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Saturday 22 February 2014

Cleves Stakes not barren for Barron !

The Listed Cleves Stakes kicks off the day at Lingfield at 1.45 for sprint fans and it looks a cracker !

David Barron has won the race twice in the last 5 years from just 3 runners and today he has the fav in Tarooq and also Hitchens who finished 5th the last time he contested the race in 2011.

The 8yo Tarooq is a worthy fav based on his win in December when 0.67 secs was smashed off the course record. Normally you see a couple of a hundredths of a second taken off a sprint course record but this was over half a second and in my view was one of the best if not the best races we have seen on the All Weather.

Not sure we will get the same pace today as those who forced it there are not in contention this time and I would imagine Ballista will take them along.

Tarooq though won by one and a half lengths LTO and that was only his second run with the stable and his jockey said afterwards that they hadn't done much with him. That race was probably a fact finding mission and I would imagine he will be tuned to the minute today and hopefully Graham Gibbons can get the gaps where it matters and similar to his peach of a ride LTO.

As we know you do need a slice of luck as well as ability to win a lot of these sprints on the All Weather as apart from the 5f at Southwell all AW tracks have a bend and Lingfield's bend into the straight is particularly sharp and usually leads to bumping and interference as jockeys try to make their move.

There are of course others in the race - this is no walk in the park by any means and last years winner Ladies Are Forever is in opposition - however it looks as though she may be warming up for her next run although she often runs well FTO. Rivellino is an improver but his times at the track have come no where near what Tarooq recorded and he will need to improve again. Hoof It is 8lb better off at the weights with the selection Tarooq so looks as though he will also be in the front 3 come the winning post and Jamie Spencer is up and another 8yo Hawkeyethenoo could make up the tricast if Graham Lee can avoid trouble better than LTO over 7f.

Good Luck !