Cumberland Lodge Stakes betting tips: First Eleven fancied for Ascot Group 3

The 2018 Cumberland Lodge Stakes betting tips from Horsebetting.com say First Eleven can provide trainer John Gosden with a first-ever winner of the 1m 4f Group 3 contest at Ascot on Saturday, 6 October. Fellow three-year-old Communique is feared most. Blakeney Point, meanwhile, looks an each-way alternative to consider. Read our 2018 Cumberland Lodge Stakes betting tips preview for more on this race.

Paddy Power logo
Odds
11/8
Selection
First Eleven
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Sky Bet logo
Odds
5/2
Danger
Communique
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Coral logo
Odds
7/1
E/W
Blakeney Point
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First Eleven taken to follow-up at Ascot

First Eleven created a real impression when scoring over course and distance last time out, so is taken to make a winning step back up into Group 3 company and provide trainer John Gosden with a first-ever success in the 1m 4f Cumberland Lodge Stakes at Ascot on Saturday (14:25). Owned by Prince Khalid Abdullah, the three-year-old has ran really well on both his starts at the Berkshire venue this season.

After failing to get his head in front during three outings as a juvenile, things finally clicked for this son of Frankel on his second start of the campaign at Newbury when he ran on really strongly to land the spoils in a 1m 3f handicap by five lengths. Connections had every right to pitch him into the ultra-competitive King George V Stakes at the royal meeting off the back of this, where First Eleven was an unlucky third to Baghdad and beaten just a neck.

That does not tell the full story, however, as he was constantly denied a clear run and had to be switched right by Frankie Dettori in search of room. When gaps finally did appear, First Eleven rallied and finished off his race really well going down by that narrow margin. It hinted there was even more to come from him.

When stepped up to 1m 5f and pitched into Group 3 company for the first time in the Bahrain Trophy at Newmarket’s July Festival on his penultimate start, however, the extra furlong seemed just too much for First Eleven. He was beaten and weakened inside the last, but connections wisely dropped him back after going down 13 lengths to Wells Farhh Go.

The return to Ascot proved inspired as First Eleven got back on track when landing the red-hot Lavazza Stakes by two lengths from the useful Ghostwatch. He was value for more than the winning margin in this Heritage Handicap, having been ridden to lead approaching the furlong marker by Rab Havlin before staying on strongly all the way to the line.

This was a very taking display, especially as First Eleven gave Berkshire Royal, who as a further length behind Ghostwatch in third, a whopping 15lb and 13lb to the fourth home Hyanna. Now in receipt of 6lb from his elders for this, the race terms help to make a strong case for him following-up now stepping back up in class.

With only 2lb to find on revised ratings with Laraaib, who hasn’t won over further than 1m 2f, the weight-for-age allowance makes First Eleven a worthy favourite for victory here. He’s infinitely more lightly-raced than Communique, the only other three-year-old in this year’s renewal, so that’s why he gets the clear vote in our 2018 Cumberland Lodge Stakes betting tips.

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Communique respected for Johnston

As Laraaib has stamina questions to answer, the aforementioned Communique looks the one that will give First Eleven most to think about for Yorkshire trainer Mark Johnston. He’s a typical tough, front-running sort that hails from that yard and has won four of his eight subsequent starts since finishing 13 lengths down on that rival in the King George V.

Communique was eased by champion jockey Silvestre De Sousa and not knocked about when it was clear he couldn’t win, and has subsequently captured three handicaps before earning some black type with a Listed success last time out. The son of Casamento is two from three over the 1m 4f trip which he has belatedly got, so there are no doubts about his stamina.

Joe Fanning takes the ride here, however, with De Sousa elsewhere. There was lots to like about Communique winning the Godolphin Stakes at Newmarket when last in action eight days ago, however, as he found plenty for pressure in the closing stages to score by a neck from Barsanti.

The assessor has put him up 6lb to a mark of 109 for that Listed victory. Taking weight-for-age into account, Communique comes out on top at revised ratings and is sure to make this a test of stamina, but this is his 13th run of the season and connections really do look like going to the well once too often.

It’s for that reason, plus the 3lb better terms he meets First Eleven off here from Royal Ascot not being enough to reverse the form, we are taking him on. Communique is still respected in a small, but select field of runners, yet all that racing could well catch up with him at this level.

Blakeney Point an each-way alternative

Five-year-old Blakeney Point may be the oldest in the line-up, but he like the first two in the betting comes into the race off the back of a win for trainer Roger Charlton. He tends to show his best form at this time of year, so is an each-way alternative at the odds on offer.

This son of Sir Percy still retains plenty of ability after landing the Listed and extended 1m 4f Stand Cup at Chester by 1 1/2 lengths from Hochfeld last time out. Blakeney Point also put in a big effort when fifth and beaten six lengths in the valuable and ultra-competitive Ebor Handicap over 1m 6f at York on his penultimate start.

He has raced off the same mark of 105 all season and won at Leicester to first earn that rating this time last year. As Blakeney Point has won seven and placed on four other occasions from his 24 starts under rules, he brings most consistency than most to the table in this.

The gelding is sure to give it his all and, while he may not be open to much further progress like some lining up, he now gets the services of Kieran Shoemark in the saddle again – who won three times on him last season. Blakeney Point is therefore an each-way bet to consider among our 2018 Cumberland Lodge Stakes betting tips.

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