Just some quick thoughts on the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes. I will get stuck into a couple of the races on Saturday but for now there are some thoughts on the 5pm tomorrow.
I am going to have a go at Watersmeet (12/1) and Igider (7/1). Not official ‘tips’ as I am trying to stick to sprints for big race previews. Hopefully you find something of interest/informative below…
-18/18 were aged 3-5
-16/18 Top 6 LTO
-(a side stat but 6/27, 13 places had won twice or more this season)
The first two stats would leave a ‘shortlist’ of Watersmeet, Astronerous, Gold Trail, Ajman Bridge, Dashing Star, Warrior of Light, Sennockian Star, Arab Dawn, Igider, Azurate
As ever it is a tricky handicap with nearly every horse seemingly either in form and open to any amount of improvement.
Watersmeet is a bit quirky (flashes the tail and can drift left!) but is improving fast and looks like he could get an easy time on the front end here. If something does take him on Fanning will just tuck in behind and wait to pounce. There should be no excuse and it will just be weather he can improve enough and/or there is something much better handicapped in the race. He is tricky at times but should stay against the rail and with his whip in his left hand hopefully fanning can keep him galloping. His trainer is also 3/21, 6 places in the race and clearly targets horses with a decent chance at it. 12/1 seemed decent enough.
Igider is very unexposed and looked to win with any amount in hand on his last run, which was his first at this trip. He could be anything and clearly knows how to win. He will surely build on that and you would think he will run a big race. 7/1 was just about acceptable.
Well you could make a case for many of the others. Astronerous beat Watersmeet when that horse hung his chance away however the trainers is 1/45 at the track and 0/15, 1 place in this race. When you need reasons to discount horses, ones like that will do me. He looks progressive enough and as I fancy the horse he beat has to be given some sort of chance. Gold Trail- well I cant tell how good he is but he doesn’t look as progressive as some of these with what he has done to date. However he was beaten by horses last time that have gone onto better things, including the Gold Cup winner, and he could be on a good mark, but I am happy to take him on. Maybe this big field cavalry charge is just what he wants but I am guessing a bit, although a big run wouldn’t be a massive surprise, as with most of these. Ajman Bridge doesn’t like winning very often and is 1/14. His place form is really good but I want to see more of a winning attitude for a race such as this. Dashing Star would have a chance and will hope to improve on his trainer’s 0/6, 0 places record in the race. He can be a bit too free and is drawn very wide for a horse that likes to push the pace. He is 0/9 as a 4 and now 5 year old and I am happy to take him on. Sennockian Star has a stamina question to answer and this isn’t a question I want to ask in a race such as this. Arab Dawn deserves his place near the head of the market based on his trainer’s record (2/3) in the race. He made a pleasing enough return and a big run clearly would surprise no one. I preferred to go with a couple that had recently won. Azurite is interesting at a price and is very unexposed but I would want to see a bit more before backing him. Nothing really stands out from those that fall down on those stats above.
So, hopefully I get a run for my money which would be nice considering how all the others have run.