridden right out the back until the 3 furlong marker, but he always travelled well and when he sent Hope is High about his business he passed the entire field to win by a cosy 3/4 length. Unfortunately our second selection Clon Coulis was a non runner.
We have a selection at Newbury tomorrow and have also put one up for Ayr (assuming the meeting is still on), as we are confident that she will relish the ground. But we are waiting to see just how many non-runners there will be in the Ayr Bronze Cup, as there are still 25 declared but we can see quite a few coming out which may change the shape of the race. Therefore we will post an update by 10.00 am for this race.
The team at Cleeve
2.55 Newbury 1m4f Dubai Duty Free Handicap (Class 2) (3yo+ 0-110)
Cleeve Top 3 Rated:
1) Danehill Kodiac – 82
2) Wild Hacked – 80
3) Blakeney Point – 77
Dance The Dream is interesting coming back after a break having been off since finishing third in a decent Listed race at Goodwood back in May. The going was good to firm then and it maybe he just got slightly jarred up, as his winning form has generally been on slower ground. He is one to watch as I think he has potential, but is likely to need the run and also some rain.
Blakeney Point probably needs further than this to show his best form, and has cheekpieces back on here. I think he will find a few of these too quick for him over this trip and he is unlikely to win unless there is a lot of rain to slow the faster horses down.
Wild Hacked is not without a chance, especially if he can translate his decent all-weather form from this season now he’s back on turf. He is on a winnable mark, but I remain to be convinced about his ability on turf, plus Marco Botti’s stable has not had the best of seasons, by his own high standards.
Danehill Kodiac is a horse I am growing to really like and I think he is one of those horses which has a real winning attitude. The fact he has won on all types of ground is another big plus as there is heavy rain forecast at some stage tomorrow. The fact that Richard Hannon has booked Ryan Moore signifies that the horse is ready to win, and hopefully Danehill Kodiac will realise that too!
3.15 Ayr 5½f (5f110y) Al Maktoum Cup Arran Scottish Fillies' Sprint Stakes (Listed Race) (Class 1) (3yo+)Meeting Cancelled
Cleeve Top 4 Rated:
1) Spiritual Lady – 160
2) Queen Kindly – 153
3) Sainted – 142
4) Quench Dolly – 134
With the rain having arrived in Scotland on Wednesday evening the going at Ayr is going to be at best swampy, so we need to find a candidate proven on heavy going as horses are going to finish very tired here.
Quench Dolly would need to find a huge improvement to win this, despite winning a decent Class 3 on soft at Goodwood last time. She has gone up in the weights for that and this is much, much tougher race.
Queen Kindly has a touch of class, but she does not handle this kind of going, so it would be a huge surprise to see her win – if she even runs, as she will need a snorkel!
Spiritual Lady was mightily impressive when winning at Listed level as a two year old and she also won on soft, which is another plus. She hadn’t run since last October before making a belated reappearance at York less than two weeks ago. She was very well beaten in that race and weakened badly in the latter stages ending up in last place. I would want to see some sign of form from her before backing her in a competitive race like this.
Sainted looks like a real improver to me and she handles very soft going which is a must here. Sainted has been a non-runner any time the ground has been quick and did not disgrace herself behind Al Jazi when racing over seven furlongs in a Group 3. She does drop back in trip but she did hold an entry for the Ayr Gold Cup, and it must signify that William Haggas thinks she is a horse with Group potential that she runs in this race instead.
4.00 Newbury 7f (Str) Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships Cup Stakes (Listed Race) (Class 1) (3yo+)
Cleeve Top 3 Rated:
1) Second Thought – 110
2) Tabarrak – 109
3) Golden Stunner – 99
I was very tempted by the impressive Second Thought here, but the fact he has been off for 118 days put me off. He will be suited by a return to 7 furlongs despite finishing second to Harry Angel in Group 2 sprint last time.
I am likely to have a small personal interest on him, but he is not a member bet for official purposes.