Hi everyone,

Royal Ascot is proving to be harder to bag a winner than getting a dentists appointment at the moment! Saying that we still have another 3 days to go so there's plenty of time to get into the winner's enclosure.

Our first selection Brian Epstein ran OK but was drawn in the wrong group with the stands side coming out well in front. Of the 9 on the far side, Maydanny was the closest in 7th with our selection just over a length back in 11th

Our next selection Convict was frankly a disappointment. He was in mid-division and was being pushed along from a full 4 furlongs out. He did make some headway but faded in the final furlong and was never going to trouble the judge.

Afaak ran a creditable race and was up with the pace until the business end 2 furlongs out but just stayed on at the one pace to come in 7th. We did put him up for 7 places and there was a 7 place market on Betfair that returned 2.11 to BSP (you could have got bigger before the off) and other bookmakers such as Bet365 had bigger place markets on the day.

Finally, Alright Sunshine encountered all sorts of trouble in running. He was snatched up about halfway through the race and then didn't get a run after coming off the bend. I don't think he would have won but may well have got a place with a clear run but as we've said before that's racing. Some days you get the breaks and others you don't no complaints.

It was good to see Her Majesty taste success with the gambled on Tactical. Would love to see the Queen shouting at the TV with a loud "Boom" and a flick of the wrist resounding around the castle πŸ™‚

We move onto day 3 with 4 selections in 3 races, so let's get down to business.

Good luck
The team at Cleeve

1.15 Ascot 1m2f (1m1f212y) Golden Gates Handicap (Class 2) (3yo 0-105)

Selections:

NO SELECTION

Race Analysis:

Cleeve Top 4 Rated:
1) Ya Hayati – 161
2) Bronze River – 160 (Reserve)
3) Grand Rock– 158
4) Global Storm – 151

Race analysis:
I would have been keen on the chances of Global Storm here, but his five pounds penalty probably will count against him. There are also multiple challengers and I could not see any value but top-rated Ya Hayati could be thereabouts on his return to turf from Meydan. No Bet.

1.50 Ascot 1m2f (1m1f212y) Wolferton Stakes (Listed Race) (Class 1) (4yo+)

Selections:

Dubai Warrior 1 point each way at 12/1 William Hill, Betfair and Paddypower (4 places)

Race Analysis:

Cleeve Top 4 Rated:
1) Fox Tal – 134
2) Dubai Warrior – 131
3) Dream Castle– 125
4) Regal Reality – 108

Race analysis:
I ruled out Dream Castle as he is older than the usual winner and has been increasingly hard to win with.

Fox Tal has placed in a Group 1 and this is more likely to be his level, but his price is very skinny in what looks like a competitive renewal. Andrew Balding has started the season well and will undoubtedly have Fox Tal spot on for this. He is also hard enough to win with, so we will leave alone at his likely price.

Sir Dragonet was fifth in the Derby last year and has lost her way a bit before finishing second on soft ground at Naas in a Listed race back in March. There may be improvement to come and is obviously highly thought of at Ballydoyle, but he is not showing much on the racecourse.

Regal Reality was the final one I ruled out and that was due to him being exposed; however, Sir Michael Stoute is excellent at getting improvement out of older horses. Regal Reality has been highly tried and has won at Group 3, but just seems to lack that finishing kick. If he had been double his price, I would have picked him, but he is no value at 9/2.

Dubai Warrior has been beaten on his only turf run to date; however, he won the Group 3 Winter Derby at Lingfield in February. I was impressed with Dubai Warrior that day by the way he quickened and won a competitive race fairly comfortably. If he can translate that form to turf, I think he will be hard to beat here.

2.25 Ascot 7f Jersey Stakes (Group 3) (Class 1) (3yo)

Selections:

NO SELECTION

Race Analysis:

Cleeve Top 3 Rated:
1) Molatham – 130
2) Mystery Power – 123
2) Lord Of The Lodge – 123

Race analysis:
I was tempted by Monarch Of Egypt in this who I assume will be delighted not to be facing Siskin, which he has finished behind in three races and once well behind Pinatubo. I will back him later this season if he drops back to 6 furlongs, but I do expect him to go well here.
Molatham does need to improve and the beautifully bred and unbeaten King Leonidas are the most likely threats. No Bet.

3.00 Ascot 7f Chesham Stakes (Listed Race) (Class 1) (2yo)

Selections:

NO SELECTION

Race Analysis:

Cleeve Top 3 Rated:
1) Modern News – 88
2) First Prophet – 86
3) Concessions – 85

Race analysis:
A race with once raced two-year-olds is not one, I want to be involved with from a betting point of view and any of the runners could win on their day. A great race for spotting future winners, so just enjoy these beautifully bred thoroughbreds strut their stuff. No Bet.

3.35 Ascot 2m4f (2m3f210y) Gold Cup (Group 1) (British Champions Series) (Class 1) (4yo+)

Selections:

NO SELECTION

Race Analysis:

Cleeve Top 3 Rated:
1) Stradivarius – 77
2) Technician – 72
2) Cross Counter – 72

Race analysis:
I would have gone for the soft ground loving Technician here if the weather conditions were different, but as it stands, we should see Stradivarius winning again now he is back up in trip. Cross Counter may go closer this year now he is a bit more mature, but he just seems to be lacking that finishing kick in the latter stages. The one that caught my eye at a bigger price was Nayef Road, which was impressive winning a Group 3 on his return to racing. He does need to improve again but has potential. No Bet.

4.10 Ascot 1m (Str) Britannia Stakes (Handicap) (Class 2) (3yo 0-105)

Selections:

Grove Ferry 1 point each way at 25/1 Betfair and Paddypower (6 places) Path Of Thunder 1 point each way at 16/1 Betfair and Paddypower (6 places)

Race Analysis:

Cleeve Top 4 Rated:
1) Path Of Thunder – 248
2) World Title – 218
3) Grove Ferry – 214
4) Dance Fever – 208

Race analysis:
Looking at the races over the first two days it is becoming apparent that high draws have an advantage. If the rains come that could of course change and I have gone for two here one in a middle type draw and one drawn high.

Dance Fever has a penalty of 5 pounds to contend with and that could be his undoing, although he looks as if he has more improvement to come. His price looks about right and I am sure he will have a good run.

World Title was tempting especially as the stable is in superb form and his price looks generous, I am just not sure there is much more improvement to come.

There are multiple runners with only a few runs and of those Enemy, Verboten, Starcat and Khaloosy could end up better than handicap level in time. Of those Enemy and Khaloosy appeal the most but both look a bit short in the market.

Top-rated Path Of Thunder has a draw in nine which I am hoping will not defeat him, as I think otherwise, he has an excellent profile for this race. I am hoping that William Buick can tack across if the bias is still high and if the weather changes things he could be in a perfect position. Very much an improver and I expect him to tuck in behind the leaders and then makes a move a furlong or so out.

Grove Ferry has a high draw and I think the step-up in trip is exactly what he needs to bring out further improvement. He has had a run and I hope that will have him spot on here for Andrew Balding. I had expected him to be around 10/1 so his price is a bonus.

4.40 Ascot 1m (Str) Sandringham Stakes (Handicap) (Class 2) (3yo 0-105)

Selections:

Dubai Love 1 point each way at 10/1 generally (5 places)

Race Analysis:

Cleeve Top 4 Rated:
1) Dubai Love – 168
2) Festive Star – 153
3) Declared Interest – 151
4) Graceful Magic – 147

Race analysis:
Another open handicap and there are many of these with chances. According to the betting the John Gosden trained African Dream is an almost certainty at 7/4 in a big field handicap. Needless to say, there is no value with backing him at odds at least five points short of where he should be.

Festive Star is another prominent runner and that could cause her difficulties. She hails from the Crisford stable and they have not yet started firing in the winners although a few are placing. This one I think will be better in time over further than a mile.

Declared Interest won by 2 lengths at Chelmsford on her seasonal return, but she is another I think will be suited by further. She will be staying on and if not for her low draw could well have been a danger here.

Graceful Magic is a noticeably big price and is more exposed than most having had 8 starts including last time in the 1000 Guineas. I do think her price is far too high and if not for the low draw I think could have run into a place here.

Al Rasmah was interesting for Richard Fahey, especially with Andrea Atzeni, booked instead of riding for Roger Varian and I will not be surprised to see her place.

Dubai Love is interesting returning to turf having been running in Meydan and she was the final one I ruled out. She won her only run on turf and I expect she has further improvement to come on turf having placed at Listed and Group 3 level on all-weather surfaces. Frankie Dettori booked is a big plus and if he can judge the pace right on this filly, they could add another Ascot victory.