14:30 Royal Ascot: This is groundhog day for Jim Bolger
Teolane is the very hot favourite for Friday’s Albany Stakes, and Jim Bolger knows just what it takes to train a winning favourite in this first race on day five at Royal Ascot.
Since the inception of the Albany Stakes in 2002 only one favourite has managed to land the Albany Stakes, but it was Bolger who trained the odds-on favourite Cuis Ghaire to victory in 2008 and it seems punters have latched on to the Bolger yard.
Many were eagerly awaiting the run of Wesley Ward’s American filly Judy The Beauty and there was plenty of ante-post support for the horse, but her late withdrawal sees Teolane attract all the money..
With winners ranging from 8/11 to 50/1 in the nine runnings of this race, the Albany Stakes betting can sometimes be ignored, but not on this occasion.
Bolger has been there and done that with Cuis Ghaire in 2008 and Teolane looks the likely winner, but she will have defy many of the, admittedly weak, trends to win the race.
Five of the nine winners of the Albany Stakes started the race with an SP of 10/1 or more, five of the last nine winners won a maiden last time out and five of the nine winners were having only their second star.
That leaves Illaunglass, Inetrobil, Judas Jo, Sajwah and Switcher, but Teolane proved her class in a listed race at Naas just over a week ago and that is easily the best form in the race.
When Cuis Ghaire won in 2008, she also won the Fillies Sprint Stakes at Naas in the weeks before her Royal Ascot win, and Bolger seems to have found a carbon copy of Cus Ghaire in Teolane.
The ground will be a slight worry and connections will hope the rain stays away, but it’s hard to see this filly being beat.
Sajwah is probably the next best value at 8/1 and should easily run into a place.