Spring Cup Stakes Tips & Betting Preview

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James Boyle
Published: March 3, 2017
Having developed an interest in racing whilst in college some years ago, James has worked in many areas of the industry, including a stint hiding his face on radio! From 2008 until 2017, he ran a successful tipping service and has had shares in numerous horses including the wonderful Fast Shot. Unsurprisingly given some of the horses he has bought shares in, his punting passions lie in sprint handicaps on both the turf and All-Weather surfaces!

An interesting 7f Listed race for 3-year-old’s only and it has attracted a solid field of 9, some of whom could be mixing it at Group level soon enough. Read on for our tips, runner by runner guide and betting preview.

IN SUMMARY: Dr Julius No can do better than he did at Newcastle last time out if held onto for longer back around a turning track but preference is for the William Haggas horse, SECOND THOUGHT. He is already the highest rated performer in the race with a mark of 104 and with the step up in trip likely to bring out even further improvement, it’s hard to look past him. Sutter County, who has finished second to the selection at Kempton before, is worthy of respect and can fill the frame, but wouldn’t be as sure to get this new 7f trip.

1 DR JULIUS NO – Represents Ralph Beckett, who has a brilliant 23% Strike Rate around Lingfield with 35 winners from 152 runners, and this son of Dick Turpin has made a good start to life in winning 2 of his first 4 career starts. There was a lot to like about his penultimate start at Wolverhampton (7f, Std) when he got the better of Letmestopyouthere by a half-length on his Nursery debut and he may have hit the front too soon at Newcastle (7f, Std) when defeated by the same horse a couple of weeks later. Although yet to run here, this track should suit his style better and he’s worthy of consideration once again.

2 GREY BRITAIN – 1-8 in his career so far, that win coming third time up on the turf course here (6f, Good to Firm) but was set very difficult tasks after the maiden success by running in a trio of Group 2’s in August and September. Wasn’t disgraced in any of those and deemed good enough by trainer John Ryan to go out to Meydan, where he acquitted himself better than the form might suggest. The second of his runs was just 9 days ago, however, and whether he will have recovered from his travelling is a question mark, whilst he will need to have acclimatized quickly also. The percentage call is to oppose despite form claims being there.

3 HIGH ACCLAIM – Arrives on the back of a last time out win but that was 152 days ago on the turf when scoring at Pontefract (6f, Good to Soft), after which trainer Roger Teal said he “hasn´t done much wrong all season. He was below his best at Goodwood, but he had sore shins so I gave him a break and he perhaps needed the run at Chelmsford last week. I think he was getting lonely in front there.” Has got experience of the All-Weather having won his maiden here (6f, Std) in June and looks the type to improve as a 3-year-old, but this is a tough ask given that he’s only rated 86 and he has a lot to find on just his second start at 7f.

4 MARQUEE CLUB – The most exposed runner in the field by some distance having already had 17 career starts and it’s a credit to his constitution that Jamie Osborne seems to be able to run the horse every week. He arrives here on the back of a mediocre effort when last of 4 behind the reopposing Sutter County but it was over 5f at Newcastle and this test is entirely different. Coming to a course with a bend will be helpful to the horse but whether he will have the class required to live with some of these is questionable and it’s his first run at 7f. On breeding, it should not be a problem but speed seems to be his strong suit at present.

5 SECOND THOUGHT – Lightly-raced Kodiac colt who is 2-3 so far and already the highest rated runner in the field with a mark of 104. Achieved that at Kempton (6f, Std) when last seen six weeks ago and there was quite a lot to like about the way he finished off there to defeat Sutter County by a neck despite the runner-up getting first run. After that performance, jockey Rob Winston said “he took time to shrug off the Johnston horse, but I didn´t have to get too serious with him and his owner, who I ride for, has a really nice horse on his hands“. The visual impression would suggest that stepping up to 7f will suit and from a perfect draw in stall 3, the William Haggas runner looks to be one of the main contenders for win purposes.

6 SUTTER COUNTY – Tough, powerful colt who brings lots of good form to the table and finally added to his opening pair of Juvenile wins when scoring at Newcastle (5f, Std) a couple of weeks ago. Didn’t have to run to his mark of 103 in achieving that but got the job done as the market expected and has struck lucky with stall 1 in today’s race, an ideal post for a front-runner to emerge from. Closely matched with the Haggas horse, Second Thought, and entitled to a lot of respect on that form, but steps up to 7f for the first time and it wouldn’t be as certain to suit him despite his breeding suggesting it shouldn’t be a problem. The percentage call is to oppose this time around, although a good run is expected if he has the stamina reserves required.

7 VOLATILE – Related to no shortage of winners and made it second time lucky at Chelmsford (7f, Std) back in November when landing his maiden. That form looks quite mediocre but the fourth horse has at least won since and James Tate’s charge did win very easily, so could well be capable of taking another step forward. The issue is how fit the horse will be after 114 days off the track and it does add an unwanted unknown into the picture. This is also a tough event in which to step out of maiden company for the first time and it would be expected that the experience won’t be lost on him. It’s a watching brief this time around.

8 ANNIE FIOR – The first of two fillies running and increased her paddock value when winning a maiden second time up at Chelmsford (7f, Std) in November. The runner-up has won since to give the form a more solid look but the handicapper has given her a mark of 80 and despite receiving 5lbs from all of the colts & geldings here, the task at hand looks too difficult, especially from the widest stall of all in 9. Opposed.

9 TISBUTADREAM – Improving Dream Ahead filly who comes here on the back of a trio of wins in January & February, including a couple of them at this track. Switching to forcing tactics has brought out the best in her but those successes also coincided with being stepped up to a mile and coming back to 7f will place an extra emphasis on her early pace, leaving her vulnerable in the closing stages against a number of talented rivals. She has talent but is going to find this much tougher and has a stone to find with Second Thought.

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