3.45 York: Ebor Handicap, 1m 6f
The competitiveness of this race is obvious, so is the almighty task which Fields Of Athenry faces. The 3 year old colt has to defy a handicap mark as high as none before has won from in a British Handicap from. In addition he has been allocated the widest possible draw. A big negative for a front-runner.
For all those reasons Fields Of Athenry has drifted from 6/1 out to 11/1 over the last couple of days. This price is too big in my book, though, and I become quite interested in this smart Leger contender. Why? It’s easy to see why. He is lightly raced, has potentially more improvement left in him, and despite a high mark, profits from the weight for age allowance as well as enjoys a handy 5lb claim from talented Donnacha O’Brien in the saddle.
One could have only have been impressed with his last two wins in Listed and Group 3 company. This lad has no problem to stay the distance and is one of the rare talent who can actually quicken from the front. He did this most impressively in the Listed Challenge Stakes at Leopardstown last month. More is required here today, it’s a much stronger field, but rated at 119, he is the class act.
He will have to be a genuine Leger contender if he wants to overcome his big mark today – I feel he has a good chance to do that. The wide draw is a problem, but he can be able to get across soon and track the pace. At 11/1 I’m rather with him than against him.
Fields Of Athenry @ 11/1 Stan James – 5pts Win