The July meeting at Newmarket is here and promises three days of top class racing. While the English cricketers try to put it up to the Aussies in Cardiff, and Andy Murray carries a nation’s hopes at SW19, the racing world is delivering a spectacle of its own in Suffolk.
The feature race on Thursday is the Princess of Wales Stakes and we’ve cracked open the form book form the last decade to look at the key trends you need to pick the winner. We might not be known as ‘Trendsetters’ here at the Power Tower – particularly not if you see some of the fashion choices around the office – but when it comes to racing trends we’re a little more on point.
Throw into that list that half of all winners in the last decade have won at Newmarket and another half have previously finished in the top five of a Group 1 and you have some pretty solid guide.
The one horse that stands tall above the rest in the trends is Sheikhzayedroad at odds of 11/1. The David Simcock trained six-year-old has already had four runs this season, the highlight arguably being a runner-up in a Group 2 at Meydan in March. Last time out he was fourth in the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes at Ascot – another decent pointer with five of the last 10 winners of this race running in the Hardwicke and finishing in the top six.
Sheikhzayedroad has made the frame twice in three runs at Newmarket, including a win in the Fred Archer Stakes last year. He also has several wins over a mile-and-a-half, including a Grade 1 win across the pond in Canada at Woodbine.
At a decent price in the betting Sheikhzayedroad could prove to be the each-way value in a competitive eight runner field.
It’s hard to ignore Sir Michael Stoute’s (above) record in the race however, with the top trainer winning five times in the last decade and having two more runner-up spots. He has two in this race, Gospel Choir and Hillstar, with the former likely to be getting plenty of support with top jock Ryan Moore on board.
We’re happy to jump on that train (along with a certain John McCririck) at odds of 7/2. Gospel Choir is a course and distance winner with Grade 2 successes over a mile-and-a-half and a mile-and-three-quarters. Two weeks ago he had his first run for over a year when gamely holding on to win at this track on quick ground, and you’d expect Gospel Choir to come on again for that run. The key trends he didn’t hit are that he’s only run once this season, and his last race wasn’t a Group race, but the record of Michael Stoute in this race is hard to ignore and we wouldn’t put you off a little wager.
Sure, we might even have a quid on the forecast.