Coventry Stakes Guide 2021

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Ascot - June 14 2021
Ascot 14:05
17(3)
John R Velazquez

Kaufymaker

J:
 
John R Velazquez
T:
 
Wesley A Ward
Age: 2
Weight: 8-12
OR: N/A

Kaufymaker:This filly makes the trip across the pond for Wesley Ward and John Velazquez to back up the blistering speed she showed on debut.

Only seen once on a racecourse, she took to the dirt in Keeneland and was a runaway winner against a small field.

Only over 4.5 furlongs, the emphasis really is on speed and she showed she had the gears to win by over 6 lengths.
It’s all we have to judge her on. She tracked the pace setter and kicked for home when straightening up.

The form has taken no boosting from the 5 she beat so we’re taking it on blind faith that she is as good as she looks.
Welsey Ward makes exceptional sprinters but she’s never raced on turf, has 1.5 furlongs of unexplored territory and a trip from home to contend with.

Vulnerable at the top of the market.

Ascot - June 14 2021
Ascot 14:05
12(4)
Ryan Moore

The Acropolis

J:
 
Ryan Moore
T:
 
A P O'Brien
Age: 2
Weight: 9-1
OR: N/A

Another raider but this time for the Irish, The Acropolis is the sole runner for Aidan O’Brien and so naturally has Ryan Moore on his back.

A fancied favourite on his debut, deep ground might not have been to his liking and he only managed 4th at the Curragh in maiden company.

However on his next appearance on firmer ground he put experience to good use and shed his maiden tag at the second time of asking.

Maybe lucky in the respect that the 2nd place ducked left when leaving the stalls, The Acropolis did travel powerfully and put the race to bed a furlong from home.

The form is also yet to be tested as he only ran last week. He’s got to back up quickly from an easy win and transition into group company. He’ll have learnt plenty from his win but will need to take a big step forward to play a feature role.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
27/08/21CUR6Gd9-57
21/08/21CUR7Sft9-53
27/07/21GOO7Sft9-14
26/06/21CUR6Gd9-58
15/06/21ASC6GF9-19
Ascot - June 14 2021
Ascot 14:05
10(10)
Gavin Ryan

Masseto

J:
 
Gavin Ryan
T:
 
Donnacha Aidan O'Brien
Age: 2
Weight: 9-1
OR: N/A

Donnache O’Brien and Gavin Ryan team up with Masseto. A gritty maiden winner at Navan, he and Celtic Times for Jim Bolger pulled clear of the remainder. Donnacha’s charge just got the better of his rival in the last half a furlong.

Celtic Times has confirmed the form since, moved up to 7 furlongs he shed his maiden tag and ran creditably to be 4th in a group 3 subsequently. Masseto finishing 2nd.

Masseto didn’t have the clearest of passages in that last race and had to switch multiple times to have a run.

He burst through the pack when he saw daylight but the winner Castle Star had already slipped the field and won by a comfortable 2 lengths.

Masseto did finish off well and with a clearer run might have gotten closer to the powerful travelling Castle Star.
Firmer ground should suit better and a stiff 6 furlongs should be right up his alley. Should be right in the mix.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
15/06/21ASC6GF9-14
22/05/21CUR6Sft/Hy9-52
25/04/21NAV6Gd9-71
Ascot - June 14 2021
Ascot 14:05
8(7)
Pat Dobbs

Gisburn

J:
 
Pat Dobbs
T:
 
Richard Hannon
Age: 2
Weight: 9-1
OR: N/A

Debuting at Newbury in mid April for Richard Hannon, Gisburn broke well and showed some nice speed before being headed and showing his inexperience. Slightly checked for room he began to hang badly to his right.

He knuckled down to run on but only managed 4th.

The talent clearly there, connections moved him up in trip to 6 furlongs again at Newbury. His bright gate speed there again, he bounced out the stalls and didn’t see another rival. Making every yard and powering clear of 2nd by an impressive 6.5 lengths.

The 2nd has run well in defeat since, but Gisburn did leave a strong lasting impression. Smart speed to get clear of the field and enough in the tank to kick away again makes him an appealing proposition for the undulations of Ascot.

A clear pace angle in the field, Pat Dobbs will likely look to keep things simple on him again. Bounce out the stalls and try to bully the rest into submission from the front.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
23/10/21NBY6Sft9-71
09/10/21YOR6GS9-10
15/06/21ASC6GF9-10
14/05/21NBY6GS9-51
16/04/21NBY5Gd9-54
Ascot - June 14 2021
Ascot 14:05
15(5)
Frankie Dettori

Tolstoy

J:
 
Frankie Dettori
T:
 
John & Thady Gosden
Age: 2
Weight: 9-1
OR: N/A

A very well bred colt for John and Thady Gosden, by Kingman out of a Frankel mare, Tolstoy showed his ability when winning on debut at Yarmouth.

Despite being free going, he had plenty left in him to go through the gears and lead at the finish.

The 2nd and 3rd have both run well in defeat since and it was a decent performance for a horse who seemingly did enough wrong in the early stages.

Again not much to go on as he’s only been seen once but he did it well enough and will have learnt plenty from the experience. Dettori takes over in the saddle.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
30/09/21SAL6Sft9-44
08/07/21NMK6GF9-07
15/06/21ASC6GF9-10
19/05/21YAR6GS9-51
Ascot - June 14 2021
Ascot 14:05
6(1)
James Doyle

Ebro River

J:
 
James Doyle
T:
 
Hugo Palmer
Age: 2
Weight: 9-1
OR: N/A

One of the more experienced runners in the field, Ebro River debuted at Newmarket over 5 furlongs. More went wrong than right as the 2 year old got upset waiting in the stalls, ran very green and was short of room late in the race. He eventually had to settle for 6th.

Experience in the bag, he missed the break on his last run but came flying from the back of the field to shed his maiden tag in some style.

Connections clearly pleased with his progress he moved up into listed company late last month and cut through the soft ground at Sandown to land the National Stakes easily.

Only tested over 5 furlongs so far, he’s looked better the further he’s gone. A stiff 5 furlongs at Sandown on soft ground made him look lethal and he should have no issues with 6 furlongs at Ascot.

Breeding suggests the extra trip will hold no fears, he looks talented and has already won at a higher level than most of his rivals. Certainly overpriced on what he’s achieved.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
12/09/21CUR7Gd9-53
08/08/21CUR6Y9-51
29/07/21GOO6GS9-04
08/07/21NMK6GF9-04
15/06/21ASC6GF9-15
Ascot - June 14 2021
Ascot 14:05
5(11)
Robert Havlin

Dhabab

J:
 
Robert Havlin
T:
 
John & Thady Gosden
Age: 2
Weight: 9-1
OR: N/A

Another runner for the Gosden duo, Dhabab is another who’s only been seen once on a racecourse but clearly left a lasting impression to be declared by connections.

Making his debut only 2 weeks ago, the No Nay Never colt was a warm order at the top of the market and duly obliged favourite backers at Leicester.

Kept back in midfield for the early stages of the race he then made smooth headway to lead a furlong out and hit the line strongly to drop his maiden status.

A professional enough performance for a first outing, due to the time frame the form has yet to be tested but the run was pleasing enough on the clock.

Well bred and clearly knowing the job on debut, he’ll take another step forward, but it might be important to note he’s not the stable first string.

Ascot - June 14 2021
Ascot 14:05
14(6)
David Egan

The Organiser

J:
 
David Egan
T:
 
Joseph Tuite
Age: 2
Weight: 9-1
OR: N/A

Hitting the racecourse for the first time last month, The Organiser made enough of a splash on his debut to be picked up by Highclere Racing.

Giving experience to rivals, The Organiser is another who looked to know his job immediately and could be eased down at the finish having demolished opposition.

Six furlongs at York on soft ground seemingly suited him perfectly as he handily dispatched a previous winner in Robjon. Robjon boosting the form since having finished 2nd in a class 2 conditions race by a narrow margin subsequently.

It’s hard to assess the form and the chances of this 2 year old but he couldn’t have done it much easier on debut and the form appears to be solid enough.

Not without hope to be getting involved if improving from his first run.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
20/08/21SAL6Gd9-52
08/07/21NMK6GF9-06
15/06/21ASC6GF9-10
22/05/21YOR6Sft8-131
Ascot - June 14 2021
Ascot 14:05
2(17)
Oisin Murphy

Berkshire Shadow

J:
 
Oisin Murphy
T:
 
Andrew Balding
Age: 2
Weight: 9-1
OR: N/A

For Andrew Balding and Oisin Murphy is Berkshire Shadow. A son of Dark Angel from an Oasis Dream mare, he too made the perfect start to racing life with a debut win.

Right back in April the 2 year old ran at Newbury over 5 furlongs in the race that had Gisburn back in 4th. Despite somewhat of a tardy start, Berkshire Shadow ran on really smartly to nab Amazonian Dream near the line.

Gisburn is the only subsequent winner to come out of the race but others have since run well enough in defeat.

The form isn’t outstanding but he shaped well enough on his first outing and looked like a move to 6 furlongs would certainly suit.

Champion jockey Oisin Murphy takes the ride and he’s worth a market check in comparison to Gisburn.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
20/08/21YOR6GF9-37
27/07/21GOO7Sft9-42
15/06/21ASC6GF9-11
16/04/21NBY5Gd9-51
Ascot - June 14 2021
Ascot 14:05
1(9)
Hector Crouch

Angel Bleu

J:
 
Hector Crouch
T:
 
Ralph Beckett
Age: 2
Weight: 9-1
OR: N/A

One of the other runners with plenty of experience under him in a short amount of time, Angel Bleu debuted over 5 furlongs at Leicester in early April but only managed 3rd of the 7 runners.

Being slightly hampered put paid to his chances but he made amends immediately by returning to the track at the end of the month to shed his maiden tag in style.

Really tested for quality when last seen at Pontefract, moving up in class and distance proved no issue. Sent off 5/2 favourite and justified in support when bounding clear by nearly 2 lengths. A smart field given a resound beating.

Again it’s one of the smarter performances we have to work with as we have only small pieces of form to go on.

The form of his first win has yielded a winner and on paper his Pontefract win looks smart enough. Could be a surprise package for Ralph Beckett who usually does well with his juveniles.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
03/10/21LON7Hy9-01
27/07/21GOO7Sft9-11
24/07/21ASC7GF9-32
15/06/21ASC6GF9-10
28/05/21PON6Sft9-51
Ascot - June 14 2021
Ascot 14:05
3(13)
Adam Kirby

Caturra

J:
 
Adam Kirby
T:
 
Clive Cox
Age: 2
Weight: 9-1
OR: N/A

A Mehmas 2 year old for Clive Cox, usually precocious in nature, this colt proved no different to his sire when winning on his second start under rules.

Debuting at Newmarket in April, the market made him a hot favourite but he could only muster 4th on the day. The 2nd has won since.

With experience under his belt he ran at Bath last month and used what he learned at Newbury to break his maiden. Some cut in the ground was no problem.

The further he went the better he looked and he definitely hinted that his future could lie over further than the minimum trip.

With his sire being 2nd in this race in 2016, the transition to 6 furlongs should draw out further improvement.
Derby hero Adam Kirby retains the partnership.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
10/09/21DON5GF9-11
21/08/21YOR5Gd9-32
29/07/21GOO6GS9-07
16/07/21NBY6Gd9-01
15/06/21ASC6GF9-17
Ascot - June 14 2021
Ascot 14:05
16(16)
Paul Hanagan

Vintage Clarets

J:
 
Paul Hanagan
T:
 
Richard Fahey
Age: 2
Weight: 9-1
OR: N/A

Again quite experienced, but has had a decent break off the back of three early runs in the season.

Richard Fahey churned out Vintage Clarets in late March for debut and the favourite was too green to land a blow. Eventually settling for 4th.

With a day at the races behind him, he again went off favourite at Beverley and this time obliged favourite backers, winning over 5 furlongs in great style. The 4th, 5th and 6th have all won since.

Moved up in grade to a class 3 novice stakes for his last run, he only faced a small field but gave them all weight and a handy beating again. With the 2nd Love De Vega boosting the form and winning since.

He’s been off the course for a while so might have slipped the minds of the bookies in terms of price. His form has worked out relatively well and he’s clearly talented.

An interesting entrant who’s worth bearing in mind. He has only ran over 5 furlongs but he was seeing out the minimum trip strongly. However sire Ardad only ever won over 5 furlongs.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
17/09/21AYR5GF9-36
20/08/21YOR6GF9-08
17/07/21NBY5GF8-96
15/06/21ASC6GF9-13
26/04/21AYR5GF9-61
Ascot - June 14 2021
Ascot 14:05
9(8)
Jamie Spencer

Golden War

J:
 
Jamie Spencer
T:
 
Charles Hills
Age: 2
Weight: 9-1
OR: N/A

A once raced son of Churchill, Golden War made his first appearance for Charlie Hills last month at Goodwood and did incredibly well to outrun his 14/1 price tag.

Learning on the job, Golden War came from the back of the field to swoop through to 2nd. Odds on favourite Fall Of Rome behind him in 3rd, he couldn’t get to winner Maskela.

Running on well, handling soft ground and the uniqueness of Goodwood makes for a promising debut.

There’s very little to go on form wise but he shaped well enough. 6 furlongs looks the right trip and the switch to a more conventional track should help.

Plenty learnt on debut, he does however look like he’s got a lot on his plate to get competitive here.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
21/09/21BEV7.5Gd9-51
11/08/21BEV7.5Gd9-52
24/07/21NMK7GF9-55
15/06/21ASC6GF9-10
21/05/21GOO6Sft9-52
Ascot - June 14 2021
Ascot 14:05
11(14)
Tom Marquand

Secret Strength

J:
 
Tom Marquand
T:
 
Richard Hannon
Age: 2
Weight: 9-1
OR: N/A

Three runs already this season, Secret Strength at least brings plenty of experience to the table for the Coventry.

A well fancied favourite on debut, he was beaten by subsequent winner Dig Two.

Sent for the higher class maiden at York during the Dante Festival, he ran well enough but edged left under pressure and gave away vital ground. Eventually settling for 4th.

Dropped back down to 5 furlongs for his most recent run, a class 2 conditions race at Musselburgh, Secret Strength broke his maiden and beat odds on favourite Boonie by a neck.

Stamina looked to be the difference between the two, but the winner was in receipt of 2lbs from the 2nd.

His win only came 10 days ago and he looked a much more complete package, but did it over 5 furlongs instead of 6.

Going back up in trip isn’t definitely going to suit and he’s probably best avoided at a big price.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
17/09/21NBY7GS9-46
03/09/21PON6GF9-94
27/07/21GOO7Sft9-16
26/06/21NCS5St9-82
15/06/21ASC6GF9-10
Ascot - June 14 2021
Ascot 14:05
7(2)
Daniel Tudhope

Eldrickjones

J:
 
Daniel Tudhope
T:
 
Roger Fell
Age: 2
Weight: 9-1
OR: N/A

Only seen once, 12 days ago, Eldrickjones was sent off favourite for a maiden at Thirsk. The son of Cotai Glory was backed into favourite but just failed to nab Tareekh on the line.

Plenty to be happy with following his debut, the 2 year old was held up and came off the pace really well. Tareekh dug in for the fight and despite edging left managed to hold on in the duel.

Again it gives us very little to go on. He looks to have a good turn of foot and came from the rear well at Thirsk.

They’ll go plenty hard enough in front here, it’s just whether he has the quality to go with them. His sire was better over 5 furlongs but some stamina on the dam-side means that this stiff 6 should be ok.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
19/10/21NCS6St9-62
06/10/21NOT6Sft9-62
23/09/21PON6GF9-21
10/09/21DON7GF9-07
20/08/21YOR6GF9-05
Ascot - June 14 2021
Ascot 14:05
13(12)
Ben Curtis

The Gatekeeper

J:
 
Ben Curtis
T:
 
Mark Johnston
Age: 2
Weight: 9-1
OR: N/A

Already having 4 runs to his name, The Gatekeeper made the ideal start when winning a small runner affair at Musselburgh back in early April.

A very strong performance saw him easily brush aside the other three runners but he was unable to back them up at Ascot when being beaten by the faster horse Chipotle.

He was upped in trip for his next run but failed to show the same sparkle. He shaped at Ascot like going further would draw out more improvement but on softer ground at Newbury he faded quite tamely into 5th of 6 runners.

Dropped back down to 5 furlongs when last seen at Beverley he finished in 4th and was 3 lengths behind Robjon. Soft ground definitely wasn’t too his liking and he quickly weakened out of the race inside the last furlong.

He’s a hard horse to peg down. He ran well on debut, shaped like 6 furlongs would be perfect for him at Ascot but has failed to build on early promise. A big price tag attached and he’s probably best watched.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
15/06/21ASC6GF9-10
29/05/21BEV5Sft9-44
15/05/21NBY6GS9-55
28/04/21ASC5GF9-52
03/04/21MUS5Gd9-51
Ascot - June 14 2021
Ascot 14:05
4(15)
Marco Ghiani

Dashing Rat

J:
 
Marco Ghiani
T:
 
William Stone
Age: 2
Weight: 9-1
OR: N/A

Four runs behind him, Dashing Rat has shown very little to warrant an attempt at Group 2 level.

8th of 9 on debut and 3rd of 5 on his second outing suggested that 5 furlongs was far too sharp for him to get competitive.

Being moved up in trip to 6 furlongs brought about some improvement he finished a very close up 2nd at Newmarket, interesting to note that the 3rd has won since.

Again more recently tried at 6 furlongs, he was sent off favourite but only managed another 2nd place. He may consider himself unlucky and bumping into one as winner Oscula’s filly allowance made her hard to catch.

She subsequently boosted the form by winning the Woodcote Stakes at Epsom during the Derby Festival.

At a glance his form looks poor and he still remains a maiden but digging deeper, he has more substance to his form than a treble figure price tag would suggest.

Unlikely to break his maiden here, he is however more capable than prices suggest. Maybe worth looking for in a handicap later in the season.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
28/06/21PON6Gd8-125
15/06/21ASC6GF9-10
24/05/21BRI6Gd9-22
13/05/21NMK6Gd8-102
20/04/21YAR5GF9-53
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