Movie not to be missed
Ante-post fiend The Insider can hardly wait for the start of Royal Ascot and has identified a 25/1 cracker for one of the Group One sprints.
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There’s something missing from the entries for the 2014 King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot, and that something is a genuine top-notch foreign speedball.
In the past 10 years we’ve seen Chineur, Takeover Target, Miss Andretti, Scenic Blast, Equiano and Little Bridge plunder the prize, yet we currently have Hot Streak, trained in North Yorkshire by Kevin Ryan, as our standout favourite.
‘But… Shea Shea!’ I hear you cry.
Granted, the South African Shea Shea is a multiple Group One winner and looks set to arrive in good order following a win and close third out in Meydan earlier in the year, but Shea Shea has raced in the UK three times and has come up short on each and every occasion.
He was beaten a quarter of a length by Sole Power in last year’s renewal of the King’s Stand and just half a length when again filling the runner-up spot in the Nunthorpe.
Mike De Kock’s charge could win, but he’s not going to be getting much quicker at the age of seven and it’s hard to argue beyond recall that 12 months on he’ll turn the tables on Sole Power, who is a point bigger of the two with most firms at 6/1.
Pearl Secret didn’t look a patch on Sole Power in the Palace House Stakes on fast ground at Newmarket but bounced back with a solid second behind Hot Streak in the Temple Stakes.
That pair have both shown their best form on rain-soaked ground though and, despite the recent downpours, I’d much prefer to have a proper summer horse on my side as, in the words of John Oxx, “You only get soft once in about 20 years (at the Royal meeting)…”
With those words bouncing around the mind, I’ve trawled the ante-post lists for an improving horse who likes to hear their hooves rattle and simply cannot resist the claims of MOVIESTA.
I’m obviously not the only one who thinks he’s capable of so much better than he was able to show in the Duke of York last month, given his price ranges from 12/1 to 25s, and the big prices want gobbling up before his destination is officially confirmed.
With an additional entry in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes over an extra furlong next Saturday, his participation has to be taken on trust but we can only speculate on what we know to be true and it’s hard to deny that Moviesta’s best form is at the minimum trip.
Last month’s effort wasn’t the first time in his career that he has completely fluffed his lines but the stamina-sapping ground on the Knavesmire was totally against him and the only other time he failed to show up was when last of 17 in the Nunthorpe at the end of a tough and otherwise seriously progressive three-year-old campaign.
Eton Rifles and Body And Soul have proved their seemingly lifeless Duke of York efforts all wrong with excellent efforts since and I’m convinced Moviesta is better judged on his previous seasonal reappearance fifth to Sole Power in the Palace House.
He was only a length and a neck behind King’s Stand jolly Hot Streak on that occasion and he wasn’t knocked about by Paul Mulrennan.
A subsequent slog in the mud would not have been the ideal plan, but the Smart team, who know a thing or two about top sprinters having saddled Tangerine Trees to win the Abbaye, have had time to freshen up their charge and dropping back from six furlongs looks the obvious next move.