Horses To Follow » Aljazzi


Aljazzi put up a big performance to finish second behind Qemah in the Duke of Cambridge Stakes at Ascot on Wednesday.

Held up towards the rear of the field through the early stages of the race by Adam Kirby, Marco Botti’s filly tracked Qemah through from the three-furlong pole.  Making her ground towards the far side of the group that raced on the stands side, about six horse-widths away from the favoured stands rail, she travelled well behind the winner to the two-furlong pole.  Moved to her right at that point in order to engineer racing room, as Qemah hit the front and moved to her left, Aljazzi picked up well from that point.  She moved into second place at the furlong pole and, while it never looked like she was going to get to the winner, she ran all the way to the line, going down by just three parts of a length in the end, and holding off the fast-finishing Usherette by a neck for the runner-up spot.

Marco Botti’s filly may not gain due recognition for this run.  A lot of the post-race attention was centred on Usherette and the luckless passage that she endured.  It is true that Andre Fabre’s filly did encounter traffic problems as she tried to make her ground, and that she finished off her race well, but she raced against the favoured stands rail throughout, whereas Qemah and Aljazzi did a lot of their running and made their ground towards the far side of the stands-side group, away from the favoured stands rail.  Also, Aljazzi was a 40/1 shot, and 40/1 shots who out-perform their odds are often not afforded due recognition.

This was the Shamardal filly’s best run ever, but she beat Mix And Mingle in a listed race at Haydock last year in her first-time hood, and she won a listed race at Kempton on her debut this season, when she had Laugh Aloud behind her in fifth.  She obviously appreciated this straight mile, dropped back down to that trip after shaping like a non-stayer behind Somehow in the Dahlia Stakes over a straight nine furlongs on her previous run, and she bounced off the fast ground.  She will be of interest back at Ascot on fast ground, or anywhere on fast ground, over a mile.  Her trainer was talking about the Beverley D Stakes at Arlington as a possible target, and she would be of interest if she lined up in that, over a turning nine and a half furlongs, a race that Botti won three years ago with Euro Charline.

Ascot, 21st June 2017