Royal Hunt Cup next!

After another great run from one of our horses highlighted here (Sunday Sovereign 2nd @ 20/1), hopefully we can continue this good run! This week I think I’ve found one that I really like for the Royal Hunt Cup as well as a horse who I think will run much better next time out when I think he will be fitter!

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Apparate (Roger Varian) dropped 1lb to 94

Apparate was sent off 11/4 2nd favourite at the weekend on his return at Newmarket but could only finish 5th of 6, however was only beaten 3 lengths. It’s interesting to note that he was the only horse running who had NOT had a recent run, his form has all been on better ground and his form on his first run of the season is never great. 2nd on debut, beaten at 4/7 on his 2nd run 6 months later before then winning just under a month later. In 2020, he was 10th, 7th and then won on his 3rd run of the season. I think he needs the right conditions and to be fit and hopefully he’ll be fitter and the ground will be better for him next time. With all these factors, I think dropping him 1lb for a run where he travelled well for a long way looks like a slice of luck for connections and expect to see a much better showing next time. Having finished a head 2nd to Dubai Tradition at Newmarket (July) back in July 2019, I expect to see Apparate back there in June for one of the 2 1m6f races.

Apparate NagMe

Cleonte (Andrew Balding) dropped 1lb to 89

Cleonte dropped 1lb for his collateral form behind Green Book in the Chester Plate. Cleonte in this race was never able to get involved as was hampered time and time again and Silvestre De Sousa didn’t give him a hard time. He similarly didn’t get a clear run the time before at Newbury when 4th in a good race. After these 2 runs he is now down to a mark of 89 and if we look at his previous efforts on the turf he was running off 108. 105 and 102 in Group races or the feature handicaps. Cleonte has previously won the Queen Alexandra Stakes at Royal Ascot as well as winning at the Shergar Cup in 2018 off 92. The Ascot Stakes , the handicap of 89 would look very tempting despite having raced and disappointed in it twice before off 98 and 93. If he’s going to go close then sure it is this year off 89.

Cleonte NagMe

Escobar (David O’Meara) dropped 1lb to 106

Escobar was dropped 1lb to 106 after disappointing at York where his form now reads 675100 suggesting this isn’t really the course form him and he should be judged on his efforts at courses where he does run well, notably Ascot and notably in handicaps. I thought his run in the Victoria Cup was a great effort and he was put up 4lb for that effort when 3rd. He’s dropped 1 of these now and I hope that it’s enough to see him go close off 106 when stepped up to 1m at Ascot for the Royal Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot. His form at Ascot reads, 30013420000. Most of these have been over 7f though with his 2 efforts in the Balmoral Handicap being his only 2 efforts in handicaps over 1m. He’s won off 105 and finished 2nd off 102 and surely the Royal Hunt Cup is the target now off 106. They tried Group 1 races in 2020 and he was well beaten in both so I expect handicaps will be the target this year.

Escobar NagMe

Indianapolis (Ian Williams) dropped 2lb to 89

Indianapolis has already been highlighted in one of these and goes in again as he’s very well handicapped now. He returned to Newmarket at the weekend and ran moderately for 6th of 7 but only beaten 4 ¾ lengths. Interestingly his form at Newmarket now reads 606 and suggests that Newmarket just isn’t for him. I strongly believe when he next runs at York or Goodwood he will go very close.

Indianapolis NagMe

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