2021 Great Voltigeur Stakes: Leading Contenders and Top Betting Favourites at York
The 2021 Ebor Festival will open on Wednesday (Aug. 18), with a large portion of the horse-racing public sure to have their attention fixed on who shines brightest in the Great Voltigeur Stakes.
Serving as a trial to September’s St. Leger, the Group 2 meet will assemble a crop of the best talent aged three and above currently gleaming on the flat circuit.
And a number of trainers with history winning this race will be back in the saddle attempting to add to their collection this week, including Aidan O’Brien, William Haggas and Charlie Appleby.
The final list of runners is yet to be certified as a few entries look likely to be cut before the race gets underway, but the leading picks to take top spot at York are well and truly established.
Alenquer sits at the head of that queue as betting odds 5/2 favourite days out from the horse race Great Voltigeur Stakes, and horse betting apps in the UK consider which colt and gelding talents might rise up to steal the £85,000 prize.
A busy summer of activity continues for Alenquer following a not-so-successful expedition to Longchamp in mid-July, when he placed third in the Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris.
Alenquer was well beaten by Appleby’s Hurricane Lane on the very soft conditions in France, but a likely return to better grounding promises a bounce back to winnings ways at York.
One factor that may influence that resurgence is the expected return of jockey Tom Marquand, who was unable to ride Alenquer in France because he wasn’t fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
The colt has won three times and finished runner-up once with Marquand aboard, most recently winning the King George VII Stakes in June:
Trainer Haggas won the Great Voltigeur Stakes in 2015 with Storm the Stars, but he’s relying on the more grounded Alenquer—named after the region in Portugal—to bring him more success in this race.
Inspired by the football-esque sport that originated in Japan, Kemari has kicked up a major fuss in his first season of racing and is looking to make it three wins in a row when he comes to York this week.
The BBC broke down the Godolphin-owned starlet’s victory in the Queen’s Vase at Ascot in June, when he defeated the O’Brien-trained Wordsworth, whom he’ll meet here once again in York:
— At The Races (@AtTheRaces) June 16, 2021
The 4/1 shot is yet to finish outside the top two in any of his three expeditions having only made his racing debut this past May, with Appleby stumbling upon a potent partnership between him and jockey William Buick.
Kemari ran a closer victory at Ascot when he edged Wordsworth by just over a length over one mile and six furlongs, but the one mile and three furlong distance here suggests he can challenge.
High Definition (5/1)
High Definition won’t be able to stand the sight of Hurricane Lane after being bested by the Appleby charge in each of his last two outings, most recently losing by 29 lengths in June’s Irish Derby.
O’Brien’s lowest-priced pick for the Great Voltigeur Stakes finished 10th out of 11 that day as he just failed to get going on the day, a far cry from when he sealed back-to-back wins at the Curragh around this time last year:
High Definition – that is obscene:
🏇 Two races
🥇 Two wins
🏆 G2 Beresford Stakes
👀 Brother to 2019 Beresford hero Innisfree
— Racing TV (@RacingTV) September 26, 2020
It could be the case that Ryan Moore is taken off jockey duties by O’Brien in a bid to bring about some change, with undoubted potential to be tapped in the son of Galileo.
2021 Great Voltigeur Stakes – Odds Leaders
Team Odds Alenquer 5/2 Kemari 4/1 High Definition 5/1 Lone Eagle 5/1 Third Realm 6/1 Wordsworth 7/1 Mojo Star 8/1 Sir Lamorak 10/1 Yibir 10/1 Youth Spirit 12/1