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Coventry Stakes preview

Top class two-year-old racing sends my heart racing. Tricky formlines to compare, huge hype from certain stables and exciting colts still learning their trade. This might be my only chance to preview a race during Royal Ascot, so let's get to it!

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The Coventry Stakes (Group II)

Bahamian Heights - one of the best traits the master Sir Henry Cecil had was the ability to give average racehorses confidence by letting them win gallops and placing them in the right races. There are plenty of 2yo races this week, surely there was a more suitable target in there somewhere?? 250 on Betfair for a reason!

Championship - oozes class. Hannon and Hughes - tick. Exceed and Excel progeny down the straight - tick. Hughes stepping off three-time winning stablemate to ride this one - tick. Impressive on debut after striking plenty of trouble - tick. Drawn better than the favourite - tick.

Dubawi Fun - Ismail Mohammed looks like a decent trainer to follow but horses don't go from a Fibresand win on debut to winning the best 2yo race of the (early) season. Poorly placed, might have been a chance at decent odds in one of the juvenile races.

Jallota - has improved with experience, was only beaten a bit over a length on debut against Championship but looks likely to make his mark over more ground.

Lanark - the market tends to be a very good guide to Mark Johnston horses. Decent win at Goodwood last start leading throughout but two runs so far haven't shown much to suggest he can win a Group II just yet.

Mawfoor - ran good time and showed some spirit when headed to win at Haydock last week. The runner-up, Safety Check from the Saeed Bin Suroor stable looks quite handy but has no future entries to go on for how highly the stable rates him. Brian Meehan can have a decent juvenile occasionally, this one should not get under your guard.

Parbold - nice win on debut at York in a formline which is hard to match up against the 'southerners'. Looked like he still had plenty to learn in that win and trainer is talking him up. Drawn stands side, looks like he'd be a few lengths better if he can be smothered up until late. Decent chance becomes solid chance if stands rail is favoured by that time of day.

Riverboat Springs - impressive winner at Bath on debut then hated the goat track known as Epsom before rattling home to claim second behind Thunder Strike in the Woodcote, breaking 23s for the last 2f by my hand-timing, the same time as Dash winner Duke of Firenze, who rattled home. This course should be right up his alley and a huge tick to have William Buick on board.

Rogue Wave - owners looking for an excuse for free tickets I assume, enjoy your day out.

Rosso Corsa - the third Mick Channon runner, doubt it has much hope but has Kiwi super jockey James McDonald aboard. This kid can really ride, hope he gets a chance to pilot something with a remote chance this week so he can strut his stuff.

Sir John Hawkins - the talking horse of the week, heavily supported in last 24 hours and has Ryan Moore aboard rather than O'Brien jnr. Impeccably bred colt, honestly think this is the better one from Ballydoyle. Drawn 10, probably gets the chance to go either side from there.

Stubbs - drawn the inside rail which could be perfectly fine, but is more likely to be a negative than a positive. Two easy wins in Ireland but the last was in a field of four in a listed race at Naas, just how tested was he? (Note if he wins this, get on Sacha Park in the last!). Favourite but can't have him at the odds.

Thrtypointstothree - 1000 on Betfair and that's probably unders. Assume he's in this race because he wouldn't make the cut for the Windsor Castle!

Thunder Strike - three from three and an impressive winner at Epsom on Derby Day. Handled the track better than most that day but also had edge in class and experience. Hannon second string on jockey bookings but going for four on the bounce and being served up at a much better price. Don't let me talk you out of him.

Wahaab - won easily at Goodwood on debut (in slower time than Lanark who raced on a poorer surface the week before), looked a bit green but kept on well. He'd need to be special even to beat his stablemates in this.

War Command - third of the Ballydoyle triumvirate, won over 7f on debut at Leopardstown in a very slow time on dry track, taking ages to get to the front. Don't see him being competitive here.

SELECTIONS:

Hard to split some of these so I'll be having a crack at the exotics as well.

1. Riverboat Springs
2. Championship
3. Parbold
4. Sir John Hawkins
5. Mawfoor

Trifecta ticket to look something like:
2,8 x 2,6,7,8,11 x 2,4,5,6,7,8,11,12,14,15 (probably not as wide, depends if any bias appears)

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