The Bill Mott-trained Yoshida has reportedly pleased connections ahead of his bid to lower the colours of the home contingent in the opening race of Royal Ascot on Tuesday, the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes.
The Japanese bred four-year-old colt has won four of his eight career starts, including last time out at Churchill Downs where he powered to an impressive victory in the Grade 1 Old Forester Turf Classic, beating the favourite Beach Patrol by three-quarters-of-a-length (see below). Victory in that quality nine furlong contest demonstrated that the American raider should have no problems with the very stiff Ascot straight mile.
“He shipped very well and he seems to be his normal self,” confirmed Riley Mott, son of the trainer, who has overseen Yoshida’s journey to his temporary base in Newmarket. “Ever since last year as a three-year-old we’ve had this race in the back of our mind. We’ve always felt between eight and nine furlongs is his optimum distance. He always trains very forwardly and he’s a strong horse. Hopefully he’ll be strong at the finish line at Ascot.”
“He doesn’t necessarily have to have quick ground and, actually, his two best races have been on soft ground, especially last time at Churchill Downs. He’s run well on fast ground as well and he’s a horse that’s pretty versatile, both towards the pace scenario as well as the track condition.”
Yoshida is generally on offer at 14/1 for the race that sets the five-day Royal Ascot alight at 2.30 on Tuesday, but Coral buck that trend going 16/1, a price that may well appeal to those looking for an each-way alternative to the market leaders. Aidan O’Brien’s high-class filly Rhododendron, winner of the Group 1 Lockinge Stakes at Newbury last time out, is the current 11/4 market leader with Betfred to give her handler a third victory in the race, the most recent being the 2013 success of the smart Declaration of War.
Written by Paul Alster
Paul Alster has been part of the British and international racing media for more than three decades working as a race commentator, TV/radio presenter, journalist, betting correspondent, SP returner, and form analyst. He’s always sought out overpriced runners in handicap races, a quest that excites him as much now as it did at the start of his career.