2.25 1m6f Melrose Class 2 Handicap – Just Hubert 20/1
The yard think a lot about this colt, they consider him a Melbourne Cup horse for next season and has come into form winning his last 2 races impressively, the first at Ripon on good to fast ground, he didn’t take the right handed bends too well and was last entering the straight looking to be struggling when being pushed along but he stayed on well to just get up close home in a 3 way head bopper, he was screaming out for further that day and got his wish when upped to 1m6f when last seen at Sandown, he was only raised a handy lb for his last victory and was entered against a good young field, he took the right handed bends much better and settled off a blistering pace which certainly helped his chances, he was powerful through the line even if nearly throwing his chances away close home when swaying badly but quickly picked up momentum to break the course record at the same time. He goes up 5lb for that victory and this obviously a tougher race but he’s progressing well and the yard clearly think he has the quality to be in the mix and a future star.
3.40 1m6f Class 2 Ebor Handicap – Cleonte 50/1
Not my first choice but a big price and worthy of a each way bet is Cleonte with bookies that are paying out 5 places, or a better alternative maybe 40/1 with skybet who are paying 8 places. He finished a close 3rd in the 2m2f Cesarewitch late last year and looking likely more to come which he proved this season when winning the gruelling 2m5f Queen Alexandra at Royal Ascot, he did race again since just 2 weeks later in a listed at Sandown which looked to come a bit too quick but he still ran with plenty of credit over 2 miles. He drops further in distance today to 1m6f which does look on the sharp side a little, but they always go a good gallop and quicker than they should which will suit stayers like Cleonte in the finish and if he gets in running luck from his draw in stall 1 then expect him to come with a late powerful run picking off his rivals on favoured ground to get a lot closer than the market gives him credit for.
5.10 2m1f Cartmel Cup Handicap Hurdle – The Steward 28/1
A interesting contender, he’s rated 96 on the flat and was a winner off 92 over 2 miles at Wolverhampton, however his form hasn’t quite crossed over to his hurdling ability but there’s plenty of positives to take from a handful of rides at this course i.e the 2nd to Beach Break in July last year who went to confirm the form when winning his next 2 races and be rated as high as 126, he also was 2nd twice to Clemento last year who was rated 125 and the most recent positive piece of form was in December when again another 2nd to this time Arthur Mac who went on to run a huge 5th in the Group 1 Novice Sefton at Aintree and is now rated 136, so I’m sure you’ll agree that The Steward’s mark of 110 is very exploitable and interesting in his first try in a handicap.