Royal Ascot had some high class performances this week and many runners will have gone into notebooks for future targets
There was one in particular that really got the juices flowing for Ante Post betting purposes and that brought back memories from an old 80s favourite.
The King George V Handicap has often thrown up future Group Race performers. In 1995, two future Group 1 stars, Pilsusdki and Celeric got involved in a barging match at the back of the field or else one of them could easily have been on the winners list. More recently Brown Panther was probably the best winner of the race before moving onto better things .
1986 saw one of the best winners of the race when 4/1 fav Moon Madness, trained by John Dunlop, made a mockery of the handicap. He went on to prove himself at Classic level by winning that season’s St Leger (for fellow nostalgics that can be seen here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCc5Gn9Wr3g )
I do believe we saw a winner of the race this year that is up that level with another 4/1 shot, Elite Army. Could history be repeating itself in 2015? (Like the aforementioned winner he came into the race on the back of an impressive handicap win and was firmly on an upward curve at the time – I se many parallles between the two) .He pulled much too hard early, found his run blocked twice in the straight, but still when the gap came he was far too good and had the race settled in a few strides. A 3/4 length victory of Windshear in no way accounts for the superiority he had – the rest were well beaten off,
The second had proven form coming into this competing well against horses like Cannock Chase, Volume and Dreamscape in handicaps – all of which are now performing at a higher level now.
The St Leger looked an obvious target given his stout breeding and it was pleasing to hear connections having the same view straight after the race.
Next target appears to be the Bahrain Trophy at Newmarket in July – a Leger trial race for sure over a slightly further distance than last week.
The strong pulling tendency has to be a concern in small fields but this horse is still on a learning curve and he has the perfect partner in Kieran Fallon to complete his education before Doncaster in September. I’m sure Godolphin will be itching to get a Classic winner after a fairly ordinary season for them so far.
Ground seems not be a concern – I didn’t think that fast would suit before Ascot but he made a fool of that assessment there) – he’s won on soft as well as would be expected from a son of Authorized.
It was a surprise that only 3 firms were bothering to quote him for the Leger the night after the race – more have joined in now – but he still appears not be quoted on Betfair – that must surely change soon
I think some of the current double figure offers are well wide of the mark however with many others being quoted looking unlikely runners in the season’s final classic.
If John Gosden had nominated Eagle Top for the race after his win on Friday I would be seriously worried. But he seemed to be veering right away from that plan and the stable’s main representative would appear to be Derby 3rd Romsdal. He could well be the main rival on the day but current quotes of 5/1 are far from appealing. Australia, Kingston Hill and Taghrooda are all quoted with single figure odds but looking less than likely runners at this time.
Aiden O’Brien will doubtless find something out of his stable to compete here but the only other horse I have seen with a definite aim for the race is Mark Johnston’s Queens Vase winner Hartnell at this stage.
Markets may start to move a bit more after a few more trials in coming weeks so it’s time to jump in now I feel and take a large slice of what I consider to be huge value for the race on Sept 13
3pts win Elite Army 14/1 (365, Boyles, Ladbrokes, Corals, Hills)
Summer is traditionally a quite time for me for horse racing so the blog may be going into hibernation for a time – the York Ebor meeting maybe next to come under scrutiny. I will keep postings to Twitter in the meantime (@Senor_Moodoir)
Thanks for reading – comments as usual are welcome
Best of luck in coming weeks
*UPDATE* Elite Army not appearing in entries for Bahrain Trophy – it appears St Leger is still the plan though and we will see him at Goodwood next http://www.attheraces.com/article.aspx?ref=RSS+Feed&nav=news&hlid=546031&lid=PA+Racing+Feed&title=Goodwood+goal+for+Elite&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter