Tough barrier draw for Scenic Blast
Australian raider Scenic Blast has drawn the slow side of Royal Ascot’s sprint track for his British debut, locals suggest.
The West Australian drew the widest alley, gate 15, for the 1000m Group One King’s Stand Stakes on Tuesday (1205 AEST Wednesday).
British punters rallied for Henry Candy-trained Amour Propre after he backed up Saturday’s Group Three win over the course and distance by drawing alley six.
Candy expressed his delight after the barrier draw, confident his charge could repeat Saturday’s effort where he made all the running on the inside rail.
"Coming from six will be fine because it will give (jockey) Dane O’Neill options," Candy said in the Racing Post.
Leading bookmakers reacted posting posting Amour Propre between 5-2 and 10-3 with Scenic Blast generally at 7-2.
At home Scenic Blast is naturally favourite with TAB Sportsbet at $3.40 ahead of Amour Propre at $3.75.
Melbourne jockey Steven Arnold who rode Scenic Blast to a Lightning Stakes-Newmarket Handicap double at Flemington earlier this year, will continue his partnership with the four-year-old at Royal Ascot.
Trainer Dan Morton has been pleased with Scenic Blast’s preparation and overwhelmed by the facilities at Newmarket.
"It’s horse heaven" he told Sydney’s Sky Sports Radio.
"The horse is very well and we have been looked after by everybody."
Both Takeover Target and Miss Andretti, winners of the King’s Stand in 2006 and 2007 respectively, won the Lightning-Newmarket double.
Takeover Target will not compete in the King’s Stand this year with his target the Golden Jubilee on Saturday.
Jockey Jay Ford left Sydney on Sunday to be reunited with Takeover Target who failed in his defence of the KrisFlyer Sprint in Singapore last month.
"It was out of character for him and Joe (Janiak) says he is back to his best," Ford said.
"If Joe’s happy, I’m happy and if the horse is happy that’s the main thing."