4:25 Ascot Coventry Stakes (Group 2) Free Horse Racing Tips

''No Canford Cliffs'' [Richard Hughes] 
The first two-year-old race of Royal Ascot 2012. The Coventry Stakes (Group 2) over 6f on good to soft ground. A twenty-three strong field of colts, with seventeen winners in a competitive race.

The Irish contingent is strong with Dawn Approach looking to remain unbeaten. This son of New Approach has been favourite on all three starts and progressively stepping up in class. Winning at Listed class over 6f at Naas, ahead of a few English raiders, proves him to be a tough, durable juvenile who sets the standard. 

Christoforo Colombo hails from the O'Brien stable, a respected contender after an easy one-win victory. The stable also send narrow debutante winner Lines Of Battle

Being no expert on Irish two-year-old racing I would simply assess these juveniles with regard to betting. 

With such a large field I will focus on the major hopes.

Artigiano has the potential to be a class two-year-old. So often Godolphin come here with hopes which flounder. However, this chestnut son of Distorted Humor is an impressive colt with plenty of size and scope to prove that his effortless victory at Leicester was a natural stepping stone to this higher level. Mahmood Al Zarooni has Frankie Dettori booked to ride, which will be a crowd-pleaser and one for the short list. This juvenile's strength comes from the way he settles mid race, then finishes with purpose. Ascot is a burial ground for horses which go a stride too fast; often lesser lights dragging a few fancied hopes down with them as the cavalry charge slows to a stop. Artigiano needs to hold his position, but his strength could be his finishing burst. An interesting horse.

Charlie Hills is represented by a couple of debutante winners Funk Soul Brother and Englishman. I know the stable have been quite bullish about the chances of the former. It is always encouraging when one of Hills win on their racecourse bow and I would expect an improve performance from both. Good luck to ex-trainer Peter Winkworth who owns Englishman a person I have always respected.

A name which needs little introduction regarding the Coventry is Richard Hannon. Hughes commented that they don't have a Canford Cliffs on the scene but their quartet are worthy of respect. The Taj needs to improve a good deal on his win which looked no more than an average race. Similarly, Olympic Glory looked to have some class at Goodwood, but that was a poor race compared to the standard on display here. Major improvement is needed to figure. I was impressed with Master Of War at Haydock. A big, strong colt who clearly progressed with great enthusiasm from his first start. The ace in their pack could be Sir Prancealot. He won well at Bath although I had some reservation about the level of that form. However, it proves how difficult it can be to assess a winning horse when he took the National Stakes Listed race at Sandown in style. The second, Top Boy, is no world beater, and to some extent that race may have fallen apart. An easy winner but a horse I wouldn't want to back at relatively short odds.

David Brown's New Pearl is on a recovery mission after being hyped as some kind of super horse after winning at Newmarket. The bubble burst at Pontefract when he was struggling mid race then passed in the home straight. He may well be capable of better but I would take a watching brief.

Indian Jade stole New Pearl's crown that day and after making it two wins from two races deserves his chance. Kevin Ryan knows a decent juvenile from his vast string and unbeaten horse always have the potential to be something beyond the norm. However, on the balance of his form I suspect improvement is needed.  

Heavy Metal is a determined colt who has certainly made up for his disappointment in the Brocklesby Stakes. He was unlucky not to win the Woodcote Listed Stakes at Epsom but this looks a stiffer task.

Conclusion: With such a large field of runners it is difficult to write a post which does this fine race justice. However, this conclusion is the most noteworthy part. I am no expert on Irish juvenile racing and I'm not going to pretend to be. The betting is the best guide to their chances. Of the English runners I would be tempted to have an small each way bet on Artigiano. He is a lovely-looking colt, big, strong and has a style of running which could be most suiting for Royal Ascot as many horses go a stride too fast. It is very important to finish races and he will do just that. A fair chance in a stiff contest with umpteen wining juveniles in opposition. More of a watching race for me - sometimes that's the answer.

I would like to thank the Racing Post for their kind sponsorship for Royal Ascot 2012. Please make use of their excellent micro site which can be found at the top of the page.

No comments: