CLAREYBLUE caught the eye on a couple of occasions last season, finishing third in a decent Newmarket maiden behind Visinari and finishing second at York on his second start.
He got off the mark at Newcastle in a weak race on his third start and started this season in handicaps off a mark of 86. He didn’t really seem to get home over 6 furlongs on easy ground that day, but wasn’t disgraced in fourth.
He was favourite again on second handicap start at Windsor and proved very disappointing, but had a bit of a bumping match early in that race and perhaps that upset him.
He gets blinkers for the first time here and they could be the making of him. If he finally puts it all in, I reckon he could prove to be much better than a 84-rated animal.
CARADOC has been the big mover in this market this week and it isn’t difficult to see why. Progressive last season and he won handicaps at Newmarket, Windsor and Newbury off marks of 86, 89 & 95 respectively.
In between those wins, he was third here at York over a mile and a half. He was given an exaggerated hold up ride that day in order to ensure he got the trip. However, he ended up with too much to do and was running on strongly at the finish, but the line came too early and he was beaten half a length. He really should have won.
He had a lovely prep run at Epsom on Derby day, where again he wasn’t best placed out the back of the field – as there definitely was an advantage being ridden closer to the pace – but he did run on strongly and I believe he will step forward plenty for the run.
Connections think he is better than a handicapper and he will have to go close here to justify that opinion of him.
This doesn’t look the strongest Listed race ever and while there are a couple of lightly raced potential improvers in here, I believe VIVID DIAMOND is the one to beat and probably should be shorter in the market.
She was fourth of four last time at Newmarket over a mile-and-a-half, but that race was run at a crawl early and developed into a sprint which wouldn’t have suited Vivid Diamond – particularly when you consider that her last win was over a mile and 6 furlongs.
There appears to be a bit of pace on here, that will definitely suit here and the more of a stamina test this becomes, the better. She has some strong form from last season, including a Listed win at Chester, beating Persian Moon and Outbox.
She also was third behind Enbihaar at Doncaster in the Group 3 Park Hill Stakes and a third in the Group 3 Cumberland Lodge Stakes behind Morando. That is more than any horse in this race has achieved and if she return to anything like that form, she would take a fair bit of beating here.
DREAMBOAT ANNIE is a shadow of her previous self now being only rated 45. It is only two years ago that she was winning off a mark of 59 and placing off a mark of 67. She may be nowhere near that level anymore, but there was some promise in her run at Bath two starts back to suggest that she could win a poor race like this.
That run was over 5 furlongs here. She broke well, got to the lead and only the well-backed Cappananty Con went by here inside the final furlong. She was disappointing here on her last start, but nothing went right for her. She didn’t break that quickly, she got a bump early and never got near the front. Then in the final couple of furlongs she was stuck on the rail with nowhere to go and never really get a chance to get into the race.
Now this is a very poor handicap but if Dreamboat Annie could produce her effort of two runs back, she would definitely make the frame. The double figure price, coupled with the extra place on offer with Paddy Power, make her worth chancing.
This is a really competitive renewal of the Scurry Stakes and with Paddy Power sponsoring the race, we are paying five places.
Urban Beat, Gulliver and Gunmetal are all very interesting, but I thought the most interesting of all was ROMANTIC PROPOSAL, who is trained by Eddie Lynam. She ran in four maidens over a mile last year, running well each time behind nice horses like Georgeville (now rated 105), Miss O’Connor (now rated 108) and Tauren Shaman (now rated 95).
She got off the mark in a Cork maiden when dropped to 7 furlongs, winning well beating Lovee Dovee who is now rated 89. Romantic Proposal was let in very lightly for her handicap debut when bolting in from a mark of 71 over 7 furlongs at Cork, beating the good yardstick Katiymann. She made her reappearance a couple of weeks ago over 7 furlongs at the Curragh and I thought she shaped beautifully, travelling well until it looked like she blew up about a furlong out.
She runs here off a mark of 83 and I believe she will take a big step forward to the reappearance effort, while she is a double figure price at the moment and it would look a lovely each-way bet.
A decent looking renewal of the Group 2 Railway Stakes with Merchants Quay and LUCKY VEGA dominating the market and it is Lucky Vega that catches my eye here.
Green on debut at Naas at the beginning of June, he was quite impressive in winning, while also suggesting he could improve plenty for the experience. He hasn’t run since, but the form of the debut win couldn’t be working out much better.
The second Lipizzaner was fourth in the Norfolk Stakes, the third Alex D was narrowly beaten in a maiden, the fourth Eastern Voice won a maiden and re-opposes here, the fifth Battleground won the Chesham at Royal Ascot and the ninth Law Of Indices won a maiden – he also re-opposes here.
If he improves at all for that debut run, he would look the one to beat.
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