Badly Drawn Horse: The Kings Stand Stakes

By Ben Aitken

3.05 Ascot (18-06-13) - KING'S STAND STAKES (GROUP 1) 5f (19 ran)

It was safe to say we had a fantastic end to Royal Ascot 2013! As if Lethal Force romping home in the Diamond Jubilee wasn't reward enough we were then blessed with the dual attack of York Glory & Dinkum Diamond streaking home in 1st & 3rd in the 26 runner Wokingham!

York Glory was the first ever BDH horse and this was his first run since I highlighted him as 1 to follow, indeed he is the first ever BDH horse to run subsequent to me highlighting them (well I guess he and Dinkum Diamond share that honour!); it really was a fantastically memorable day.

I also want to say a big thanks to you guys. You have obviously taken the methods in use at BDH to heart and that is by far the best endorsement I can get. The many tweets, comments, facebook messages and emails from you lot have been gratefully received.

Last weeks Royal Ascot action gives us plenty of straight track action to tuck into and source future York Glory's for our punting pleasure. My plan is to review a number of those races this week and add more horses to our BDH to follow list.

For the record York Glory will now be removed from the BDH list as his form is now clear for all to see. That doesn't mean I won't back him in the future and I'm certainly not saying to you guys to not back him, far from it. The idea here on BDH is to look for runners that ran well from bad draws and look for spots in their following runs where we can back them under more favourable conditions. For York Glory that was Saturday and he has done the business for us in fine style. If I back him in future runs it will be for other reasons than he was a BDH horse. He was well drawn on Saturday, took advantage of that and landed us a punt; job done.

The first Royal Ascot review race is the King's Stand Stakes from last Tuesday...

Race in focus: 3.05 Ascot (18-06-2013): King's Stand Stakes – 5f, Group 1 (19 ran)

How the race played out…

Kings Stand Stakes

As you can see from the pace map there was a bit of a middle to high pace bias in play here, the low numbers realized this quite early on and the field almost congregated as one down the middle in the early stages. Joseph O'Brien made the decision to stick to the rail from his high draw and was the only runner to do this, as such you can completely ignore his run as he spent the entire race in a wide no-mans-land. I wouldn't say it was a huge draw/pace bias at play here but horses down the bottom (low stalls) were the most inconvenienced by how the pace did play out.

Bungle inthejungle was the one from low to middle that could have set them a decent pace to aim at but he seemed to struggle with the early pace and as such didn't act as much of a pace-setter at all.

The end result…

For the winner SOLE POWER the pace played into his hands to a certain extend and there was plenty happening in front of him to tow him into the race for his late charge, whilst at the same time the runners fanned out enough to give him late space and a straight blast to the line. Second placed SHEA SHEA made the most of an average draw and didn't get as good a tow into the contest from Bungle inthejungle as he probably would have hoped. It was a fine effort and he was unlucky not to collect the spoils. He is a real Group 1 animal and it was his class that got him so close to the prize from his unfavourable draw. Third placed PEARL SECRET was ideally placed in stall 10 to come from off the pace and this was a solid effort on reappearance. Fourth placed JACK DEXTER had the same problem as Shea Shea but he is a real hold-up horse and the lack of pace down their side was even more detrimental to his chances. He needs to come off a strong pace and he really didn't get that down his side so this was a commendable effort indeed.

BDH(s) to follow…

JACK DEXTER (4th) (J Goldie)

The performance of Jim Goldie's 4yo was eye-catching for 3 reasons...

1) He had an average draw and no real pace to aim at

2) The race was run on ground that would not have been ideal for him

3) There must be a train of thought that he is better over 6f and possibly even 7f

We have already touched on the first point and as mentioned this was a mighty run considering he likes to come through horses off a strong pace, which he didn't get here.

On the 2nd point consider this if you will; ALL 6 of his career wins have been gained of SOFT or HEAVY ground. On Saturday they were riding on officially GOOD ground and previous form tells us that would not have been his optimum.

Let's look at his ground form figures...

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Form on Good or better ground - 3700454

Form on Good to Soft ground - 26

Form on Soft or worse ground - 111111

Unbeaten on the soft stuff! They were not all 'run of the mill' races either. Within that form line is a trio of valuable races worth upwards of 20k to the winner.

If we look at his distance form lines we also see that his form over 6f & 7f is slightly more eye-catching than his 6f form...

Form over 5f - 3714

Form over 6f - 115410106

Form over 7f - 21

It isn't as strong an argument as his ground preference but the longer races give him a bit more time to reach top gear and finish with a rattle.

This run was also his first step into Group 1 company, a step up he took with what looked like consummate ease.

Such was the close and dramatic finish of this race by the front 2 I can see Jim Goldie's horse being overlooked a bit here, hopefully keeping his price up for future assignments.

Conditions – I think what we really want for him is a bit of cut in the ground. Soft and Heavy are a big YES for him but I would also have him in mind on Good to Soft conditions as well. I have a feeling that conditions with cut in them not only bring out the best in him but also blunt the finishing power of the others in front of him, allowing him to pick them off late. He clearly also needs to be draw on the side with pace so he can get a tow into the race.

He looks a similar type to Goldie's other hold-up style sprinter Hawkeyethenoo so we can be confident that 'Big Jim' will also place this lad to his best abilities. We may have to wait for the ground to start turning again before we get our money down although this is Britain, the next downpour may well be just around the corner!

JACK DEXTER now enters my Proform ‘Horse Watcher’ tool (horse tracker in other words) and I will post on the Blog when he is due to run next.

I will be back again tomorrow with another Royal Ascot review as I continue to build our BDH war chest...

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