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Lancashire Telegraph Racing Column
7:14am Tuesday 17th June 2014 in Sport
Anodin rates as terrific each-way value in the opening race of Royal Ascot, the Queen Anne Stakes, which is much more open than the bookmakers would have us believe.
Richard Hannon's Toronado is odds-on in some lists and it is fair to say that if he is in the same form as when beating Dawn Approach in the Sussex Stakes he is certainly going to be hard to topple.
However, he then attempted to step up to 10 furlongs at York but was beaten before the trip became an issue.
The only time we have seen him since then he looked pretty lacklustre in a racecourse gallop at Lingfield, after which connections decided to miss the Breeders' Cup.
He may well win, but with so many punting opportunities over the next five days, there really is no need to be piling into a short-priced favourite.
A sporting flutter on Freddy Head's only runner of the meeting instead looks the more sensible option.
A brother of the exceptional mare Goldikova and a half-brother to the Group One winner Galikova, Head knows the family better than anyone and he believes they only start coming to themselves in their fourth year.
Anodin was useful as a three-year-old but came up short in Group One company.
On his seasonal return in a Group Two he was not disgraced, but he took a considerable step forward when beaten only by the superstar Cirrus Des Aigles in the Prix d'Ispahan over a trip which may have stretched him.
Head is confident his charge has improved since then and with doubts over Soft Falling Rain and Verrazano, who disappointed more than once in the States, if he runs his race we should at least collect the each-way part of the bet.
It would not be the biggest shock in the world if War Command completely turned the 2000 Guineas form on its head in the St James's Palace Stakes.
He has over five lengths to make up on Night Of Thunder and Kingman from Newmarket but Aidan O'Brien's War Front colt looked exceptional in winning the Coventry Stakes and while he never recreated the brilliance of that performance again, he did claim the Dewhurst in gritty style.
It may just be that Ascot is the track which brings out the best in him and now we know that O'Brien's string suffered with the cough earlier in the year, there is a legitimate excuse for his mediocre Guineas run.
O'Brien may double up with the totally unexposed Guerre in the King's Stand Stakes.
While Sole Power and Shea Shea are tough cookies, they are not unbeatable and the three-year-olds Hot Streak and Guerre may be the ones to concentrate on.
Guerre is three times the price, though, and with Ryan Moore on because Joseph O'Brien cannot do the weight, it is a case of what is the better value once more.
Another War Front colt, the ground will be in his favour and he was mature enough to beat the battle-hardened Maarek on just his third ever run.
His official rating of 110, combined with his weight-for-age allowance, puts him right bang in the mix.
Moore has also picked up a nice ride in the Coventry Stakes on David Elsworth's Justice Good, who is the most experienced runner in the field.
The young colt has won three of his four starts from the front and coming from behind and there are very few question marks about him.
Mind Of Madness brings strong form to the Windsor Castle and could go off a very short price if his Yarmouth conqueror Adaay runs well in the Coventry but his powerful Qatar Racing connections rate him as their best chance of a winner this week.
The in-foal Body Language might sneak under the radar in the Ascot Stakes.
Ian Williams' mare performed admirably over a mile and a half in a competitive race at Hamilton and while this trip is a step into the unknown, that issue is applicable to half the field.
Don't Tell Annie should win the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Novice Stakes at Thirsk, while Town Crier looks the one in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden Stakes at Brighton.
Nottingham's Corporate Reliability DG Taxis Handicap can go to Naivasha, with Western Diva taken to win the IJF Text 70800 To Donate £5 Mares' Novices' Hurdle at Stratford.
ASCOT: 2.30 Anodin, 3.05 Justice Good, 3.45 Guerre, 4.25 War Command, 5.00 Body Language, 5.35 MIND OF MADNESS (NAP).
BRIGHTON: 6.00 High Tone, 6.30 Town Crier, 7.00 Tilstarr, 7.30 King Calypso, 8.00 Fairy Mist, 8.30 Shifting Star, 9.00 Avonmore Star.
NOTTINGHAM: 6.10 Fast Magic, 6.40 Naivasha, 7.10 Gang Warfare, 7.40 Victory Danz, 8.10 Frontline Phantom, 8.40 Soul Intent, 9.10 Dubara Reef.
SLIGO: 5.45 Into The Stars, 6.20 Dark Skies, 6.50 Chillie Billie, 7.20 Lord Jim, 7.50 Chance To Dance, 8.20 Granny On Fire, 8.50 Tarziyna.
STRATFORD: 2.10 Civil Unrest, 2.45 Western Diva, 3.20 Parlour Games, 3.55 Papradon, 4.35 Cool Sky, 5.10 On The Case, 5.40 Going For Gold.
THIRSK: 2.20 Don't Tell Annie, 2.55 Windforpower, 3.30 Dream Scenario, 4.10 Oddysey, 4.45 Double Discount, 5.20 Bop It, 5.50 Dutch Descent, 6.20 Space War.
DOUBLE: Mind Of Madness and Guerre.
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