Two selections for Friday’s action from Royal Ascot. Thursday was a profitable day for the blog and it came due to Energizer winning really well. As stated in the reasoning, the price really was based on the fact the horse was trained in Germany and although Starboard being declared a non-runner definitely helped his cause somewhat, I’m hopeful he’d have won anyway. Still, a 14/1 winner (15p R4) is not to be sniffed at, and the horse itself has a future in Group races throughout Europe. Kailani was an odd one to judge, as he was well-beaten but he never looked happy at all and was given a hopeless ride by his jockey anyway (sent ridiculously wide round the bend, got into trouble again). I’m willing to give her another chance on genuine softer ground and perhaps she needs a slightly easier race or a much stronger pace. Anomaly ran his heart out from the front, looking like he was going to finish well back but managed to stick on for 4th. He’s certainly game and there are races to be won with him, albeit in slightly less competitive heats than that one. Selections below.
Although the form of his maiden is hardly spellbinding and he’s a little bit to find on the figures with some of these, YAZDI (17:00) looks set for a big run in a race where they’ll be an emphasis on stamina, given 1m4f looked inadequate for him when winning last time out. The booking of Frankie Dettori for Brian Meehan is interesting in itself and with the ground unlikely to be an issue, I think he should be even shorter than his current single-figure price. Twice raced, not seen as a juvenile and making his debut over 10f at Newmarket. Yazdi finished a 4 length third, looking woefully outpaced through most of the contest before staying on really nicely under considerate enough handling. That race has worked out well with the winner narrowly touched off in the Chester Vase, the runner-up is an 8/1 chance for the earlier King Edward VII whilst the 5th is likely to be a solid handicapper rated in the 90’s before too long. It was a decent contest and the market knew this for Yazdi’s last outing, sent off a 2/5 chance. That was on softer ground and he yet again shaped as if further would suit, taking a little while to get into top gear but eventually pulling seven lengths clear. That race wasn’t a great one but it was the manner in victory which was more taking, especially for a 2 mile contest for three year-olds. He looks obviously suited to such a stamina test having taken his time to fully accelerate over 1m4f and a stamina test looks the best port of call (has some winners over fences in his bloodline) right now and it is probably a decent time to catch him in these sorts of races, especially facing rivals who might not handle the distance quite yet. Frankie Dettori is quite a rare booking for the yard in recent times and he has a fair 9/46 record since the beginning of 2009, he’s is certainly more positive than the usual Meehan affair of Shane Kelly or Martin Dwyer. The ground isn’t an issue, this looks a weak contest and Yazdi looks ideally suited for the step up in trip. He should be closer to the 7/2 mark than his current price and I have him as a clear favourite in this race.
There’s such an obvious bet for this wide-open (on paper) handicap in my view that it beggars belief that it isn’t much shorter. DECENT FELLA (17:35) has plenty in his favour today, not least that the 265 day absence should be a help rather than a hindrance and this race looks to have been the plan all along, so he’s more than capable of playing a big part in a race in which he went very close in last year. The selection runs all his best races fresh, seen when landing a very competitive Newmarket handicap on his reappearance effort last year. That race has thrown up many horses who’ve proved that they are top handicappers and it just shows that the selection is perfectly capable of running a huge race on seasonal debut. He wasn’t quite seen to best effect in subsequent starts last year, although his run in last year’s renewal gives us plenty of hope that he’ll go even better this time around. He travelled supremely well on the soft ground but could only manage 4th, 1.5 lengths behind the winner. That was off a 6lbs lower mark but there’s plenty to suggest that Decent Fella is continuing to improving, his win at Goodwood (again, coming off a short absence) from a rating of 93 (some fair sorts in behind) providing evidence of this. Although showing little on his next start, the winter break should have done him good and as emphasised throughout, there should be little to fear regarding the absence. Andrew Balding is a dab hand at getting them fit regardless and all looks set for a big run today. There should be no issues regarding ground, the track and the fact that he’s had a breathing operation can only help (does sometime finish his races off a little tamely). He should be closer to the 9/1 mark in my book and with the draw in 28 looking ideal, it’s only the fact that it’s traditionally such a competitive race that is stopping me from getting seriously involved. The usual stakes will suffice.
17:00 Ascot – Yazdi; 2pts @ 6/1 Stan James
17:35 Ascot – Decent Fella; 2pts @ 20/1 Bet365, BetVictor (bog) [/notification_box]