The prospect of a rain affected track could dampen the chances of Holler in the Group 1 £600,000 The Diamond Jubilee Stakes (6 furlongs) at Royal Ascot in England on Saturday.
All of Holler’s four race wins have been in firm and good tracks with the three year old only recording two thirds on soft ground.
The five day Royal Ascot Carnival kicks off today on a good to soft track with the Group 1 £600,000 The Queen Anne Stakes (one mile) and the Group 1 £400,000 The King’s Stand Stakes (5 furlongs) the highlight of day one.
Clerk of the course Chris Stickels said the forecast for the rest of the week was for more showers which will stop the track from improving from its soft rating.
“The forecast is for unsettled weather all week and it is simply annoying,” Stickels said.
“I suppose we haven’t had a proper soft-ground royal meeting for some time and it will suit some horses, but for the majority I shouldn’t think it would.
“While it drains well, once you get to good to soft, three to four millimetres of rain is all it will take to turn it soft. I’d say the prospect of good ground is very unlikely now.”
Trainer John O’Shea had contemplated running Holler in the King’s Stand Stakes over five furlongs but opted to set him for the six furlongs of the Diamond Jubilee Stakes.
“He is a horse who likes to control a race and probably over five furlongs would not have that luxury,” O’Shea said.
“When you watch his wins, he controls the race from the front or outside the lead. There is more chance to get into a rhythm over six furlongs.”
“He is good and we think the six furlongs will suit him better than the King’s Stand,”
“He has settled in well and is back to his race weight, which is encouraging. It will be good to get James (McDonald) over here to get a feel of him.”
Holler’s Group 1 form during the 2016 Autumn Carnival was first class with an all the way win in the Group 1 $500,000 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Randwick followed by a nose second to Flamberge in the Group 1 $500,000 Mitchelton Wines William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley.
In early betting for the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au Holler is marked at $11 alongside of Hong Kong’s number one sprinter Gold Fun.
Local sprinter Magical Memory heads the market order at $4.50 just ahead of the Newmarket trained The Tin Man and Henry Candy’s Twilight Son at $5.50.
Early market order for The Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4.50 Magical Memory, $5.50 The Tin Man, Twilight Son, $8 Limato, Undrafted, $11 Gold Fun, Holler, $13 Suedos, $15 Strath Burn, $21 Mattmu, Sole Power, $26 Dick Whittington, Mongolian Saturday, Signs Of Blessing, $34 Cougar Mountain, Jungle Cat, Moviesta, $51 Goken.