Monday 27 January 2020

Be Postive to cash in on Cox’s Marvellous duo

Lavender’s Blue drops back to Group Three level
Lavender’s Blue drops back to Group Three level

Clive Cox looks set for a fruitful day, with Positive taken to headline a big-race double in the Betway Solario Stakes at Sandown.

The Dutch Art colt made quite a splash when winning by five lengths on his debut at Salisbury in June, hardly hitting top gear as he ran out a ready victor.

That verdict gave Cox the confidence to make the leap to Group Two level at Goodwood - and if the exceptional Pinatubo had not been in the Vintage Stakes, Positive would have been a clear-cut winner again.

Pinatubo was five lengths clear of him, but Positive was in turn five lengths clear of the rest of the field, including the re-opposing Visinari.

This Group Three heat does not appear to have a rival of Pinatubo's calibre at first glance, so it can pay to side with the best Pattern form and 'be Positive'.

Lavender's Blue can resume her upward trajectory as she drops back to Group Three level in the Betway Atalanta Stakes.

Amanda Perrett's filly made an impressive racecourse debut at Newmarket in April, winning a maiden event by more than two lengths with plenty in hand, prompting connections to have a go at a Classic trial.

Lavender's Blue was dispatched to Newbury and turned in an excellent effort to be beaten just a neck by Queen Power.

That form has been well franked since, with third-placed Star Catcher going on to win at Royal Ascot before securing Irish Oaks glory, while the fourth, Star Terms, was just touched off in a French Group Three over the weekend.

Lavender's Blue took a more ambitious route than the latter, pitched against the very best in the Oaks at Epsom where, after setting the pace, she faded out of it and came home last of the 14 runners.

There were decent excuses for her effort, and she could have more still to give as she reverts to her winning trip of a mile.

Cox can also strike with Tis Marvellous in the Listed William Hill Beverley Bullet Sprint Stakes.

A Group Two winner as a juvenile, Tis Marvellous failed to add to his victory tally in 2017 and mustered one success last term in eight starts.

It looked as though he might be set for another so-so campaign at the start of the current season, but his Wokingham second at Royal Ascot showed there is plenty of life in him yet, and he was thoroughly impressive when winning back at the Berkshire venue last month.

The second, Open Wide, has since filled the same position in the Stewards' Cup and it is no surprise to see Tis Marvellous has rocketed back up to a perch of 111.

That mark puts him well on top in the feature event of the season on the Westwood.

The William Hill Silver Cup Handicap is another nice prize on the Beverley card, and Desert Icon can make his journey from Newmarket pay.

Beaten by the well-related Waldstern at Newmarket last time, his competition may not be quite so hot here.

Ex-Argentinian runner Stivers is a fascinating Chester runner for Dermot Weld (inset) in the Listed Sportpesa Chester Stakes, but preference is for Outbox.

The pair share the same rating of 105, but given Outbox has been holding his own in some competitive handicap events this year, it will be disappointing if he cannot make the leap here.

The Betfred Chelmsford City Cup provides the biggest prize of the day, and Habub can take full advantage on the all-weather.

He was a clear-cut winner over this seven furlongs last time, despite having to shoulder top weight, and makes plenty of appeal as a largely unexposed runner.

Saqqara King is the choice in the Betfred Conditions Stakes, after twice being placed at Listed level in France.

Scentasia can make it two wins on the bounce in Lingfield's British EBF Premier Fillies' Handicap, while Great Esteem is an eye-catching Godolphin newcomer in the Jess Glynne Maiden Stakes at Wolverhampton.

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