Angus McNae's Racing UK Blog
|Wednesday 7th June 2017|
Bank on Princess to Reach the Pinnacle
There is plenty of racing to have a go at on Racing UK on Saturday with Catterick, Haydock, Beverley, Newmarket and Chester all staging competitive cards.
With plenty of rain around earlier this week and a fair amount forecast for Thursday field sizes could be somewhat depleted.
Given changeable ground conditions it could also pay to tread carefully when punting. That said I am pretty keen on Ajman Princess in the Betway Pinnacle Stakes at Haydock (3.20pm). Here is my reasoning.
1. Ajman Princess is clearly the most progressive filly in the field. After a bloodless win when sent of at 1-20 at Kempton Park and she duly cantered home to an easy win. She progressed a good deal when winning at Goodwood next time. That race was the Listed Warwick Stakes and she was mightily impressive. She readily thrashed Saturday’s opponent Elysian Fields by five lengths but I cannot see how she can reverse the form. This race represents step up in Grade as it is a Group Three but she looks more than ready for a tougher test.
2. This is not the strongest Group Three I have seen. Ajman Princess is joint top-rated with Abingdon at 107. Maleficient Queen is next in off 105 and then the rest are all rated between 85 and 99. Admittedly the likes of the William Haggas-trained Signe is open to improvement and may be better than her rating, but the same has to be said of Ajman Princess who is surely a good deal better than her mark of 107. I am basing my argument largely on one run at Ascot last year, when Ajman Princess finished second in the Ribblesdale Stakes to Even Song. On that occasion she had The Black Princess and the very useful Queen’s Trust behind her. Queen’s Trust went on to win the Grade One Filly & Mare Turf at Santa Anita in November and The Black Princess has won a Grade Three in France. This is by far the best form in the race.
3. The ground at Haydock is likely to be on the easy side, which should be of no inconvenience. Amazingly her run in the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot was on soft ground and her sire Teofilo does get horses who act on easy ground.
4. She must be highly thought of, given that her trainer Roger Varian ran her in the Group One Irish Oaks where she clearly went wrong and finished last. The eight-month break between that run and her success at Lingfield is surely a tell-tale sign that all was not well at the Curragh. It is also surely an indication that the trainer harbours a belief that she is actually a Group One filly.
5. Both trainer and jockey Andrea Atzeni are in good form. In the last 14 days they gave both been striking at around 25 per cent and when in form they are very much a combination to be feared.
She may well go off favourite for the race, but looks like a very solid short-priced wager and she could get shorter if the field cuts up.
Angus McNae’s - Something For The Weekend:
3.20 Haydock: Ajman Princess at 3-1 with bet365