Big drift in the betting for Tuesday’s selection Alternate Route. So it was no surprise to see having a slow start to his race and as a consequence were never really in it.
2.25 York: Group 3 Acomb Stakes, 7f
Dee Ex Bee was mightily impressive on debut at Goodwood. That looks rock solid form but it was more virtually plus on the clock what impressed me. He made all, going aggressively forward right from the start and found a lot when asked serious questions.
Granted the soft ground probably helped in terms of how far the rest of the field trailed him in the end and there will be different ground conditions here – however any rain will help, and with significant amounts of showers on their way he should be fine on ground that is likely not lightning fast.
He clocked a superb 89 TS on debut. With natural improvement and a top draw, this son of Farhh, who has had an excellent start with his first crop, should be very hard to beat.
10pts win – Dee Ex Bee @ 9/4 bet365
3.35 York: Group 1 Juddmonte International Stakes, 1m 2f
Cracking renewal and five of the seven starters have strong credentials to land the big pot. Eclipse winner and King George runner-up Ulysses sets the standard in my mind. Drop in trip will suit after being outstayed at Ascot by star filly Enable.
He travelles strongly through his races and no more so at Sandown when wearing Barney Roy down. Slight concern is the rain coming. He obviously has fine form with cut in the ground in the book, however to my eye is clearly at his best when the ground is fast.
Whether Barney Roy truly wants 10 furlongs remains to be seen. Any rain will hinder his chances I believe and while he is certainly a top class colt I don’t think he should be the favourite.
2000 Guineas winner Churchill returns after being taken out at Goodwood and a lackluster performance at Royal Ascot. He is by Galileo so the step up to 10f may not be as big an issue as some commentators make it out to be. He also has form on slow ground in case the rain would have a big impact.
However how much more can he improve for the new trip? He’s already had 9 career starts and his target was clearly the Guineas.
Aiden O’Brien’s “second” string, Derby runner-up Cliffs Of Moher appears to be a more interesting contender. He probably was a bit unlucky in the Eclipse when he finished fourth, as he was badly hampered in the middle of the race and lost all momentum.
He’s still only had five runs and can still improve. 10f on any sort of ground will suit and interestingly he is the only one who already matched a 112 top speed rating that otherwise only Ulysses has been able to achieve.
The filly Shutter Speed beat Enable earlier the year and that sort of performance gives her a chance. Nonetheless she has a bit to find with the boys I feel. It’s a tough task for her, though interesting to see a tongue tie applied for the first time.
You can’t fully discount Tattersalls Gold Cup winner Decorative Knight. He was well held in the Eclipse Stakes after clipping heels midterm. Could run well for a big price.
10pts win – Cliffs Of Moher @ 11/2 Paddy Power