It wouldn’t be the biggest surprise to hear that Society Rock has been a staple on many a staking plan across the last two Royal Ascot meetings and he looks way overpriced at present this year for the Diamond Jubilee Stakes.
Ladbrokes are offering the top price on the six-year-old sprinter at 8/1 and there are a few reasons why this looks an extraordinarily lucrative price.
Firstly, he is proven in the race and in fact, always seems to produce his best in this 6f contest.
His first appearance in 2010 saw him finish second at 50/1 in his first try in Group company before returning 12 months later to go one better.
Last year, Society Rock could only finish fifth behind Black Caviar, but this doesn’t tell the whole story as he was only beaten by two lengths in the end and this was despite forfeiting more ground than this when literally falling out of the starting stalls.
Had he not done that and been caught too far off the pace when the field began to quicken two furlongs from home, there is a strong belief that Society Rock would have won.
What was also significant about this race was that Society Rock was sent off at 8/1, the same price that he currently is for this year’s renewal.
However, there is no 1/6 odds-on favourite this time and there are even grounds to believe that those ahead of him in the ante-post betting may not even run.
Like Black Caviar, it is another overseas raider that is the favourite at present, but opposing Shea Shea at 5/1 appears a wiser strategy.
Most of Shea Shea’s best form has been over the shorter distance of 5f and so there is every possibility that he will contest the King’s Stand instead.
The fact that trainer Mike De Kock has entered Soft Falling Rain in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes could additionally be significant as it seems unlikely that he will want his two leading Royal Ascot sprinters in opposition in the same race.
Like Society Rock, Soft Falling Rain is also 8/1.
The only other horse barring the favourite ahead of them in the betting at present is Reckless Abandon at 7/1, but trainer Clive Cox has stated that he too is leaning towards the King’s Stand Stakes, as opposed to the Diamond Jubilee Stakes for his three-year-old.
If any other reasoning for backing Society Rock was required, he triumphed on his seasonal reappearance in the Group 2 Duke of York Stakes in May.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.