Cleeve members selections – Saturday 28th April

Early Doors en route to winning the Fishery Lane Hurdle

Hi everyone,

well, it's our last day of Jumps action for this season and the last few weeks have been difficult, to say the least. As long-term members know we never hype our successes and don't hide from our failures as honesty and transparency are our watchwords. Still, no matter what happens tomorrow we will come out way out in front for the season so can't complain too much.

For those of you who are leaving us after the jumps we hope to see you back next season and for those of you who are staying with us for the flat, we look forward to providing you with the quality service we have always strived to provide.

We are thinking of taking a break after Aintree next year as the new format Cheltenham meeting is horrendously difficult, a fact that was bourne out by the results at the meeting this year with a lot of big priced surprise winners.  I think a lot of horses have had a long season and may have gone over the top and the problem is you just don't know until they run.

Also as we have seen this week the Punchestown meeting has turned into a final battle for the Irish Trainers title between Mullins and Elliot, with Mullins leaving Gordon Elliot on the ropes and punch drunk. With each trainer chucking the kitchen sink at races it's very difficult to pick which one will prevail (there have been multiple second, third and even fourth string winners)

We haven't made a final decision on this yet so we will let you know nearer the time.

We had just the two selections at Punchestown today...

Our first selection Bel Ami De Sivola ran OK but was no match for the front two but we played EW so a small profit at the 8/1 BOG. Again congratulations to our friends at Supreme Racing for the win with Kemboy, they've had a great week.

Our second selection Pallasator was very disappointing and even with the carnage at the second last taking out half of the field, he was nowhere near good enough and he was out on his feet by the last and virtually climbed over the hurdle.

So we pick ourselves up and go again. We looked at all the races at Sandown and 4 races at Punchestown and have come up with 4 selections so it's a busy day to end the season, let's hope we can finish off with a bang.

Good luck,
The team at Cleeve

1.50 Sandown 2m (1m7f216y) bet365 Novices' Championship Final Handicap Hurdle (Class 2) (4yo+)

Selections:

Taxmeifyoucan 1 point each way at 22/1 BOG with Corals (5 places)

Race Analysis:

Cleeve Top 4 Rated:
1) Mont Des Avaloirs – 165
2) Taxmeifyoucan – 160
3) Highway One O One – 159
4) Act Of Valour – 158
4) Burrows Edge – 158

Race analysis:
Burrows Edge looked promising at a lower level before disappointing last time in a Class 4 and this is hugely more competitive. I do think he can improve as long as the ground does not get too soft. I believe others have better chances though.

Paul Nicholls has a strong hand here with Mont Des Avaloirs and Act Of Valour, but Act Of Valour doesn’t look to have the turn of foot to win a race of this class. Sam Twiston Davies has been out of form and seems to be the stable second choice nowadays, which suggests that Act Of Valour is the second string. Mont Des Avaloirs has a lot of weight and that will probably mean he has to settle for a place. He has the in-form Harry Cobden up and won easily last time in a Class 4 when 1/6 but this is much tougher.

Highway One O One was tempting and in the end, it was a question of price and I think that our selection is much the better value. The stable and jockey are in form and this horse is bred by one of the top Irish breeders. he has shown plenty of promise and was considered good enough to contest the Grade 3 Imperial Cup. I will be surprised if he does not finish in the places.

Taxmeifyoucan has won and run well at this level twice and it will be no surprise to see him go close here. His double-figure price is about four points higher than I expected, so we can play each way. He will handle any more rain but also goes on a sounder surface. Brian Hughes is one of the best jockeys around and if he can be close to the principals in the final furlong I think he can win this. Taxmeifyoucan probably needed the run after a break last time and was a narrowly beaten third in a Class 2.

2.25 Sandown 2m6½f (2m6f164y) bet365 Oaksey Chase (Grade 2) (for The Menorah Challenge Trophy) (Class 1) (5yo+)

Selections:

NO SELECTION

Race Analysis:

Cleeve Top 3 Rated:
1) Top Notch – 57
2) Art Mauresque – 51
3) Alcala – 47

Race analysis:
Top Notch is the likely winner but after disappointing last time there are a few questions to be answered this time. No Bet.

3.00 Sandown 1m7½f (1m7f119y) bet365 Celebration Chase (Grade 1) (Class 1) (5yo+)

Selections:

NO SELECTION

Race Analysis:

Cleeve Top 3 Rated:
1) Altior – 57
2) Diego Du Charmil – 49
3) Special Tiara – 48

Race analysis:
Altior should win this comfortably if getting around safely, but obviously at the price is no bet.

3.10 Punchestown 3m½f (3m120y) Palmerstown House Pat Taaffe Handicap Chase (Grade B) (5yo+ 0-150)

Selections:

NO SELECTION

Race Analysis:

Cleeve Top 3 Rated:
1) Fine Rightly – 128
2) Westerner Point – 127
3) Major Destination – 114

Race analysis:
I was tempted by Major Destination as he is improving but he faces a big step up in class. No Bet.

3.35 Sandown 3m5f (3m4f166y) bet365 Gold Cup Handicap Chase (Grade 3) (Class 1) (5yo+)

Selections:

Bigbadjohn 1 point each way at 12/1 BOG with Bet365 and Corals (5 places)

Race Analysis:

Cleeve Top 3 Rated:
1) Blaklion – 183
2) Present Man – 168
3) Regal Encore – 153
4) Missed Approach – 148

Race analysis:
Blaklion is the best horse in the race but may need longer to recover having been brought down at the first fence in the Grand National. His high weight is also a challenge in this race, as most winners carry less than 11 stone and he is carrying 11 stone 12 pounds.

Regal Encore is another with a big weight to carry and despite winning last time is terribly inconsistent. At ten he is unlikely to still be improving or to be getting more consistent.

I was interested in Missed Approach, but he is too short in the market, although his wind operation has seen him bounce back to form. If his recovery continues he should at least place.

Present Man would have been the selection here but he has been off the course for too long and is unlikely to be sharp enough to win this. He does jump well, and Bryony Frost has had a superb season, but I think he will lead before fading into a place.

Bigbadjohn gets in here off a very low weight considering he has won a novice chase at Grade 2 level. He does sometimes make jumping errors and the key for him is that he puts in a clear round. The stable is back in form and I think our fifth-rated has a good chance here, especially as he comes into the race fit from a recent race.

3.50 Punchestown 2m4f Irish Stallion Farms EBF Annie Power Mares Champion Hurdle (Grade 1) (4yo+)

Selections:

NO SELECTION

Race Analysis:

Cleeve Top 3 Rated:
1) Apple’s Jade – 116
2) Benie Des Dieux – 105
3) Let’s Dance – 97

Race analysis:
Hard to see Apple’s Jade being beaten, no bet.

4.05 Sandown 2m5½f (2m5f110y) bet365 Select Hurdle (Grade 2) (Class 1) (4yo+)

Selections:

NO SELECTION

Race Analysis:

Cleeve Top 3 Rated:
1) Call Me Lord – 53
2) Diakali – 52
3) Old Guard – 51

Race analysis:
Very closely rated at the top of the ratings with only three points between the top five rated. No Bet.

4.25 Punchestown 2m AES Champion Four Year Old Hurdle (Grade 1) (4yo)

Selections:

NO SELECTION

Race Analysis:

Cleeve Top 3 Rated:
1) Farclas – 85
2) Mr Adjudicator – 81
3) Mitchouka – 75

Race analysis:
Too many unexposed types to make a call in this race, but definitely, one to watch for next season’s opportunities. No Bet.

4.40 Sandown 2m4f (2m4f10y) bet365 Josh Gifford Novices' Handicap Chase (Class 2) (5yo+)

Selections:

NO SELECTION

Race Analysis:

Cleeve Top 3 Rated:
1) War Sound – 98
2) Geordie Des Champs – 95
3) Monbeg Charmer – 92

Race analysis:
Not a race to bet in but it is likely to throw up some winners next season. No Bet.

5.00 Punchestown 3m6f BoyleSports Handicap Chase (5yo+ 0-145)

Selections:

NO SELECTION

Race Analysis:

Cleeve Top 4 Rated:
1) Thunder and Roses – 166
2) Daklondike – 159
3) Champagne Harmony – 154
4) Heist – 145
4) Poormans Hill – 145

Race analysis:
There are a lot of good horses in this average handicap, but the big problem is they are all out of form. The improving Daklondike was tempting as he is one that is improving and in form, but his price is far too short considering the field and his need to improve. No Bet.

5.15 Sandown 2m4f (2m4f10y) bet365 Josh Gifford Novices' Handicap Chase (Class 2) (5yo+)

Selections:

Enniscoffey Oscar 1 point ew at 20/1 with Skybet (5 places)

Race Analysis:

Cleeve Top 3 Rated:
1) Stamp Your Feet – 179
2) Enniscoffey Oscar – 154
3) Wolf Of Windlesham – 145
4) Le Breuil – 136

Race analysis:
Le Breuil sports first time cheekpieces and it will be interesting to see if that manages to settle him a bit earlier in his races. Headgear can work for some horses but proves a negative with others, unfortunately until they run with it on you don’t know how they will react.

Wolf Of Windlesham returns after 479 days off and is on a decent mark if he retains his ability. He had a spin on the flat at the start of the month and that will have sharpened him up for this. I was tempted to put him up as he looked like winning a Grade 3 at the Cheltenham Open meeting prior to falling; however, I think he is too big a risk even at a generous price.

Stamp Your Feet is well clear at the top of the ratings and his high rating is due to his steady improvement through the season and his consistency. He does tend to place though rather than win and I can see him running into another place here.

Enniscoffey Oscar was well beaten in the Grade 1 Alfred Bartlett but prior to that battled hard to win a Grade 2 Novice race at Doncaster. I think there is more to come from this smooth hurdler and his price is based upon his last run rather than his talent. He also finished second to Lalor in last season’s Aintree Bumper, which is impressive form and shows he has speed. This is a tough race but his price merits a bet.

5.35 Punchestown 2m4f Ballymore Handicap Hurdle (Grade B) (4yo+)

Selections:

Early Doors 1 point each way at 6/1 BOG with Paddypower (6 places)

Race Analysis:

Cleeve Top 4 Rated:
1) Low Sun – 250
2) Swamp Fox – 240
3) Joey Sasa – 226
4) Early Doors – 214

Race analysis:
Several of these ran here on Tuesday including our tip Low Sun and Joey Sasa and they both ran well finishing 4th and 2nd respectively. I am concerned that both had a tough enough race and are probably not going to be sparkling here.

Swamp Fox is an excellent horse but has been paying for his consistency in these big field handicaps and remains twelve pounds above his highest winning mark. Even with the decent claimer Barry Browne taking off five pounds it still leaves him needing a career best to win.

Early Doors was an excellent third in the Martin Pipe at Cheltenham and with this race on a flatter course and a half furlong less I expect him to win this. Barry Geraghty on board for the first time is a massive plus and his price is reasonable value considering he is likely to be still improving.