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Copper Knight racked up a quick double when beating my selection at Pontefract. Legend of a horse, but I didn't think he would come ahead of my selection at a stiff track like Pontefract, but he is tough as old boots. Khunan ran an average race considering the handicap mark he was running off and I expected more, but he did look tired entering the final half furlong, so my worries of the track/ground combination probably were correct.
Newbury 3:00 – Lezoo 13/2 (0.5pt EW PaddyPower 4pl)
A big leap of faith is required in backing Lezoo for this Group 3 over 6f, especially when you consider she is the favourite and probably shouldn't be based on what she has shown so far this season (was favourite when typed up originally, has drifted out since)
However, I believe she has a better chance than what she has shown on all known form from this season and you've got to go off last season when she was a Group 1 winning filly in the Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket when she was ahead of UK 1000 Guineas winner, Mawj, as well as some other decent fillies of last year. She was very effective over 6f last year, and though she did beat some fillies who are better over further, with Mawj winning over a mile and Meditate winning over a mile, she did beat Swinagalong by 4L in the same race, who has stayed as a sprinter and ran a belter to finish 3rd in the Commonwealth Cup behind Shaquille and then went on to win a Group 3 at York a few weekends ago, so it goes to show that Lezoo is a very capable sprinter.
This season it hasn't gone to plan, it's easy to say she hasn't trained on and was the typical 2yo bully who was well ahead of the pack at that age group but over the winter months, she hasn't filled out whereas the others have caught up to her. However, she was trained for the 1000 Guineas, so would've been trained differently as opposed to last season when she was trained to be explosive and a sprinter, so the fact she was a non-stayer in the Guineas and then had to quickly revert back to being a sprinter can be forgiven. Now she has had plenty of time to fully get back into sprinting mode she is worth another try, especially with the weight she gets from this field and on ratings, she should be tough to beat if she repeats any of last year's form.
Market Rasen 3:15 – Courtland 9/1 (0.5pt EW Paddy/Bet365 5pl)
Peter Bowen has been in tremendous form this summer, as has his son, Sean. This is a race he targets every summer and has got his previous 2x winner of the race, Francky Du Berlais, topping the weights with Sean riding, but I've opted for what appears to be the second-string in this race with Courtland.
It's easy to say why would you tip up Courtland when Francky Du Berlais has won the previous two runnings of this race and Sean is on board, but jockeys often get it wrong as did Sean when he didn't partner up with him for his first win when he clearly had the choice of which Bowen horse to ride. Peter Bowen wouldn't be sending any horse to this race if he didn't think they had a chance, so second string or not, I think this horse comes into this race with a great chance, especially the form this horse has been showing, and I thought his recent win at Market Rasen was a great prep for this race, which saw him land the hattrick.
The rain which is expected to land shouldn't be an issue, as he has won on soft ground before and his pedigree suggests he should handle it. He is still on a decent handicap mark and is on a nice racing weight.
Newmarket 4:15 – Cloudbreaker 11/1 (0.5pt EW Bet365, can get better places but worse odds elsewhere)
I think that when Charlie Fellowes mentions a horse to follow, you should take his word and I think he's not wrong when he said that Cloudbreaker will be a stakes filly come the end of the year, problem is I'm hoping it will be much sooner than that and be in this particular race where she can land a Class 1 race.
This horse has been running in some nice races, and not being out of place in those races. She finished 4th/8 in a Class 1 Listed race at Newbury over 10f, which was at least a couple of furlongs too short. The form of that race has worked out well with the winner winning a Group 2 race, and the third won a Class 1 race in France, as did Lmay who was back in 6th. Cloudbreaker then went to Royal Ascot, where she was drawn out in the car park in stall 22 of 22, she ran on powerfully in final furlongs to get fourth and looked like the stakes filly that Charlie was hopeful about. That was a handicap race, but it was a Royal Ascot handicap so it was a very tough race and renewal, and the form does carry weight.
I don't think this race is particularly strong, the older horses are decent but not bulletproof and I think an unexposed horse like Cloudbreaker deserves a chance at the weights and the odds on show.
Ripon 4:30 – Sir Rumi 6/1 (1.5pt EW Bet365 3pl)
For the life of me, I don't understand how Sir Rumi is the price he is as with Owen Lewis on board he is ridiculously well-handicapped and will enjoy the soft ground which should be at Ripon.
The ground is currently described as good to soft but the weather forecast is saying plenty of rain is on the way to the Yorkshire track of Ripon. Some of the horses in the race do handle soft conditions, but I'd strongly argue that they don't handle it anywhere near as well as Sir Rumi as we've already seen this season where he has won on soft ground as well as running two belters on soft ground, one being on seasonal reappearance and the other being in a tough Class 3 handicap at Ascot which was won by the progressive Sheer Rocks.
I mentioned how Owen Lewis in on board today, I think this is an eye-catching jockey booking by Richard Hannon as he has never used this lad before, but he's clearly recognised he's a good 7lb claimer and it would be useful to have him on board Sir Rumi. With Owen taking off 7lbs, he is making Sir Rumi run off a mark of 86 which is 4lb below his last winning mark.
Newbury - 3:00 pm
13/2 @ PaddyPower
Market Rasen - 3:15 pm
9/1 @ Bet365
Newmarket - 4:15 pm
11/1 @ Bet365
Ripon - 4:30 pm