IT really is bizarre that this afternoon’s Coventry Stakes (3.05pm) is still only a Group Two. You only have to look at the roll of honour over the past decade to see why it should be awarded the highest status.
Henrythenavigator, Canford Cliffs, Strong Suit, Dawn Approach and The Wow Signal all proved themselves to be top class after winning this race. It’s to be hoped another star will be born this afternoon.
The one who could turn out to be exceptional is Jim Bolger’s ROUND TWO and, even though he’s 9/4 favourite with Paddy Power, I just can’t look past him.
Bolger has trained some pretty special horses in the past, including this fellow’s father Teofilo. Yet his enthusiasm for Round Two after the Marble Hill at the Curragh was infectious.
You don’t often hear comments from Bolger like: “he’s everything you would like in a racehorse” and “if you wouldn’t get excited by him, you just wouldn’t be alive.”
It’s clear he rates this colt extremely highly and he is likely to go on to bigger and better things during the season.
Betway and Paddy Power both currently offer 9/1 for next year’s Guineas and I expect that to be a lot shorter at around 3.10pm this afternoon.
Wesley Ward’s Finnegan is next in the betting and he could be anything. A comfortable winner at Pimlico last time, it is hard to know what he really achieved there and I’ll leave him alone.
Buratino was an impressive winner of the Woodcote at Epsom last time where he used his experience to his advantage. He’s coming up against a better type of horse here, though, and a place is probably his best hope.
Aidan O’Brien has won this seven times and he relies on just the one entry this year. Air Force Blue, the mount of Ryan Moore, won his Curragh maiden well and is sure to have his supporters at 8/1 with Paddy Power.
Of those at bigger prices, Ed Dunlop’s Qeyaadah could go well at 20/1 with Unibet. He won a decent Newbury maiden fairly cosily last month and his stable aren’t normally known for first-time-out winners.
However, let’s hope we can bash the bookies with Round Two, who could be the real deal.
ROUND TWO 3.05pm Ascot