The eight-year-old mare Elyaadi will be back to shake up the Royal Ascot odds on Tuesday for the third successive year and will be hoping to go one better than her previous two appearances that have seen her run fine races to be second in both the Ascot Stakes and the Queen Alexandra Stakes.
A mare blessed with abundant stamina – who stays ‘longer than the mother-in-law’ – the John Queally-trained daughter of Singspiel has been a grand servant to connections and has given them some real thrills at the royal meeting in recent years.
In 2010, she came from a very long way back in the field to stay on best of the rest and then take second place behind the all-the-way winner Junior.
Then 12 months ago she stepped up two furlongs to two-and-three-quarter miles in the Queen Alexandra Stakes where, after being held up for the firsthalf of the contest, she made steady progress under Fran Berry to lead at the two furlong from home marker and looked likely to score.
The 4/1 favourite was soon ridden though and headed by the eventual winner Swingkeel, but sge stuck to her task bravely and held on for second place, three-and-a-half-lengths behind the John Dunlop-trained stayer.
Berry will be on board once again for Elyaadi’s second crack at the Ascot Stakes, and although she hasn’t won since scoring over hurdles in Ireland in September 2010, Queally’s charge has run plenty of good races and looked as though she would be spot on for her Ascot assignment when finishing third recently at Listowel over a mile-and-three-quarters.
It was an outing that will have blown away the cobwebs and put Betfair horse racing odds setters on notice.
And it should set the five-time winner up to give of her best once again in the hotly contested staying handicap.