Past Winners » Clever Cookie


I am really disappointed in Clever Cookie’s price but, after kicking it around a lot in my head, I am still backing him at 9/2.

He has plenty to find on ratings with the top-rated horses, his official rating is 12lb lower than those of Cap O’Rushes, First Mohican and Rawaki, but there are two main reasons for believing that he can find that level of improvement today.

Firstly, he was rated 148 over hurdles at his peak, and he is currently rated 144 in that sphere. It is impossible to draw parallels between Flat and National Hunt ratings, but generally, if your Flat rating is more than around 40lb lower than your National Hunt rating, that gives you a chance. Clever Cookie is rated 96, so there is a good chance that he can out-perform that mark.

Secondly, he has run just twice on the flat, and he has won both times, so he still has lots of potential for progression.

He was most impressive in winning a decent handicap at York two weeks ago. He only got home by three parts of a length in the end, but he travelled through the race like a good horse, and he picked up nicely to go and win his race. He was probably only doing enough close home, he probably had plenty more left to give had more been required. The winning time was good, the fastest time on the day and more than a second faster than the time that they clocked in the Musidora Stakes, run over the same course and distance, and the race is working out well already, with ninth-placed Cashpoint and sixth-placed Silvery Moon finishing first and third respectively in the Zetland Gold Cup at Redcar on Monday.

I had Clever Cookie in mind as an Ebor horse, but that plan may not come to fruition now if he wins today. We know that he goes well at York, and the step up to a mile and six furlongs should suit him well, given that he has won over two and a quarter miles over hurdles.

First Mohican is a big danger, as is Rawaki, but I prefer Clever Cookie. I kicked around the idea of backing Shwaiman as well, but he has just as much to find as Clever Cookie on the book, and he may be better stepped even further in trip. There is a staying handicap in him off his current mark, so hopefully he doesn’t blow his mark today.