The Albany Stakes betting looks to be dominated by just two fillies, with Sandiva and Joyeuse – a half-sister to Frankel from the yard of the late Sir Henry Cecil – both inside of 3/1 and the field 9/1 bar that pair. Both have shone in their visits to the racecourse to date, but with the market an iniquitous guide to the contest in the past, it may pay to oppose them with a longer-priced runner.
Juvenile contests such as this are all about potential, but when it comes to assessing the leading duo on known form it’s Sandiva – a horse that Richard Fahey regards as potentially one of the best he’s had at Musley Bank – that seems to have the edge.
Neither filly’s debut victories were exactly chock-full of subsequent winners, but Sandiva slammed her field by a whopping six lengths, whilst Joyeuse battered hers by a relatively modest three-and-a-quarter lengths.
The former has the benefit of an extra race in which she scored a Listed win by two lengths, with Fig Roll four-and-a-half lengths back in third. Four of her closest five pursuers had won their previous outing and the bronze medallist has given the form a boost since when a three-and-a-half length fourth in the Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes on day two of the Royal meeting.
However, seven of the last 11 runnings of the Albany have been taken by a horse which started at 15/2 or longer – as all but two of the field do this year – with just three favourites taking the laurels in the last decade. In spite of this, just one winner in that period was sent off at longer than 16/1 so those that the betting deems long shots are to be swerved as well.
One that stands out amongst the milling coves in the mid-price bracket is George Margarson’s Lucky Kristale, the only other horse in the race apart from Sandiva to remain unbeaten after more than one outing and a nice-looking each-way proposition at 16/1.
The front two pulled some 11 lengths clear of the rest when she won her maiden on debut and she came on from that – albeit in modest company – when scoring again by four lengths on her next start.
The second and fourth both paid that form a decent compliment by scoring at the first subsequent opportunity and being by Lucky Story – a two-time Group 2-winning juvenile over 7f – Margarson’s filly shouldn’t be stopping at the sharp end of the uphill 6f she’ll tackle in the Albany.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.