Duke of York Stakes Ante-Post Betting Update
Next Wednesday sees the start of York's May meeting, and the big betting race of the day is the Group 2 Duke of York Stakes. The 6f contest should provide plenty of clues regarding Royal Ascot's Diamond Jubilee and Newmarket's July Cup.
With soft ground the order of the day at most meetings at present and no signs of an imminent let-up in the wet weather, the Yorkshire venue is unlikely to provide anything better than good-soft ground.
The two horses that currently head the ante-post market are Bated Breath and Hoof It, and both can be backed at 5/1 with Stan James and Ladbrokes. Only a head seperated the pair when they were just touched off by the minimum margin in Haydock's Betfred Sprint Cup last season, but while both would prefer decent ground Roger Charlton's charge would be a doubtful runner under testing conditions.
The James Fanshawe trained Society Rock caused a big shock when winning the Golden Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot last June at odds of 25/1 on soft ground, and followed that up with an excellent second behind top class french filly Moonlight Cloud at Deauville.
A bit disappointing in three subsequent runs on faster going, Society Rock is likely to have his ground again next week and makes plenty of appeal at the 6/1 generally available.
The other horse at the head of the market is Mayson, who will be having his fourth run of the season. An impressive three and a half length victory in Newmarket's Abernant Stakes was followed by another smart performance in winning the furlong shorter Palace House Stakes.
Ladbrokes are a stand-out 7/1 about Richard Fahey's four-year-old and likely mount of champion jockey Paul Hanagan, but the son of Invincible Spirit has hit such a vein of form that it would be no surprise to see him go off favourite on the day.
Of the bigger priced entries the one that takes the eye is another Roger Charlton inmate in the shape of Genki, a best price 16/1 with Ladbrokes.
The eight-year-old never got a run when favourite behind Mayson in the Abernant, and was only just over a length adrift of Bated Breath and Hoof It in the Betfred Sprint Cup. The son of Shinko Forest will relish any cut in the ground and looks good value under prevailing conditions on the Knavesmire.