Racing: Four square up to Zafonic

Click to follow
The Independent Online
ZAFONIC will face no more than four opponents in Tuesday's St James's Palace Stakes, the feature race on Royal Ascot's opening day - and one of those will be his pacemaker, Wharf.

The French colt's exceptional performance in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket last month has had a demoralising effect on Britain's trainers, and even Clive Brittain, never one to duck a fight, is considering diverting his Needle Gun to the King Edward VII Stakes later the same day. The two remaining five-day acceptors are Kingmambo, the only horse to have beaten Zafonic, and John Dunlop's Ventiquattrofogli.

Independent bookmakers A R Dennis, who priced up the race yesterday, are predictably cautious. They offer 2-7 about Zafonic, followed by 100-30 Kingmambo, 20-1 Wharf, 33-1 Needle Gun and 66-1 Ventiquattrofogli.