Tuesday, 19 June 2012
: Australian sprinter Ortensia has been joined as favourite for tonight's King's Stand Stakes as Betfair punters throw their support behind renowned wet tracker Wizz Kid on day one of the Royal Ascot carnival.
Photo by Racing and Sports
International form and ratings authority Timeform
to be the superior sprinter in the field but trainer Paul Messara has made no secret of his preference for firm going.
“As a consequence, punters from around the world have rallied behind the Richard Collet trained Wizz Kid, which has firmed from $8 to $6 in the last 48 hours,” said Betfair's Mathew Thompson.
“Ortensia remains solid in the market at $6, a price at which most trading on her has taken place.”
French-trained Wizz Kid
ran twice in Britain last year, finishing a troubled fifth in the Nunthorpe Stakes at York and second to Deacon Blues
in the British Champions Sprint Stakes at Ascot.
She returned to her best when gaining a repeat win in the Prix du Gros-Chene at Chantilly last time from fellow King's Stand rivals Stepper Point
and Hamish McGonagall
The strong push for Wizz Kid was pre-empted by form student Steve Moran in his Betfair Royal Ascot blog.
“Wizz Kid will shorten dramatically if the track is very soft,” Moran predicted.
“On a good track, Ortensia is clearly the top-rated runner ahead of Little Bridge, Joy And Fun, Bated Breath and Sole Power. If it's rain-affected, then Sole Power is eliminated and the other four demoted, but not summarily dismissed.”
Ortensia has already made a big impression on the world stage by winning the Al Quoz Sprint at Meydan in March from King's Stand rivals Sole Power
and Joy And Fun
Hong Kong's Joy And Fun has made a good recovery from injury following his only previous outing in Britain, needing surgery on a fractured cannon bone after finishing midfield in the 2010 Golden Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot.
He has since won twice at Sha Tin, notably in the Chairman's Sprint Prize in February. Little Bridge
the other Hong Kong-trained horse engaged in the King's Stand, was sixth that day, wearing blinkers.
He has since won the G3 Bauhinia Sprint Trophy and the G2 Sprint Cup without headgear, the latter on good to soft going similar to the current rating for Ascot.
The world's highest rated racehorse Frankel
is expected to extend his undefeated record when he steps out in the first race on day one in the G1 Queen Anne Stakes over a mile.
“Near on $900k has been matched on the race already and 95% of that has been on the champion Frankel,” said Thompson.
“There has been support for Aidan O'Brien's horse Excelebration from $14.50 to $13. He's previously finished close-up behind Frankel and some believe the wet ground could assist.”Excelebration
has never finished closer to Frankel than 2.25 lengths in four previous meetings, but they have never met him on soft ground, conditions in which O'Brien's runner is unbeaten.
The Queen Anne Stakes will see Caulfield Guineas winner Helmet
have his first UK start for the Godolphin stable.
Timeform's Gary Crispe believes the former Peter Snowden trained colt can improve on recent form and run a place behind Frankel.
“On current form Helmet
's weight adjusted rating is assessed at 132, some 25 pounds below the unbeaten Frankel,:" Crispe said.
's below form run continues he could not be expected to get any closer to Frankel than 9.6 lengths.
“However if Helmet
can return to his Caulfield Guineas winning peak rating, giving him a weight adjusted rating of 142, then the gap between him and Frankel would be closer to 6 lengths.
“Either way Helmet
cannot beat Frankel, but if he did mend his manners and return to peak form, then he is certainly capable of making the frame.”
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