Nothing to report on so far this week regarding any selections. We got back to winning ways last week with profits on Friday and Saturday along with the Eye Catcher winning nicely against an odds on favourite. We did have a possible Eye Catcher today in Just the Man but with just the 5 runners and no real pace angle, we thought it best to have a watching brief this time and as sod's law states Just the Man went onto win at 2/1.
We were intending on having 2 selections tomorrow to build on last weeks success but the first one has opened in the betting far too short so is now a No bet leaving us with just the one selection.
We will be back tomorrow night with Saturday's selections.
The team at Cleeve
3.35 Ascot 1m (7f213y) (Rnd) Acorn Insurance British EBF Valiant Stakes (Listed Race) (Fillies & Mares) (Class 1) (3yo+)
Cleeve Top 3 Rated:
1) Main Edition – 74
2) Anna Nerium – 73
3) Magnetic Charm – 71
As I wrote this there were no early prices and I was expecting Main Edition to start as the race favourite. But the selection has opened at best price 11/10 which is well below the minimum we play at which is 2/1. Therefore she is a now not a bet but I have left the write up below as to my initial reasoning for intending to back her.
Her form in races from Group 3 downwards is impressive and with the stable in continuing good form she will surely go close. Her form this season has been a bit in and out and giving our selection five pounds is likely to prove too much for Main Edition.
Anna Nerium has top weight and that makes this very tough for here especially as the stable is not firing in any notable fashion. She has a good record in Listed and Group 3 races, but her record at Ascot is nothing to shout about. Due to her weight and lack of course form we will look elsewhere.
Magnetic Charm was an unlucky second for us at Royal Ascot having been hampered as she made her move and the winning jockey overusing the whip (effectively cheating). This smaller field on a course she handles well and the stable is now in even better form should see Magnetic Charm go one better here.
4.10 Ascot 1m4f (1m3f211y) John Guest Racing Handicap (Class 2) (3yo+ 0-105)
Cleeve Top 3 Rated:
1) Sextant – 64
2) Almost Midnight – 62
3) Gossip Column – 54
I was tempted by the lightly raced and weighted Almost Midnight, but could not see him beat top-rated Sextant, which could bring up a double for H.M. the Queen. My concern is this could end up a final furlong sprint, which could see a surprise result. No bet even though I was tempted!
4.45 Ascot 5f Neptune Investment Management Supports Child Bereavement UK Handicap (Class 2) (3yo+)
Cleeve Top 4 Rated:
1) Ornate – 130
2) Encore D’Or – 124
3) Kick On Kick On – 123
4) Arecibo – 121
Ornate won the Epsom Dash for us and subsequently followed up in a poor Class 3. Top weight is a negative, but I do not think that means he cannot win this race I just think it makes him winning unlikely.
Kick on Kick On has more scope for improvement than most of these, but his form in lower class races than this makes placing more likely than winning. He needs to improve about a stone to win and I don’t think he can improve that much.
Encore D’Or has Ryan Moore booked which is a positive signal from the Cowell stable and suggests the horse is nearing his peak. I think due to that booking Encore D’Or’s price is going to be below my expected value, so we will look elsewhere.
Arecibo has now had time to settle with David O’Meara having moved from France. He won at Ayr in a Class 3 over 5 furlongs on fast ground before finishing second in a similar race at Ripon over 6 furlongs. Dropping back to five should suit and the stable is now firing and Jamie Spencer can hold Arecibo up before coming with a run in the final furlong. Hopefully, Jamie will find the gaps and get his timing right and bring Arecibo his best win in the UK.
Make sure you use a bookmaker going 4 places
7.30 York 1m2½f (1m2f56y) British Stallion Studs EBF Lyric Fillies' Stakes (Listed Race) (Class 1) (3yo+)
Cleeve Top 3 Rated:
1) Encapsulation – 69
2) Frankellina – 68
3) Iconic Choice – 67
Only seven points separate the top six rated and this makes it a race to watch not to bet in. No Bet.