York, Wednesday 13 May – Duke of York Clipper Logistics Stakes
The first ante-post bet for the blog is coming pretty soon into the season, but given what Astaire did today (16 April) at Newmarket it looks like we have a young, progressive sprinter on our hands in NAADIRR.
Marco Botti’s inmate put this afternoon’s Group 3 Abernant Stakes winner Astaire in his place easily last time out at Doncaster, on the opening day of the flat season. While being nicely on top close home, in a race that wasn’t run to suit his hold-up style, the son of Oasis Dream also gave the Kevin Ryan-trained runner three pounds. This adds plenty merit to an already visually impressive performance.
The form of Astaire’s victory today looks solid for Naadirr fans. He fended off a progressive sprinter in Watchable while having a classy speedster in Music Master back in third. Jack Dexter (fourth) is no slouch either, and while the run came on faster than ideal ground for him, it adds to the form’s concrete look.
Yes, Astaire had a fitness edge on the second and third home, but both of those won first time out last season so may have been pretty straight; after all they both ran perfectly satisfactory races.
With the above in mind Naadirr’s Doncaster win now looks sound and he interests me going to the Duke Of York Stakes. His progressive profile is just what you want in a young horse and the four-year-old has clearly summered well and returned in rude health.
This 425,000 guineas purchase may now start to pay back that hefty price tag and a return to York will possibly bring out further improvement. Two of his best efforts in 2014 came on the Knavesmire and given how well course form stands up there it’s another positive.
As ever with ante-post betting we are in the lap of the gods. We need our selection to turn-up on the day. Soft ground would be a concern and as with all races over sprint distances a favourable draw is desirable; there is little room for error racing over such trips.
Should Naadirr turn-up on May 13 I’m sure he won’t be a 12/1 shot and could in fact even be half that price. Here’s hoping he makes it and turns up in form. With fast ground. With a good draw. Is that too much to ask?
1pt each-way NAADIRR @12/1 (Betfair Sportsbook, bet365, Boylesports, Ladbrokes)