Stan James will oppose red-hot Prince of Wales’s Stakes favourite So You Think at Royal Ascot despite getting its fingers burned with its Happy Hour selection on the opening day.
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The Gibraltar-based bookmaker took a stand against Canford Cliffs in the Queen Anne Stakes by guaranteeing to offer the industry leading price during its Happy Hour from 11.00am until noon on Tuesday. Hannon’s four-year-old proved himself king of the milers when defeating the brilliant French mare Goldikova in an epic battle that left the bookmaker with a heavy loss.
Undeterred, Stan James oddsmakers have decided there may be value in taking on Australian import, So You Think in the seven runner Group 1 race over 1m 2f at 3.45 on Wednesday. The Aiden O’Brien trained 5-year-old opened at odds of 2/5 on Wednesday and will be a popular Irish banker after emphatic wins in his two starts this season at the Curragh.
The son of High Chaparral joined O’Brien after suffering his only defeat in 2010, finishing third in the Melbourne Cup over 2 miles on soft ground in November. The colt arrived with a magnificent record in Australia where he won the prestigious Cox Plate on two occasions.
Royal Ascot has witnessed some electrifying runs from Australian-bred runners from where they seem to produce an endless supply of world class sprinters, however longer distance horses have not made quite the same impact around the world.
The likely threat to So You Think and Stan James’ hope of recouping Tuesday’s Happy Hour losses is the French colt Planteur. The 4-year-old son of Danehill Dancer has won both of his prep races at Longchamp and looked to be top class when beating Sarafina in the Group 1 Prix Ganay last time out. The form was franked when Sarafina won next time and third horse Cirrus Des Aigles gave Goldikova a tough race when finishing runner up to the mare in the Group 1 Prix D’Ispahan last month.