Horses To Follow » Ajero


Ajero did well to keep on as well as he did to take second place behind Candleford in the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes at Royal Ascot on Friday. Sharply away, he duelled for the early lead with confirmed front-runner Longbourn before settling back into second place behind Ross O’Sullivan’s horse, but the pace was strong, and the front two had a nice break on the rest of the field. David Egan moved Ajero up on the outside of the leader as they rounded the home turn, and Kim Bailey’s horse picked up well when his rider asked him to, moving into a two-length lead as they passed the two-furlong marker. He was caught by Candleford by the time they reached the furlong marker, and he was well beaten by the winner in the end, but he still kept on admirably to retain second place, over a length in front of third-placed Contact.

This was a race in which they went fast from flagfall, and in which it was probably an advantage to be held up. The winner and the third were both held up, while the fourth raced in mid-division. Ajero, by contrast, raced up just behind the fast pace that was set by Longbourn, who faded to finish 14th. A 135-rated hurdler, Kim Bailey’s horse has now finished second in all four of his races on the flat, but that is more down to happenstance than any flaw in his resolution. The handicapper raised him by just 2lb to a mark of 91, which was very fair, and he will be of interest wherever he goes now off that mark.
Ascot, 17th June 2022