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Coventry Stakes: Three make appeal, different profiles
by Franco Raimondi ( / Globeform ()
Published: 2009-06-14 17:13:40

Royal Ascot Tuesday: Canford Cliffs is a short priced favourite for the Coventry Stakes (G2), it is easy to see why. This colt fits the bill.

He also meets quite a few rivals that have hinted at talent above the average, however, and two in particular make lots of appeal. They have different profile, and also vastly different prices.

Canford Cliffs is the favourite for the Coventry, based on a most impressive debut win, and – his lack of experience apart – it is hard to find reasons to go against the Richard Hannon trained colt. He outclassed Rakaan to win by 7 lengths over 6 furlongs at Newbury last month, coming home much the best after showing good tactical speed and a resolute attitude through the final furlong. Rakaan went on to run a close second to another Coventry contender, Fremont (also trained by Hannon), on his next start. Barzan, third at Newbury, won his next race – though was subsequently found out in the competitive Woodcote Stakes (LR) at Epsom (a difficult track for juveniles). Canford Cliffs produced a strong debut and the form seems to be working out well. He is a worthy favourite, though taking 7-4 may not make too much sense as the strong market at Ascot should make it ease to get 2-1 or 9-4 on the day.

Moran Gra is taking some step up in class, after winning on his second outing at home in Ireland, but he is not the only one to move up in grade here (they all are…) and he was one of the visually most impressive juvenile maiden winners seen at the principal tracks in Ireland this year when slamming Aidan O’Brien’s odds-on favourite Mark Twain by 3 lengths over 6 furlongs at Leopardstown on June 4. Mark Twain kicked into the lead two furlongs out, looking like a winner, but Moran Gra (who had been slowly away) came flying from the back and took over approaching the final furlong. From there on and in it was a one-horse race, as he landed the spoils in a very smooth manner. Only five ran and it may not have been among the best maiden fields but Moran Gra could not have been more impressive. Proven over 6 furlongs, he is an interesting contender. Some bookmakers have him at 33-1 and that looks way too big. Take it now, as it is unlikely to last.

Nu Hubris, from Paul Cole’s team, also looked a bit special when winning at York. Above all, he ran like a seasoned horse, and he is probably more forward in his education than many of these. Taking on what was a good field on paper, he ran out a solid 2 ¼-length winner from Flying Statesman, with Beethoven back in third. Flying Statesman was an odds-on winner at Ayr next time out, while Beethoven went on to be beaten just a head by Love Lockdown (a Listed winner on Sunday) at Naas.

Red Jazz, already a winner over this course and also impressive when winning on his debut at Windsor (where the maiden races are always hot), is the fourth name to throw into the mix if you are playing an extended exacta plan.



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