What are the best bets in the King's Stand Stakes?
The King’s Stand Stakes is for three-year-olds and upwards and is run over a straight five-furlongs, attracting not just the fastest British-trained runners but also sprinters from around the globe. Indeed, five of the last ten winners were trained outside Britain and Ireland, with three wins for Australia and one each for Hong Kong and Spain.
The Michael Dods-trained Mecca’s Angel has been one of the stars of the sprinting scene for the last two seasons, winning six of her nine nine starts, including when slamming Queen Mary winner Acapulco by two lengths in the Group 1 Nunthorpe last August. She’s the top-rated runner as a result and, while beaten by Profitable at Haydock on her reappearance, she should be up to turning the tables on that horse here, and especially now the ground has come right for her – she was a late absentee from last year’s race when the going went good to firm. Of course, none of the that has escaped the attention of bookmakers and she is now no bigger than 5/2, though a worthy favourite nonetheless.
Who else is fancied?
Profitable is clearly improving fast and, having won the two key trials, the Palace House and Temple Stakes this term, he is entitled to plenty of respect, although he’d perhaps want the ground faster than he’s going to get.
Acapulco bowls up having won both her starts Stateside in 2016, albeit low-grade affairs, and she was a mighty impressive winner at this meeting 12 months ago when beating fellow two-year-olds. However, she was a freakish-looking juvenile – she had the size of a more mature filly – and it could well be that her contemporaries have now caught up, while she is also taking on older horses here.
Any decent outsiders?
The rest are all priced at double-figures (at least 14/1 if you shop around) and those in the 14/1 – 20/1 bracket include last year’s winner and third, Goldream and Muthmir respectively, who both have a preference for fast ground. That simply isn’t going to be the case and John Gosden’s Waady, who has finished third in both the Palace House and Temple, makes more appeal as he handles cut and should be suited by Ascot’s stiff uphill finish, having done best of the hold-up horses at Haydock, finishing best of all.
Sole Power is a perennial starter in this race – form figures of 83115 – and will be finishing as well as anything, while Pearl Secret has found the frame twice and will be better for his reappearance fourth. Perhaps the most interesting of the outsiders is US-trained Mongolian Saturday, whose career highlight is a win in last October’s Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint over 51/2f and has twice been beaten over further since.
Trainer quote: “”She’d been out for nine months when she ran in the Temple and it was too soft for a horse coming back from such a long break. She will definitely come on for the run. I respect Acapulco and Goldream has a big chance if it dries up, but we are confident of a good run. We are the one to beat” – Michael Dods on Mecca’s Angel.
Who’s going to win?
It’s easy to see why Mecca’s Angel is favourite and she is the most likely winner on ground she loves. However, any value in her price has now gone and, considering that we’ve had just two winning favourites in the last 10 runnings and luck in running is required in such a big field (21), I’d rather back WAADY each-way against her. Seriously progressive last season when winning four times, he has run well on both starts this term, despite things not quite panning out for him, and he should have this race run to suit. The booking of Frankie Dettori another positive.
Waady each-way @ 16/1 bet365 (¼ odds, 1.2.3)