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Wednesday 13 April 2011

Society.....Rocks !!

Newmarket's sprint season kicks off with the Connaught Access Flooring Abernant Stakes (Listed Race) Cl1 6f in which several top class horses stake their place for sprinting honours. Most of the field have crossed swords in th epast and I will look at some of those prevoius meetings here.

Society Rock has the highest official rating in the lineup at 115 and appears to have the best form on show despite only having had 7 runs to date, the stable think that he has strengthened up considerably over the winter and that he is a most exciting prospect and they have had this race in mind for him for a while. He didnt run again after the July Cup in which he finished 7th to Starspangledbanner but the stable wanted to sort out a few niggles that they had with him so that he was ready to start afresh this season and that race may have come too soon for him in any event. His 2nd in the Group 1 Golden Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot behind the same horse is the best form on show here and to have done that on only his seventh start makes him worth serious consideration from a stable that was in the doldrums for the best part of last year but now look to be back to their best. In that race he was the highest drawn to cross to the stands side and he showed a terrific turn in foot in trying to peg back the winner. He is best held up so he should get enough cover here and you should expect to see him running on at the end.
Genki has progressed from the handicapping ranks into a Group race sprinter and he is the stables only runner of the meeting. He ran well first time out last season albeit in a handicap, but his 3rd in the Group 1 Haydock Sprint Cup, 4th in the Ayr Gold Cup and 2nd in the Group 3 Bengough Stakes shows that he can mix it with the best sprinters around.
Anne of Kiev has improved 23lb since her winning run started in May last year, however most of that improvement has come on the Polytrack and she has not met anything of the likes of Society Rock or Genki and the most she can hope for is a place.
Iver Bridge Lad has been in the form of his life of late and after finishing a well beaten 2nd at Meydan to J J The Jet Plane (who went on to win the Group 2 Al Quoz sprint), he came back to England and has won twice since, the latest of those being at Nottingham over 5f where he beat Secret Asset by 2 lengths. He is though probably best over 5f and may struggle over this stiff 6f against this class of opposition.
Poets Place looked to be a progressive sort last season however he may need some cut in the ground to show his best and he is unlikely to reverse placings with Genki from their Ayr Gold Cup meeting on 2lb worse terms although trainer thought he was unlucky in that. The same would apply to Jimmy Styles and Damika, although Jimmy Styles does have a fitness egde having won the Cammidge Trophy already this season and he has a couple of course records to his name as well so is no slouch..
Prime Defender may have needed the run behind Jimmy Styles last time out and although he is 7 he has won Group races previously, although he is a bit quirky and Society Rock has the edge on him on previous Group form.
Inler for Brian Meehan, who did so well with Lady of the Desert last season, could be an improver but this will only be his sixth start and he will be up against some battle hardened types here and this will tell us where he goes next.
Doncaster Rover was 2 lengths behind Equiano in this last year, however he finished behind both Genki and Iver Bridge Lad in the Group 3 Bengough Stakes at Ascot in October but he is further forward than this time last spring having been in Dubai, so he could be thereabouts however he may have preferred a bit of cut.

In conclusion, if Society Rock is on his game, and there is no reason to suppose he wont be, as the stable won this race with Zidane on his first run of the season in 2008 then he should be able to win and Genki should follow him home. Ladbrokes have priced him up at 9/2 which is good value and 15/2 can be had about Genki.