Unexposed Almodovar Looks A Big Price In Hardwicke Stakes Betting
Saturday 18th June 2016, 3.40pm - Hardwicke Stakes (Royal Ascot)
What a week we have already have at Royal Ascot but it isn't over yet with day five on Saturday still to come and it should be a packed house for another thrilling day of sport. The Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes is run over a trip of 1m4f and we have a very interesting field of 10 runners entered up for one of the most popular races of the week.
- Sir Michael Stoute has trained the winner of the Hardwicke a record nine times during his career - he saddles two here
- Ryan Moore has ridden the winner of the Hardwicke four times since 2010 (three times for Stoute and once for Aidan O'Brien)
|Saturday 18th June - 3.40pm||Odds||Won/Lost||Bet|
|Tips||Almodovar Each Way Best Bet||@ 10 / 1||P|
Moore And Stoute Looking To continue Fine Hardwicke Record
This race has been dominated by Sir Michael Stoute and Ryan Moore in recent times with the pair teaming up for three wins in this race since 2010, whilst Ryan Moore has also won the race for Aidan O'Brien which means they have to be respected. The pair of them team up in this one with the interesting Exosphere who is a fascinating horse for punters to pick over this weekend.
No more than a slightly above average 3YO, Exosphere stepped up big time on his first start this season when he smashed a good field to win the Group 2 Jockey Club Stakes at Newmarket on Guineas weekend. It really was a taking performance from a relatively unfancied that horse and it was hard not to be impressed by the way he dispatched a Leger winner in Simple Verse that day.
He seemingly doesn't mind a bit of juice under foot and based on that one performance he deserves to be the favourite at 5/2 with Paddy Power, although this is another step up for him in terms of quality.
We should also mention the other Stoute runner in the field with Dartmouth perhaps the best chance of a Royal winner all week. Olivier Peslier is an interesting jockey booking for a horse who has won both of his starts this season and like Exosphere, might just be coming to himself as a 4YO and he has a chance if he can improve again.
Plenty Of Class In The Field
There is no doubt that Sir Michael Stoute hold the best cards in this one but this is a very good race with some classy horses lurking down the market at bigger prices. One of those is certainly Eagle Top who on his best form was only a neck 2nd to the brilliant Postponed in the King George last year and any repeat of that run would see him with this race with plenty in hand.
Things haven't worked out for Eagle Top since though which is reflected in his price of 11/2 with Sky Bet and after a very poor run last time out, it is hard to have too much confidence in him.
Simple Verse (10/1) is a St Leger winner and a Group 1 winner at Ascot which is interesting and she cannot be ruled out with weight in her favour but she has four lengths to find with Exosphere on the bare form which is a big ask. Highland Reel (10/1) is another Group 1 winner having won the Hong Kong Vase in December but this could be tough for him on his first start in this country for some time now and soft ground is likely to harm his chances as well.
Wicklow Brave (16/1) is a Cheltenham Festival winner over hurdles so will have no problem with cut in the ground although you worry this will be a tad on the sharp side for him even despite him having the master Willie Mullins as his trainer.
Worth Taking A Chance on Almodovar
We are however prepared to take a chance on the unexposed Almodovar (10/1) who comes into this race off of the back of just five runs so far during his career. The David Lanigan trained horse really caught the eye on seasonal debut when destroying the field at Kempton last month and he is another one who looks stronger as a 4YO. There is no doubt that this is a massive step up in class from the AW which would be a worry but the son of Sea The Stars will have no trouble with the trip or ground and he is worth an each way punt at double figure prices.
Hardwicke Stakes Betting - Click To Bet
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