Horse racing betting: King’s Stand beckons for this speedy Angel

Bill Esdaile
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York Races
Mecca’s Angel (red silks) winning the Group One Nunthorpe Stakes at York last year (Source: Getty)

Anyone got a sense of déjà vu?

Regular readers of this column may recognise this exact headline from 12 months ago when I fancied MECCA’S ANGEL to land the King’s Stand (3.40pm) on the opening day at Royal Ascot.

However, the five-year-old daughter of Dark Angel was never able to prove her quality that day because she was declared a late non-runner as the going turned unsuitably fast.

She won’t have the same problems on Tuesday, though, as a deluge of rain since last Friday has left the track on the soft side.

Those conditions suit her perfectly as she showed when winning the Group One Nunthorpe Stakes at York on her final outing last summer.

She had too much zip for the speedy Acapulco who had a staggering 24lbs less weight in the saddle that day.

The American filly was set to re-oppose again on 17lb worse terms, but her trainer Wesley Ward pulled her out on Monday due to the ground.

Acapulco looks set to now go for Friday’s Commonwealth Cup which is a smart move as I really don’t think she could have beaten Mecca’s Angel.

My selection made a pleasing start to the season when just touched off by the race-fit, improving Profitable in the Temple Stakes at Haydock.

Clive Cox’s charge looks the most likely danger to my selection once again, but may struggle to confirm that form.

Michael Dods has been quoted in the press recently saying how delighted he has been with the strides that Mecca’s Angel has taken since Haydock.

She looked a little ring rusty that day and was carried across the track late on by Profitable.

There was only ¼ length between the pair at the line and she certainly seemed to be a little unlucky.

Her connections have deliberately kept her away from quick ground and the more rain that falls today, the better her chances. She looks a rock-solid bet at 9/4 with Betway.

Looking at the other runners and the bulk would certainly have preferred the rain to have stayed away.

Previous winners Goldream and Sole Power are both at their best when they can hear their hooves rattle, while the same can also be said of last year’s runner-up Medicean Man and Glorious Goodwood winner Muthmir.

If you are looking for one that could go well at a big price, then look no further than last year’s fourth, Pearl Secret.

He was only beaten a length last year and finished as close when third back in 2013.

If conditions are genuinely soft, that’s an even bigger plus as his form figures on ground soft or worse read 1112.

The reality is that he is probably not good enough to win, but at 16/1 with Star Sports he could easily hit the frame if conditions deteriorate.

Another who could run well, although would probably have preferred a sounder surface, is John Gosden’s Waady.

His form ties in closely with Profitable, having chased him home at both Newmarket and Ascot this season.

A stiff five furlongs is ideal and Frankie Dettori takes over in the saddle, which can only be a positive at a track he rides so well.


Mecca’s Angel, 3.40pm, Royal Ascot