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Tuesday 16 June 2015

Kings Stand Stakes - Royal Ascot Day 1

It looks like we are in for a feast of racing all week at Royal Ascot and the first big sprint is the Kings Stand Stakes.
The going is Good, Good to Firm in places. (GoingStick: Standside: 8.5, Centre: 8.3, Farside: 8.5, Round 8.1 on Tuesday at 08:15).The Fav is Sole Power as he seeks a record breaking third win in the race. He faces 18 rivals from over the globe in this fascinating Group 1 sprint.
For me this race is between Mecca's Angel, Sole Power, G Force, Muthmir, Goldream and Steps is good ew value at 50/1 as like Sole Power he finishes well off a fast pace.
Paddy Power himself thinks Sole Power is a good bet today and the best price you can get this am is 5/1 with Ladbrokes.
Goldream is good value too at 28/1 as he will like the going today and Robert Cowell hasn't sent many to Royal Ascot and he has to be respected in these big sprints.
The going is a slight concern for Mecca's Angel but the time of her race at Longchamp last time out was 55.24 which shows as always a dodgy going description at that track. She possesses plenty of natural speed being by Dark Angel and when winning at Longchamp she had a poor draw but still won going away by two lengths and she may set too hard a test for Sole Power to claw back and she is my idea of the winner.

Facts and Figures :
History : First run in 1860 as the The Queens Stand Stakes/Plate over the 2 year old course of about 6f. The distance was reduced to 5f in 1907 with the name of the race having changed to The Kings Stand Stakes in 1901.

Draw Record last 7 years :

2014 : 8, 4, 11, 10 (16 ran) Good - Richard Hughes 58.85s

2013 : 14, 5, 10, 6 (19 ran) Good - Johnny Murtagh

2012 : 7, 8, 22, 3 (22 ran) Good to Soft

2011 : 14, 18, 10, 15 (19 ran) Good

2010 : 11, 4, 3, 5 (12 ran) Good

2009 : 1, 15, 14, 9 (15 ran) Good to Firm

2008 : 11, 9, 12, 1 (13 ran) Good to Firm

Age of past Winner - 7, 6, 6, 6, 5, 5, 3

Previous Results :

2014 : 1st Sole Power, 2nd Stepper Point, 3rd Hot Streak, 4th Medicean Man

2013 : 1st Sole Power, 2nd Shea Shea, 3rd Pearl Secret, 4th Jack Dexter

2012 : 1st Little Bridge, 2nd Bated Breath, 3rd Sole Power, 4th Medicean Man

2011 : 1st Prohibit, 2nd Star Witness, 3rd Sweet Sanette, 4th Overdose

2010 : 1st Equiano, 2nd Markab, 3rd Borderlescott, 4th Nicconi

2014 Racing Post Analysis-
A wide-open Group 1 sprint, as if often the case these days, and they were spread across the track.
For a second consecutive year, SOLE POWER´s irresistible late burst proved too much for his rivals, travelling supremely well under new rider Richard Hughes, who weaved his way through the field. Having been switched right, he ended up near the far rail and he fairly flew home to win readily. Although now a 7yo he´s at the very top of his game and can return in 2015 in a bid to complete a hat-trick in the race, granted similarly quick ground.

Trainers Comments :

Sole Power - Eddie Lynam told At The Races: "I'm very happy with him. He's in a real good place and I'm looking forward to him. This is his fifth Royal Ascot, which is unusual. He's won the last twice and was placed in it and he was down the field in it, but he's carried us for years. He's a great horse.He hadn't run for a while so his last run blew the cobwebs away. He needed a run to get him back in order.Richard (Hughes) was happy and the way the horse has been training, recently especially, I think he's right now and he's ready to go."

Shamal Wind - R Smerdon said: "She's a very flexible mare and we wouldn't be worried if the ground was very soft or very fast. It's going to a tough race, but our horses have done well in this race before and I think she'll go pretty well. It's great to be involved and great to have a horse good enough to run at Ascot. Her win in the Oakleigh was typical of her style in that she is a run-on sprinter. She has an explosive burst, but you have to time it exactly right and she has been narrowly beaten in races. She is a tricky ride."

Muthmir,- Angus Gold, racing manager to owner Sheikh Hamdan, said: "I don't think he'll have any trouble holding him over five furlongs at Ascot and he's exciting. Whether he can beat Sole Power is another matter, but he's a horse we're looking forward to. I don't think he'll be outclassed, as long as we can get him into it in the right way, get a lead and produce him late. Sole Power is an incredibly impressive sprinter and there's obviously others in there as well, but I think our horse deserves to take his chance."

William Haggas is bullish he may be able to dethrone Sole Power in the Group 1 sprint - "He’s taking on the best sprinter that there’s been for a while but he’s got a lot of things in his favour. He’s got a good turn of foot and I think the track, the trip and the fast ground will suit him. He’s got a nice draw and he’s very well."

Mecca's Angel - Michael Dods said: "Mecca's Angel is a very straightforward filly who did it very well in France last time when she quickened again off a strong pace and was quite impressive. This will be her sternest test yet, but I believe she has come on for that last run and deserves to take her chance.She has won on an uphill track before and she will probably jump and sit but she could lead if she has to lead. She is a better filly on genuinely good or good to soft ground so I hope they put plenty of water on - I will walk it on Tuesday morning just to check it's all right. Winning any race is a great feeling and makes all the hard work worthwhile but a race like the King's Stand is what we are aiming at as we want to compete with the best and show it is possible to train good horses up here in the North. If we were to win it would mean a hell of a lot to the whole operation - to my staff, to Paul (Mulrennan, jockey) and to the owners. Royal Ascot only happens once a year so you have to enjoy it, it's a massive occasion."

Stepper Point, - William Muir said: "Stepper Point just ripped a shoe off coming out of the stalls at Chantilly. He looked like a teddy bear in his coat before his last run, but he his just starting to show his summer coat now. He is in great shape and he really comes alive at this time of year."

Steps - Roger Varian said: "He ran a good race in the 'Dash' and he was only beaten two and a half lengths at Ascot last year. He is in super form and although I can't see him winning it, he has a good chance of being in the first four or five."