Update - Sir Maximillian is a non runner so we have replaced with Sole Power 0.5 Points EW at 9/1 generally
we start the Flat season today and we are really looking forward to it. Over the coming weeks we will be quite cautious as the season settles down and we find out which trainers horses are fit and ready to go and those that may need a run to come on.
We will be focussing on Class 2 and above races so selections will mainly be at the weekend unless there is a Festival or big mid week meeting, also we tend to not have too many two year old selections for obvious reasons.
We head over to Goodwood and Newmarket and keep an eye on your emails as we will also be having selections on Sunday.
The team at Cleeve
2.15 Goodwood Betfred TV EBF Stallions Daisy Warwick Stakes
Top 3 Rated:
1) Miss Marjurie
This race boiled down to a choice between experience or potential and I have gone for experience and proven ability.
Bateel is unbeaten and has some high level entries later in the season at Group 2 and 1 level, so the stable holds her in high regard. She has a course win to her name, so handles the idiosyncrasies of Goodwood. Her first race against older horses will tell us a lot about her and her prospects for the season.
Carnachy is from the same stable as Bateel and also holds a Group 1 entry in the same race as Bateel, which suggests David Simcock is unsure which of these fillies is the best. She has also won at Goodwood over today’s distance and going and looks to be a well-balanced sort. Like her stable mate she needs to improve and cope with the older horses, which is a big ask first time out.
Miss Marjurie has already won at Group 3 and listed level including a win here in this race last year. She will appreciate the ground and despite top weight she can pull away in the final furlong and has a decent draw, which should enable her to get a good position. It would be no surprise to see her tuck in behind Bateel and Carnachy in mid division prior to making her move.
2.30 Newmarket Pearl Bloodstock Palace House Stakes
Top 4 Rated:
1) Sole Power,
2) Kingsgate Native
3) Sir Maximilian
4) Move in Time
This is a decent Group 3 sprint race to get the Flat season off to a fast start with a lot of familiar horses running.
Sole Power and Kingsgate Native are both Group 1 winners in the past and Kingsgate Native is on a downturn at the age of eleven. He has been a superb horse for connections over the years and managed third in this race last year in a smaller and less salubrious field than this. I do not see him being able to win this one year on.
Sole Power is still capable of winning at the top level, but was disappointing last time in Dubai in a race he won last season. He has a penalty so has to give weight to all here, which makes his task even tougher. Interesting to see Ryan Moore booked to ride, which suggests he is still in with a chance here. Others provide better value and I think he has place claims at best.
Move In Time would have a chance if the rains came but he has not shown anything like his best form in two runs this season. He is draw close to Sole Power and that will give him a tow into the race and if coming back to his best will go close.
Cotai Glory and Goken of the younger brigade are the main dangers and are sprinters to follow this season. It would be no surprise to see either of them step up and challenge here. Waady of the younger brigade I think will be the biggest threat to our selection especially with the form that John Gosden has his horses.
Sir Maximilian has won 3/9 at Stakes level including at Group 3 level. He has had four runs in Meydan so will be fitter than a lot of these and has won at Newmarket which is another plus. Sylvester de Sousa being booked would suggest that the horse is ready for a big run and can go well at a big price.
2.50 Goodwood Betfred "Treble Odds On Lucky 15´s" Handicap
Top 4 Rated:
1) Highland Colori
2) Russian Realm
4) Desert Force
A race like this at Goodwood I always think it important to look for a horse that has run well at the course and has a reasonable draw.
Highland Colori is top rated but has not won a race for almost three years and has not won at Goodwood. He is coming down in the weights and the stable is not firing but has had a couple of winners. He will no doubt run a decent race again, but I cannot see him winning.
Russian Realm is trained by Richard Hughes and if he was being ridden by his trainer I would be keener on his chances. He has won at the course but that was on soft going and if the ground rides good I think he lacks the speed to win, but certainly could run into a place.
Desert Force disappointed on his only run at Goodwood otherwise would have been a selection here. Pat Dobbs has a decent record at Goodwood and has the ability to get a horse to settle for him, which will definitely help in this big field.
Perfect Pasture sent south by Mick Easterby is interesting and is likely to go well even if the distance is a bit further than he usually runs. His sire did win over seven furlongs, which suggests he should stay. He won last time out and will be race fit, but he needs a career best to win.
Fiftyshadesofgrey has course form and having had a run three weeks ago on the all weather he will be fresh to defend the race he won last year. He is running off a higher mark, but still has scope to improve plus his trainer has started the season in great form. He is a decent price considering he won the race last season and allows us to back each way.
3.45 Newmarket Qipco 2000 Guineas Stakes
Top 3 Rated:
1) Air Force Blue
3) Ribchester (updated)
We put Marcel up as the ante post for this race and I am happy that he stayed in the race and we have got some value. Obliviously Air Force Blue looks the one to beat but with the ground easing a little and him stepping up to a mile I don’t think he is any value at odds on. Vincent O’Brien has been cautious as usual and he said
“Those seven-furlong two-year-old races are like enhanced sprints and it is a searching mile at Newmarket. You’d have to be hopeful that he will get it, but you can never be sure until they do it on the day.”
So we go into the race with a decent EW selection which if placing pays more than odds on for Air Force Blue winning.
Here is a copy of the original ante post write up.
On all known form Air Force Blue should win this, as he was very impressive last season culminating with a dominant display in the Dewhurst Stakes here, and Aiden O’Brien was very effusive about the horse in the Racing Post stable tour recently which given his propensity to underplay horses is a big positive. But at the current odds on – 4/6 best – he offers no value and may even go off bigger on the day (if he touched evens on the day I wouldn’t put you off having a point on him to cover the bet on Marcel). The three Group 1’s he took last year clearly mark Air Force Blue as a top class prospect, and if he has progressed as much as Aiden hinted he has then he will be very hard to beat this season.
It appears that second top rated Hit It A Bomb is not going to make it to Newmarket after a couple of minor setbacks, however he should be back in time for Royal Ascot and he is one to follow if he comes back 100%. Emotionless was not without a chance when I first started looking at the race but he has now been announced a non-runner as Charlie Appleby feels he needs more time to come to himself.
Foundation was a tad disappointing behind Stormy Antarctic when odds on favourite in the Craven; however the ground had deteriorated to sloppy due to heavy rain and it was a muddling race with no real pace. Foundation looked the probable winner two out and looks like he’ll definitely benefit from both a faster pace and better ground. Saying that Stormy Antarctic travelled brilliantly and accelerated well to win that trial, and if he can replicate that on better ground he is definitely a threat… however on a line through Johannes Vermeer our selection has the beating of him.
Update: – Marcel is now a generally 10/1 shot so we have definitely got some value already
Marcel sprung a real surprise when he won the Racing Post Trophy as the 33/1 outsider of the field, but he travelled really well and impressed me with his acceleration from the two furlong mark, he put the race to bed in a matter of strides and looked to win with something in hand. Foundation looked a very unlucky loser as he was trapped behind a wall of horses and had nowhere to go, but it is by no means certain that he would have caught Marcel even with a clear run. Marcel’s sire Lawman won up to 10.5 furlongs and was a multiple Group 1 winner, so he definitely has the class on breeding. Good gallop reports appear to show that the horse has trained on and he will be ridden by Pat Smullen which is a plus as he has shown the big race temperament required to win a Classic.
At 16/1 he rates as very good value and Peter Chapple-Hyam has shown us before that when he gets a good one he is very adept at preparing them to win big prizes.