Ante-post focus: Queen Anne Stakes

This season’s older milers look a pretty ordinary bunch to my eye so, at the prices, Aidan O’Brien’s DEAUVILLE looks a value contender to potentially beat stablemate and favourite Rhododendron.

He has four-and-half lengths to make up on the mare after their recent clash in the Lockinge Stakes, often the best trial for this race, but there is a case to say he should get closer. Heading into the Lockinge, Deauville had an interrupted preparation. He flew to race in America on May 5th only to be declared a non-runner due to heavy rain. Just two weeks later he competed at Newbury and ran well to be fifth.

Deauville’s sound course and distance form in last year’s renewal in a stronger race is also a positive. Some horses may not take to the Ascot test and surface, but in finishing third last year he probably produced his career best effort. Coming into a weaker race this time round, he looks overpriced.

Finally, the Queen Anne could turn into a messy affair this season; there appears to be little pace on and with Deauville a confirmed front-runner and prominent racer, he could be in a better early position than most to strike for home. Ideally, a strong gallop with him getting a lead would be perfect, but either way, he’ll be put in the race earlier than most.

The faster the ground, the better his chance, which can’t be said of too many in here and with that being the case, the race could cut up further at declaration time.

Advice

1.5pts each-way Deauville @20/1 (Ladbrokes)

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