Cleves Stakes Tips & Betting Preview

Eight top class sprinters go to post for the 2017 renewal of the Cleves Stakes, see our betting tips and the full race preview below.

IN SUMMARY: This should be another opportunity for the high class PRETEND to claim victory and enhance his already brilliant record on the all weather. 7-11 and winner of the 2015 Sprint Championship Final at Lingfield, Charlie Appleby’s six year old competed in much tougher races in 2016 and won on return this season with an easy success at Kempton. He should be hard to beat and can repel the challenge of Lancelot Du Lac, who has won five of his last six all weather starts and was impressive on return at Chelmsford last time out.

1 AMAZOUR – Career best on his latest start in December when holding well at Newcastle, beating Poyle Vinnie (6f, Std). That is some decent form and he’s worth a second look as he jumps into Class 1 company for the first time. Untried at Lingfield but is 2-4 on the all weather and is likely to give another good account of himself for Ismail Mohammed with Sean Levey on board, though he’ll need to improve if he’s to win in this company with lots to find on overall ratings with some of these.

2 BOOM THE GROOM – C&D winner who had a very productive summer, winning a competitive handicap at Goodwood in July and did the same at York in August in another highly competitive race. Not so good the last twice though he wasn’t disgraced in better company than this, and hasn’t been seen since being well beaten at Leciseter in October, behind Poyle Vinnie who was subsequently beaten by Amazour. Likely to find this much easier for Tony Carroll as he does look high in the handicap, and has to be respected as he looks likely to run another big race as he’s just as effective on the all weather surface.

3 GRACIOUS JOHN – Smart at his best and produced a career best here three starts ago over the five furlong, staying on strongly to win reasonably comfortably in the end. Ran a similar race to just be denied at Newcastle under a claimer a few weeks later (5f, Std), though was nowhere near his best when fourth on his latest start over the same C&D, behind Justice Good. He has questions to answer now despite Adam Kirby taking the ride, though there is no question that he’s capable of much better. Has never been the most consistent and it would be no surprise to see him bounce straight back, so has to be respected as such.

4 JUSTICE GOOD – Has been performing well this season, finishing third on seasonal reappearance at Nottingham in November (5f, Good) and gained his fourth win at Kempton a few weeks later, staying on well and never looking for the catching when striking the front (6f, Std to Slw). Holds Amazour on that form and also holds Gracious John on the form of his second at Newcastle in January, so is clearly one that needs to be taken very seriously. Five year old who is likely to be capable of much better yet for David Elsworth and looks one of the likely candidates, though this will require a clear career best.

5 LANCELOT DU LAC – Had been in no such form this summer with three poor efforts, albeit in harder races than this. Back into handicaps he was a good winner on seasonal reappearance at Chelsmford (5f, Std), capitalising on a good mark. Back in listed company he’ll need to raise his game again but he’s a very smart performer on his day and is a previous C&D winner which warrants him attention. Second in the Sprint Championship Final here in March and likely to go well for Dean Ivory and Robert Winston, though it has to be a concern that Winston has drawn a blank from his last 22 rides.

6 MYTHMAKER – Inconsistent five year old for Bryan Smart who produced two solid efforts this winter, finishing second here over C&D in November in a listed race and wasn’t disgraced to finish second again at Wolverhampton behind Spring Loaded on Boxing Day (5f, Std). Not so good however in January when behind both Justice Good and Gracious John at Newcastle, which does put him on the back foot and he has something to prove. Others have more convincing claims, especially when you look at his record of 1-9 on the All Weather and hard to give him any more than place claims in this.

7 PRETEND – High class six year old for Charlie Appleby and Godolphin who returned this season with a comfortable victory at Kempton in January (6f, Std), and looks to still have scope for progress for the rest of this season. He was a winner over C&D in April 2015 when winning the Sprint Championship Final, only needing to be pushed out under hands and heels to win that day. His latest run shows he still has scope for further progress and will find this race easier than the tougher races he competed in for the majority of the summer last year. Likely to run a big race for the inform Charlie Appleby team (5-11 in the past two weeks) with William Buick taking the ride and shouldn’t be for the catching today.

8 RIVELLINO – Has some smart form in the book from years past including winning this race for the past two years, but hasn’t been so good since returning this season, finishing a poor tenth behind Mythmaker and Gracious John over C&D in November (6f, Std). Hard to make a case for him when others are in such good form and his last good effort came a good while back now at Goodwood in July in the Stewards Cup. Likely to find this tough again and others have far more convincing claims.

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