THE KING GEORGE VI AND QUEEN ELIZABETH STAKES
LAST 19 RUNNINGS
Good race for favs, with 8 winning
Second fav won 4 so the first two in the betting have won around two thirds of the last 19 runnings
17 were from the first 4 in the betting
NO third fav won
A 16/1 shot won as well as a 9/1, but all the rest were returned 13/2 or less.
Official Rating (OR)
ALL 11 winners who had a rating (including the last 7 winners) had an OR of 115 plus
9 of those 11 had a rating of 118+
3yo's have won 4 times from 29 runners (14%)
4yo's 12-79 (15%)
5yo's 2-34 (6%)
So the percentage call is a 3 or 4yo
ALL had ran no more than 6 times in the preceding year
ALL ran 4 times or less that season
13/14 who had won in the UK won over 10.5F plus
15/17 that ran in the UK had raced over 12F plus
17 posted a first 3 finish last time
11 won last time
13 were distance winners
AP O'Brien and Sir Michael Stoute have won this 3 times each. The former runs Highland Reel who, with 8 runs in the last year, is over the 6 runs max.
Stoute has the current fav, Dartmouth, who has a perfect trends profile.
John Gosden has won 2 of the last 5 runnings and he has two, last time out 6th, the 5yo Western Hymn (also has more than 4 runs this season) , and the 3yo, Wings of Desire, who, with an OR of 113, would be the lowest rated winner of this over the last 20 years.
The times for the first four races indicate fast going and the 6mm of rain which was forecast doesn't seem to have made much difference with the last winner winning in near enough standard time. No rain forecast tonight or tomorrow morning either.
DARTMOUTH is the perfact trends pick. He outbattled Highland Reel in the Hardwicke Stakes over C/D last time on ground probably a little on the slow side for him; I see no reason why the latter should reverse that form especially with faster ground likely tomorrow.
A bigger danger may be the French horse, Erupt who was only beaten a few lengths in creme de la creme races such as last seasons Arc and the Japan Cup. Has not seemed quite the same horse this season but was only beaten a length and a quarter in a G1 at Saint Cloud last time and that alone shows he is capable of winning what looks like, since the withdrawal of Postponed, a sub standard King George. Erupt, currently 9/2 fourth fav generally (don't forget the record of third favs!) could be the one for each way backers.
However, DARTMOUTH looks like a typical Stoute late developer on the upgrade. Yet to win a Group 1, true, but i think the French horse may be all that stands between him and his first group one victory tomorrow.
WEATHERBYS SUPER SPRINT
LAST 18 RUNNINGS
Favs won 5 and second favs won twice
First three in betting won 11
First 5 won 15
There have been a few shocks over the past 18 runnings, not least a 100/1 winner! There have also been winners at 28/1, 25/1 and 20/1. So, not necessarily a race for the top of the market.
16 carried 8-5 plus
ALL had 1-5 runs
10 had exactly 3 runs
16 had finished in the first 8 last time
7 won last time
17 had broken their maiden duck
15 were distance winners
ALL ran between 8-90 days ago
The Hannon family have done very well in this race, winning 5 times. It is interesting they only run one tomorrow but that one doesn't have a trends profile. Stormy Clouds has had 6 runs which is enough to put me off.
Richard Fahey has won 2 of the last 3 runnings and he has 7 entries out of the 25 declared.
Five of them are maidens; Six Strings, Carson City, In The First Place, Good Times Ahead and Lucky Mistake.
Of the two left, Boundsy is 28/1, so would be the joint longest priced winner in 19 years were it to win, whilst Lady In Question, particularly with Paul Hanigan aboard, looks the yards main hope.
Once raced runners have a perfectly respectable strike rate of 1/27 (4%) but that is less than half of the 10/108 (9%) strike rate of the thrice raced contestants. Lady In Question is not for me on the trends but, given the trainers recent record, Hanagan on board and the market speaking in favour (9/1 co fav of 3 at the moment), i wouldn't want to put you off either.
As soon as i saw the record of horses who had run 3 times i wondered why this could be. It may be a complete coincidence, as could any of these trends. Then again, it could be to do with the prep necessary to win a race like this. Normally after 3 runs and a win they would go in a handicap so, i reason, the connections must think they are well in here.
On this basis, my eye was immediately drawn to Eve Johnson-Haughton's SUPER JULIUS, who is the only horse in the race to fit all the above criteria.
The draw hasn't made much difference historically with 9 winning from stalls 1 to 13 and 9 winning from stalls 14 to 25.
Berthed in stall 2, our selection is 20/1 as i write and i will be backing (with fingers crossed in this 25 runner lottery!) each way.
For those who like to back one either side of the draw, Fair Power (drawn 25) would have been interesting with a distance win.
THE CORAL ECLIPSE STAKES (GROUP 1)
LAST 19 RUNNINGS
Good race for favs with 7 winning
Second favs and third favs won 4 each meaning 15 were from the first 3 in the betting
Other than a 20/1 winner, the rest were all returned 14/1 or less
Official Handicap Rating (OHR)
Of the 12 with a UK rating all were rated 111 + (which knocks out the two pace makers, Countermeasure and Bravery).
The rest were rated 119 + which leaves My Dream Boat, Time Test & The Gurkha.
An indication of how classy this race is can be demonstrated by the fact that 8 of the last 9 winners with a rating, since 2003, had an OHR of 122+ which leaves just My Dream Boat
5yo's have the best record with 7 wins from 31 runs overall (23%) and having won 5 of the last 9 runnings (2 of the last 4) a nod to Western Hymn
3yo's are fractionally next best with 6/45 (13%) while 4yo's are no mugs either with 6-60 (10%)
18 had run between 1 and 6 times (1 had 8 runs) in the last year. A minus for My Dream Boat
18 had run 1 – 4 times that season
17 had won over at least 7 furlongs
BUT 18 had RAN over 10 furlongs plus. A minus for The Gurkha
17 last ran between 16 – 30 days. Time Test last ran 37 days ago.
15 posted a first 5 finish last time out.
Aidan O'Brien has won this 5 times and he saddles The Gurkha, who has a good chance on the trends and is shortlisted. However, 18 of the last 19 winners had already run over 10 furlongs and he has never raced beyond a mile. He would also be the lowest rated winner since 2003.
John Gosden has won 2 of the last 4 runnings and has the willing and honest bridesmaid, Westerrn Hymn. This one, with a rating of 115 and currently 20/1 would be the least classy winner since 2003 (on known ratings) and the joint biggest priced winner
Roger Charlton's yard is a bang in form with 4 winners from his last 14 runners. He also has a 4/13 strike rate at the course over the last 5 years with his older horses. Countermeasure is the pacemaker but Time Test is a smart horse – on fast ground. From a trrends point of view, he as been off the course for 37 days and, while his rating is within the range, it is below the minimum 122 of the 9 rated winners since 2003. The ground is not riding Soft, going off the first two races, but not fast either.
I am writing this at 3.30 PM on Friday afternoon and we don't know for sure if the ground will have dried up in time for Time Test to partiicipate. His 37 day lay off puts me off anyway along with the lack of good G1 form.
That leaves us with the first two in the betting, The Gurkha and MY DREAM BOAT.
There is no getting away from the trend showing 18 of the last 19 winners had already ran over 10F and The Gurkha has never run beyond a mile.
We backed him and publicly recommended him for the £226K St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot. He missed the break, was keen, and i don't blame Ryan Moore for holding him up, but he was given plenty to do and then put out of his stride when a gap didn't come. Had he raced more prominently, as when he won the French 2000 Guineas by nearly 6 lengths (form well franked in the French Derby) he may, just may, have won, though the winner won well.
Ballydoyle have a pacemaker in tomorrow so it will be interesting to see how confident they are about him getting the trip. If Time Test runs, so will his pacemaker, so there may be a battle for the lead. If Ryan Moore holds the horse up again he runs the risk of what happened in the St James's Palace Stakes, if he lies up with what could be a strong pace, will his horse get home?
I prefer the proven class at this trip, indeed over course and distance, of Clive cox's MY DREAM BOAT.
He fulfills all criteria except the one mentioned above – he has had too many runs over the last year. He battled well and didn't look like a horse goiing over the top when he beat Found in the G1 £425K Queene Anne Stakes at the same meeting, with the reliable yardstick, Western Hymn, a further 3.5L back in third. That was on the Good to Soft conditions that mayprevail tommorrow. The times for today's first two Sandown races indicate Good or Good to Soft going.
From a trends point of view none have the perfect profile but this one has only one trend against him and is the selection. If The Gurkha settles though, and gets a better ride than last time but gets the trip, he will be a big danger. But that is why he is 10/11 fav at present!
You can get 5/1 for MY DREAM BOAT at Corals.
LAST 19 RUNNINGS
Good race for favs with 8 winning
Good for the 4 second favs also
25/1 and 16/1 shots have won this but the other 17 were all returned 12/1 or less
18 winners came from the first 8 in the betting
16 came from the first 4
Official Rating (OR)
ALL 14 of those with a UK handicap rating were rated 100 plus
13 of those 14 were rated 108 +
As always with these top races, where the record includes horses from abroad (including Ireland until a few years ago), the record is incomplete, so i will show where this is so by noting X/Y instead of just the number for that trend.
15/16 ran 60 days ago or less
15/16 had run a total of 2-8 times in their careers
14/15 had between 1 and 2 runs that season
5 won their last run
2 had finished second last time out
14/16 finished in the first 7 last time
Trainer and Jockey stats
AP O'Brien has won this twice and Ryan Moore has a 28% strike rate for him over the last 2 years. They team up with Alice Springs who would be a decent trends fit but for having run 10 times.
Shane Foley is 3/6 for Edward Paul Keatley and they have the fav, Jet Setting, who falls down, trends-wise, on having 9 runs overall and 4 of those this season.
Richard Hannon has won this twice and his Marenko would be a surprise betting wise plus it is 63 days since her last run.
Frankie Dettori is 54/196 for John Gosden whose Nathra would have a near perfect trends profile but for having one too many runs – 3 rather than the one or two demanded by the stats, this season.
Trainer stats backers eyes will have popped out of their heads when they saw the record of Dermot Weld at Ascot: 7/18 overall at the course and 2/6 with his 3 yo's. Further, of his 26 runners over the past 14 days, 10 have won. Tanaza is outside the typical betting range and, rated 106, is just a 2lbs lower than the usual 108 minimum to take this.
Make no mistake, Jet Setting is the one to beat in this – but not on trends!
I remember, when Minding won the Oaks, writing that you should look out for the horse who beat her in the Irish 2000 Guineas. That horse was Jet Setting who won a head. Nor was it a fluke with 10 lengths back to the third and Minding running just 2lbs lower than her RPR for subsequently winning the Oaks.
The only horse to tick all the boxes for this on trends is NEMORALIA who, crucially, and unlike her rivals, has had 7 career runs (8 is the max) and just the one run this season. Add a last time win and there are no holes at all in the trends qualification.
Paddy Power go 7/1. I think i will back the definite trends horse, NEMORALIA, each way, and the form horse, Jet Setting, as a saver, to win.
LAST 19 RUNNINGS
4 winning favs and 5 winning second favs
Winners at 25/1 and a 22/1 but the other 17 were all returned 12/1 or less
15 came from the first 5 in the betting
Handicap Ratings (OR)
All the 13 former winners with an OR were rated above 89
In the last 8 runnings, of the 7 with a rating, 6 were rated 101 plus
17 had between 1 and 7 runs in the last year
15 had run 1-3 times that season (9 had 2 races)
14 finished in the first four last time
16 had won over 1 mile or more
17 had run over a mile plus
All stats over past two years
Sylvestre de Sousa has rode 15 winners from 41 rides for Ed Dunlop and they team up with Capricious Cantor who, with a rating of 86, would need to improve a couple of stones to win this.
Ryan Moore is 39/137 for AP O'Brien have second fav Even Song who, while not ideally rated on 95, is respected as the irish have won 4 of the last 5 runnings.
An eye catching booking is Olivier Peslier for Sir Michael Stoute. I can't remember Peslier having another ride so far this week. He has only ridden 2 for Stoute but won on 1 of them. They run Queen's Trust, another below the ideal recent rating of 101 plus, but with a chance.
Pat Smullen is 2/5 for Ralph Beckett but Rocaverde is another who would have to improve a ton from his current OR of 86 to win this.
Jim Crowley has rode 4 winners from his 13 and We Are Ninety is another of the intermediately rated horses.
ARCHITECTURE would be the highest rated horse to win this in the 19 year period. Not surprising really given that horse's excellent second to the top class filly, Minding (beaten just one and three quarter lengths) with 8L back to the third and a further 14L back to the fourth. It is no wonder this filly is rated 13lbs better than anything else in the race.
There is no getting away from the record of horses rated 101 or more since 2007.The only other is 101 rated The Black Princess who finished second to Oaks fifth, Skiffle, which gives her nearly two stone to find with ARCHITECTURE on the bare form.
11/4 is widely available as i type (6.40 PM Wednesday). I have taken the BOG price as i think this one will be smashed into tonight and tomorrow morning.
The ground should be no problem as, according to the clock, it rode Good today. Again the TV pundits got carried away without studying the implications of the times or even looking out for mud on silks. They just took the word of the Clerk of the Course or the jockeys.
ROYAL HUNT CUP
LAST 19 RUNNINGS
Poor race for favs with just 1 delivering
Second favs have done better with 4 wins
Winners at 33/1, 28/1, 25/1 twice and 20/1 twice, so don't be afraid to back a big priced one
Not too big though as 16 winners came from the first 9 in the betting
Definite longstanding trends here:
No winners carried more than 9-5 to victory
17 carried no more than 9-3
Official Handicap Rating (OR)
These tally exactly with the weights, which gives me confidence in their validity
No winner rated higher than 105 has won over the period
18 won off an OR of 103 or lower
4 yo's and 5 yo's have dominated this with 9 winners from 252 runners for the former, 4%, and 7-143 (5%) for the latter
Two 6yo's, from 84 to try, or 2%, have won, while one 7yo from 47 runners (2%) has won
18 had a 1 to 4 race prep that season
12 posted a first 4 finish last time out
17 had won over at least 7 furlongs
ALL had already run over 1 mile
13 were distance winners
Trainers and Jockeys
John Gosden has won this race twice and runs last year's winner GM Hopkins. No horse has won this race more than once in the period . He also has too much weight and is too high handicap to be a trends selection.
James Fanshawe is another dual winner and he runs two, Hors de Combat and Spirit Raiser. The former lacks a first 4 run last time and is outside the first 9 in the betting. But the latter is a perfect trends fit and is shortlisted.
The Fanshawe yard is also in fine form with 4 winners from 12 runners over the last 14 days.
He also runs Hors de Combat who is from outside the first 9 in the betting and lacks a first 4 run last time.
Saeed Bin Suroor's yard is flying over the past two weeks with 4 winners from 10 runners. He runs two, Basem and Carry On Derryck. Both are too high in the weights and handicap plus the former is making his seasonal debut and only 1 from 41 to try, went on to win this after more than 90 days off the track.
Sir Michael Stoute's yard is also bang in form with 10 winners from 34 runners the past fortnight. He trains the favourite, Convey. Given the record of favs plus, again higher than the weight and ratings band, this is another we can pass over on trends grounds.
Charlie Appleby's horses have been in fine form for a while with 7/23 winning in the last two weeks.His Secret Brief, racing off an OR of 104, carries more weight and runs off a higher handicap mark than all bar one of the last 19 winners.
David Simcock is 8/26 with his runners winning over the last 14 days and he has Glory awaits who falls down on age (6yo) and falling outside the betting band.
Dean Ivory is also having a good time of it recently with 6/21 winning; His Librisa Breeze could be interesting at a big price, but that price puts him outside the first 9 in the betting.
George Baker is 22/95 riding for David Lanigan over the past two years. Lanigan imself is no slouch here at Ascot either, with a 26% strike rate. They team up with Mitchum Swinger, another with too much weight/too high OR, no first 4 finish last time and outside the typical betting range.
Applying the trends to the 9-3 maximum weight and 103 rating narrow it down to just two: Azraf and SPIRIT RAISER who is the selection on account of the record of his trainer in this race and James Fanshaw's yard's purple patch at the moment.
He is unproven on worse than Good going, but, according to the race times , that is how it rode today – Good. There is 5mm of gradual rain forecast before the first race but this almost new track drains well. It will need to as another 3mm is forecast between 3pm and 6. However, i can't see it riding slower than Good to Soft tomorrow.
If the going really is Soft we will have to trust the trainer who surely wouldn't run the horse if he thought it wouldn't handle the going.
SPIRIT RAISER is 18/1 with Paddy Power and BetVictor and 16/1 generally as i write and, given the inevitable vagaries of a 30 runner field, i will be backing each way.
2.30 QUEEN ANNE STAKES
5 favs won
18 came from first 4 in betting
17 were returned 15/2 or less
18 had 5 runs or less in the last year
17 had none or 1 run that season (2 was the maximum)
6 won last time
16 posted a first 6 finish in their last run
17 had already won over 1 mile plus
ALL of the horses with a rating (they didn't used to give a rating to horses outside the UK) had an OR of 112 or more
14 four year olds from 100 to try (14%) have won
5 from 55 (9%) five year olds won.
No older horse has won in this period
The french have taken this 3 times from the last 11 runnings
Aidan O'Brien has won 3
Richard Hannon has won 3 of the last 6
Looking at the first five in the betting, Belardo has had too many runs this season, Esoterique is a 6yo and Tepin too many races this season too.
This leaves us with a shortlist of two: Endless Drama and ERVEDYA .
The former ran a cracker when second in the irish 2000 Guineas to Gleneagles last season, on softish ground. From a trends point of view, he falls down on his lack of a win over 1m or more. As i write he has been backed from 20's into 7's (probably because of the official forecast of Good to Soft going).
The latter ticks every box. Winner of the french 2000 Guineas, the Coronation Stakes at this meeting last year, and the Prix du Moulin; all Group 1 races over a mile and on all goings bar extremes.
Add the good record of the french in this race and ERVEDYA is my choice.
3.05 COVENTRY STAKES – LAST 19 RUNNINGS
9 favs won
16 winners came from the first 5 in the betting and 14 from the first 3
16 were returned 8/1 or less
18 had between 1 and 3 runs
16 had just 1 or 2 runs
18 won last time
15 had already won over 6F +
Those who ran more than 30 days ago have a better record than those that ran more recently. Horses that ran 31 days ago have won 9 times from 74 (12%) to try, whereas those with a break of 30 days or less won 10 from 227 to try (roughly 4%)
AP O'Brien has won 7 renewals
Richar Hannon won twice
The trends point to three: Mokaris, Yalta and PSYCHEDELIC FUNK. Preference is for the latter who, on a line through listed placed Ambiguity, has form equal to the fav, Caravaggio. Unlike the fav though, he has won at this distance and, from a trends point of view, has the advantage of a decent break of 34 days.
One or both of the other two may well improve but the form of their maiden wins has not worked out well.
3.40 KINGS STAND STAKES – LAST 19 RUNNINGS
Fully 9 of the last 19 runnings were won by a horseoutside the UK. The stats i use don't cover foreign runners up till recently therefore, for certain trends, i only have 10 (sometimes 11) to go off. I will note when this is so.
2/17 races were won by the fav
17 winners came from the first 8 in the betting
17 were returned 20/1 or less
8 of the 10 to have an official rating (OR) were rated at least 102
ALL the last 6 winners were rated 111 +
7/10 ran between 4 and 8 times in the preceding year
9/10 had 1 – 4 runs that season
10/11 had a first 5 finish last time
Ascot is a deceptively stiff track and the following stats (for a 5F race) are no surprise to me):
7/11 had won over 6F plus
11/11 had RUN over 6F
10/10 were distance winners
7/10 ran between 16-30 days ago
5, 6 & 7yo's have the best record with 5 wins from 68 runs (7%), 6-61 (10%) & 3-36 (8%) respectively
4 yo's are 2-88 (2%)
1 horse won this back to back and another twice with a loss in the middle, but none has won it ore than twice in the period
Applying these trends leaves us with a shortlist of 4: Pearl Secret, Profitable, Waady & Mecca's Angel.
The main problem in splitting them relates to the trend whereby 7/11 UK winners had won at 6F+ and all 11 had run at that trip.
Formwise, the place to start is the G2 Temple Stakes over 5F at Haydock 24 days ago. The first 4 renew rivalry here.
Profitable beat Mecca's Angel a quarter of a length with Waady passing Pearl Secret a hd to gain 3rd.
Mecca's Angel is 0-1 over 6F when running two and a half lengths 4th in a Redcar Listed race on Good to Firm back in October 2013.
Profitable was rated a stone higher for finishing 5 and a bit lengths fifth in last years G1 Commonwealth Cup at this meeting last year.
Waady has had 3 runs over 6F (the first was his race course debut so inconclusive) but the second was an excellent piece of form, considering he missed the break. He finished a never nearer four and three quarter lengths fourth to the smart Adaay over 6F at Newbury on Good to Firm. The way he was making ground at the end behind the first two in the Temple Stakes gives hope he might get closer or even reverse placing on this stiffer track. The fact he beat Profitable 2L over the stiff 5F at Sandown last season gives further hope – though Profitable has improved since.
Pearl Secret is 0-4 at Ascot, 0-3 on good to Soft and 0-3 over 6F, with just one placed effort for all those. However he was a length fourth in this race last year "always held" behind Goldream. this seems to be a classier renewal and he is held by the first three even on that form.
This is a tricky one. Of the first two home, i think Profitable will appreciate this stiff five and confirm the form with Mecca's Angel (who should improve a little from her seasonal debut). However, i am going to take a chance, at 14/1 generally, on WAADY (our each way third in the Temple Stakes) appreciating it even more and reversing the form with the pair of them.
4.20 ST JAMES'S PALACE STAKES – LAST 19 RUNNING
12 Favs won
ALL 9/1 SP or less
18 from first 4 in betting
15 had 2 or 3 runs this season
11 won last run
16 had finished in the first 4 last time
16 had won over at least 7 furlongs
16 ran over 1 mile
13 were distance winners
These trends narrow it down to first and second favs, THE GURKHA and Awtaad.
The latter beat the UK 2000 Guineas winner impressively last time in the Irish version. That was a great effort and there is probably more to come. The UK Guineas form hasn't worked out so well though and preference is for the French Guineas winner THE GURKHA who romped home with 4.5L to spare from the subsequent close french derby second and third.
Given the record of favs, it will be worth watching the market but i think one of these will win and, though they both fit the bill perfectly trends-wise, THE GURKHA has the best form in the book and looks most likely to be sent off the market leader.
LAST 19 RUNNINGS
Only one surprise over the period with High Rise winning at 20/1 in 1998
All the rest were 11/1 or less and 17 were 7/1 or lower sp's
18 winners came from the first 4 in the betting (7 favs, 5 second favs and 4 third favs)
These trends alone narrow it down to four but with one caveat:
there have only been two occasions when the going had soft in the description and one of those was the above mentioned 20/1 winner
So, all the trends point to the first 4 in the betting but bear in mind that if there is going to be a surprise the Good/Good to Soft (that's what the clock said today) going could supply it.
Like the Oaks yesterday the weights and age are irrelevant.
Official Rating (OR)
All 12 of those with a rating had an OR of 108 plus, as did 10 of the last 11 winners
ALL had run between 2 and 5 times
None had run more than 3 times that season
18 won over 7F +
15 won over 1m +
18 had run over 1m+
13 had won over 10F+
Distance winners are 1-12
Only one ran over further – and lost
On the two occasions when soft was in the going High Rise won @ 20/1 in 1998 and High Chaparral won @ 7/2 in 2002
Trainer and Jockey stats
Aidan O'Brien has won this 5 times. 3 of the 5 were favs and all were returned 7/1 or less. The only one looking like going off near that price is second fav US Army Ranger who ticks all the boxes and is shortlisted.
Michael Stoute has had 3 winners in this and he runs the stoutly bred improver Ulysses who falls down on the handicap mark stat, only having an OR of 95
John Gosden has won this twice (including last year) and he saddles Dante winner, and narrow fav as i write, Wings of Desire who is shortlisted.
David Simcock is 9-31 here at Epsom and he runs 25/1 shot Algometer which might be worth a second look by us trainer stats fans. Not a trends profile though.
Karl Burke is 1/3 with his 3yo's here and he has Biodynamics who is a 100/1 shot
Over the last 2 years Sylvester de Sousa is 15/36 for Ed Dunlop, for whom he rides 20/1 shot, Red Verdon
Over the same period, Ryan Moore is 37/132 for AP O'Brien and he rides 11/2 second fav, US Army Base who is shortlisted
Frankie Dettori's record for John Gosden over the last two years is 52/187 and he rides another shortlisted horse in Wings of Desire
Starting with the first four in the betting, who, you will remember, have won 18 of the last 19 renewals of this race:
Andre Fabre won this with Pour Moi back in 2011. He is a shrewd trainer and his horse has good form in France though not in G1 company. His trends chance is let down by having one more run than any other winner in the last 19 runnings.
3 times winner of this, Michael Stoute, has Ulysses who could be anything but his OR of 95 would make him the lowest rated (by 13lbs!) winner of this over the period we are looking at
Wings of Desire has had 3 runs this season and would be the first for 20 years or more to have won this after more that 2 seasonal runs.
This leaves us with : 5 times winner and today's Oaks winner Aidan O'Brien's second fav US Army Ranger.
I think Channel 4 pundits were going overboard a bit today about the ground being Soft. The average time for the first 5 races was 0.84 seconds per furlong slower than standard, which is the Good side of Good to Soft. The slower ground was what was putting me off Wings of Desire who, for me has the better form having won the 90K G2 Dante stakes at York in a fast time on fast ground. He won't get that tomorrow and is up in trip too. Also he has had one too many runs this season to be a strict trends selection.
US ARMY RANGER won on Heavy over 10F on his debut then went to win at Chester for what his trainer described as "education" in the 42K G3 Chester Vase over today's trip on Good. Though the record of 1 win for distance winners isn't inspiring, it must be remembered this is from a small sample of 12.
The form of the two horses combined five races has not worked out that well or is inconclusive but they are the trends horses and the choice of the two, given the probable Good/Good to Soft going and the trend about the number of races this season plus O'Brien's remark about education (telling me that improvement is expected tomorrow), make US ARMY RANGER the tentative choice. The proven stamina went in his favour too.
He is around best priced 6/1 as i write.
Anyone looking for an each way bet could do worse than back the 2000 Guineas second Massaat who is 20/1 with Paddy Power as i write.
LAST 19 RUNNINGS
Favs have won 7 times but second and third favs only once each
Not in recent times though, with Sariska being the last winning fav back in 2009
Since then a 50/1 shot won last year and three 20/1 winners as well. Not to mention the 33/1 winner the year before Sariska
So, historically a decent race for favs but since 2007, ie the lst 9 runnings, just one has won. Maybe it will start to level out now but there is no doubt the recent trend is against the fav
Obviously weight and age are irrelevant as this race is always for 3yo's carrying 9 stone
Offficial Rating (OR)
All those with a rating had an OR of 106 or more
All had between 1 and 3 runs that season
12 won last time out and last time out seconds and thirds took one each
18 had already won over at least a mile
11 had won over 10F plus and 12 had run over those trips
Aidan O'Brien has won this 5 times in the last 19 runnings but only two of those were favs
Ed Dunlop has won this twice over the last 12 years and has an interesting lightly weighted outsider called Diamonds Pour Moi. She would be the lowest rated winner for 19 years but, trained by the bloke who brought Ouija Board and Snow Fairy here to win this, is no forlorn hope – 25/1 widely available yet only 11/1 with Corals! Do they know something? Or perhaps think they do. Either way not on the shortlist as a trends horse because of the too low OR.
Charlie Appleby's yard is bang in form and he runs current second fav, Skiffle, who ticks all the boxes and is definitely shortlist material
David Elsworth hasn't sent many here this past 5 years but , of the 3 runners he has sent, 1 won and was a 3yo to boot. His Australian Qeen falls down on every score; too many runs this season, out of first three last time, OR of just 90 and is passed over (will probably bolt up now!)
This race resolves around the fav, Minding. Will she stay? She was outbattled in the Irish 1000 Guineas last time, beaten a head by what may turn out to be a top drawer filly over a mile on Soft going, Jet Setting, with Group 3 winner, Now or Never, a further 10 lengths behind. According to RPR ratings, Minding only ran 4 lbs below her English Guineas best which leads me to conlude she was beaten by a better horse on the day under those conditions.
You would expect a future Oaks winner to get the best of such a battle and, for me, that defeat (even by what could turn out a top classs filly) threw doubt on Minding's stamina. That and the recent record of favs (not to mention the tendency for longer priced O'Brien horses to win this) lead me to oppose Minding.
Not only that but no-one knows what the going will be tomorrow. I have looked at the forecast for the next two days and it is, bar a few light showers, going to be dry. but what state it is in now i don't know. If it really is on the Soft side, that is another minus.
In that case, what to back? Putting together the stats for last time winners and those that won between 10 and 12 furlongs, i have a shortlist of 3:
Somehow won a slowly run 11.5 furlong trial for this, the G3 Cheshire Oaks. She was race fit and only a length behind seasonal debutant, Diamonds Pour Moi. The time for the race didn't tell us whether either of them would win a fast run mile and a half race, and, of the two, i would prefer the latter who was staying on better for my money in that race.
Seventh Heaven won another slowly run trial in a listed race at LIngfield, ridden out to beat fellow contestant, Architecture, a neck. Ryan Moore was reported as saying the filly didn't like the track which is a concern as Epsom is a very similar course. Again the time for that 10F race showed no clue that either of these are stamina laden and, of the two, Architecture may well reverse that form.
My idea of the winner is SKIFFLE from the red hot Appleby yard. This one landed a listed race at Goodwood (a sort of right handed Epsom) on just her second start, having reared and lost a good few lengths when third to two very decent horses on her debut. Both races were over 10F and it is true that the latest run was hardly threatening the course record either.
But she came fast and late to beat the 13/8 fav a length with Play Gal a further 7 lengths back. A form line through the latter gives the selection a 4.5L advantage over Somehow and 4L over Diamonds Pour Moi.
I can hardly say it is a confident selection against such a short priced fav, but SKIFFLE (6/1 with Ladbrokes as i write) looks like the improver with stamina and speed who may well put Minding's stamina to the test.
THE TEMPLE STAKES (GROUP 1)
LAST 19 RUNNINGS
Favs are 6/19 but the second favs have won just once. So the market tends to get it right between the front two in this.
The first 8 in the betting have won 18 times, the first seven have won 17 and the first 5 won 15
Winners at 33/1 & 20/1 but all the rest were returned 16/1 or less
16 had an SP of 16/1 or less
None carried more than 9-4
Handicap Rating (OR)
16 of the 18 with a rating had an OR of 106+
7of the last 8 had an OR of 109+
Not a big factor here except for the 9yo Sole Power (who may get his ground tomorrow), but 8yo's and older are 0-11 in this.
No back to back winners, in fact none won this more than once
Ran at least 4 times in the past year
Seasonal debutants have a good (6-45) record in this. Pretty much the same as all those with up to 4 runs that season. None had more runs than that in the season
16 posted a first 6 place in their last race
18 won over 5F plus, of whom 10 had also won over 6F to a mile
17 had ran over 6F plus
15 were distance winners
Ian Wiliams is 3/10 over the last 14 days and he runs Sir Maximilian who is readily dismissed on trends grounds due to having far too many runs
John Gosden has a fine record of 22-65 here at Haydock and Graham Lee has rode 4 for him here over the last 2 years with 2 winning. He runs Waady who has everything going for him and is shortlist material.
Horses with a variation of days since run, from less than 7 days since to 121 pus, have won this, but those who last ran between 31 and 60 days ago are 0-14 which goes against Muthmir from a trends perspective. Admittedly this isn't a large sample
Mecca's Angel has got by far the best form in the book after last seasons G1 Nunthorpe win. She is priced accordingly and those who are worried about the ground (though i don't know why as she has won in times that indicate she likes fast ground) needn't worry as the first 5 races at Haydock were run in times indicating Good/Good to Firm. 20mm of rain is forecast overnight and right up to the race which should make it Good at fastest and probably Good to Soft.
So she has everything in his favour (2/3 on seasonal debuts in a good race for seasonal debutants) except one niggling trend: she has ony had 3 runs in the past year when 17 had at least 4. Which makes me wonder why. Doesn't she stand much racing? And if not, why not?
Having said this she is the champ over 5 furlongs and may well bolt up. But this is a tough race to make your debut in and, if she is going to be beaten this season, this might be the best time to try.
The other two on the shortlist are the closely matched winner and third from the G3 Temple Stakes at Newmarket last time, where there was just over haf a length in it. They represent last years 3yo's and are the up and coming sprinters.
Profitable has improved at least half a stone since his 3yo days on that form and turned the form round with Waady, who beat him 2 lengths last season in a G3 at Sandown.
It is close between the two for an each way bet but the record of John Gosden's runners and Graham Lee's strike rate for him here, tips it in favour of WAADY who i think will prefer the easier ground here then the drying ground at Headquarters last time.
Each way though, as i think the fav could turn out a sprinting superstar!