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.
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.