It's DERBY DAY folks !! Yes, it's that time of year again as this season's crop of the best 3 year-old middle distance horses do battle on the Epsom Downs - Aidan O'Brien will be looking for his sixth Derby success, but there is plenty of opposition against his Irish raiders this year. So, like all Saturday's we've got all the LIVE ITV races covered from a trends angle - use these key stats to find the best profiles of past winners.
14/14 – Ran within the last 6 weeks
12/14 – Never run at Epsom before
12/14 – Had won over 1m before (4 over 1m2f)
11/14 – Winners from stall 6 or higher
10/14 – Placed last time out
10/14 – Carried 8-10 or more
9/14 – Returned 11/2 or shorter in the betting
8/14 – Favourites that were placed
8/14 – Horses placed from stall 1
4/14 – Won their previous race
3/14 – Winners from stall 1
3/14 – Winning favourites (1 joint)
3/14 – Won by trained Sir Michael Stoute
3/14 – Won by trained Sylvester Kirk
The average winning SP in the last 10 years is 11/1
Stall 2 has just one place to its name in the last 14 runnings
2.35 - Princess Elizabeth Stakes (Sponsored By Investec) (Group 3) (Fillies & Mares) Cl1 1m114y ITV
14/14 – Returned 9/1 or shorter in the betting
14/14 – Had won at Listed or Group 3 class before
12/14 – Drawn in stall 4,5,6 or 7
12/14 – Favourites placed
11/14 – Had won between 4-6 times before
11/14 – Finished in the top three last time out
11/14 – Aged either 4 or 5 years-old
11/14 – Had won over at least a mile before
11/14 – Came from the top 3 in the betting
9/14 – Winning distance – 1 length or less
9/14 – Had raced within the last month
8/14 – Aged 4 years-old
8/14 – Had raced at Epsom before
7/14 – Winning favourites
7/14 – Won last time out
7/14 – Drawn in either stall 5 or 6
4/14 – Raced at Goodwood last time out
4/14 – Trained by Saeed Bin Suroor
3/14 – Won by a Cheveley Park-owned horse
2/14 – Trained by Sir Michael Stoute
Epsom Icon won the race 12 months ago
The average winning SP in the last 10 years is 9/2
14/14 – Had won over at least a mile before
12/14 – Had won a Listed or Group race before
12/14 – Had raced within the last 6 weeks
11/14 – Had won at least 4 times before
11/14 – Finished in the top 4 last time out
11/14 – Aged 5 or older
11/14 – Drawn in stall 6 or lower
10/14 – Had raced within the last 4 weeks
10/14 – Had raced at Epsom before
10/14 – Returned 8/1 or shorter in the betting
8/14 – Came from outside the top 3 in the betting
3/14 – Trained by Andrew Balding
3/14 – Won last time out
3/14 – Winning favourites
2/14 - Ridden by William Buick
The average winning SP in the last 10 years is 7/1
15/15 – Didn’t win last time out
13/15 – Raced within the last 6 weeks (11 within the last 4 weeks)
12/15 – Came from stall 8 or higher
11/15 – Carried 9-1 or less in weight
11/15– Unplaced favourites
11/15 – Won by horses aged between 5 and 8 years-old (inc)
10/15 – Had raced at Epsom previously (only 3 had won)
9/15 – Returned a double-figure price in the betting
3/15 – Horses from stall 1 that hit the frame
1/15 – Favourites
The average winning SP in the last 10 renewals is 14/1
15/15 – Raced no more than 5 times before
15/15 – Returned 7/1 or shorter in the betting
14/15 – Ran within the last 5 weeks
14/15 – Had won a Group race before
14/15 – Finished 1st or 2nd last time out
11/15 – Won from a single-figure stall
11/15 – Won last time out
11/15 – Favourites that were placed
10/15 – Had run over at least 1m2f before
10/15 – Had raced no more than 3 times before
8/15 – Had won a Group One before
7/15 – Irish-trained winners
6/15 – Won by the favourite
4/15 – Trained by Aidan O’Brien (won 5 in all)
4/15 – Won the Dante Stakes (York) last time out
3/15 – Trained by Sir Michael Stoute (won 5 in all)
2/15 – Winners from stall 12 or higher
1/15 – Won over 1m4f before
0/15 – Run at the course before
The average winning SP in the last 15 runnings is 4/1
10 Dante winners went onto win the Derby (Golden Horn, 2015 being the most-recent)
Only 1 horse that was beaten in the Dante (Workforce) went onto win the Derby
Epsom Derby Trainer Stats
Sir Michael Stoute won the race in 2010, 2004, 2003, 1986 & 1981
Aidan O’Brien won the race in 2002, 2001, 2012, 2013 & 2014
https://www.geegeez.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/sat-tv-trends.png320830Andy Newtonhttps://www.geegeez.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/gg-logo-new.pngAndy Newton2017-06-02 14:00:552017-06-01 14:41:34Sat TV Trends: 3rd June 2017
It's Derby Day at Epsom, and a bumper field of sixteen colts will bid to claim the Blue Riband. The supporting card features one of the great racehorses of our generation - Cirrus Des Aigles - and would be a race to set any meeting alight in its own right.
The going is something of an unknown at this stage, with good ground as I write threatening to turn softer as significant rain is expected in the Epsom area during most of Saturday.
It's probably best to assume somewhere between good and good to soft, and I'll do my utmost to flag going preferences throughout this preview.
Things tee off with the...
1.35 1m2f Handicap
A ten furlong three year old handicap, with eleven going to post. Most of the last ten winners have come from the lower part of the weights, but then so have most of the runners. Willie Haggas and Mark Johnston saddle five of the eleven between them, and team tactics could come into play.
There does seem to be a lot of pace in the race, with Double Bluff probably most likely to lead the dash for the front. He will have company in the vanguard from the likes of stabemate Stars Over The Sea (a son of Sea The Stars, unsurprisingly), Zampa Manos, Al Busayyir, and Flippant. It is of course perfectly possible that some of those will reign back off the heat in the early furlongs, and that will be a sensible play for any versatile enough still to run their race under unfamiliar tactics.
The pick of Johnston's trio might be the likely more restrained Lyn Valley, for whom this trip could see improvement. He ran arguably his best race on his only previous attempt at ten furlongs, plugging on without threatening in the hyper-valuable Tattersalls Millions at Newmarket. He's since underperformed on soft ground, but the return to quicker sod and a longer trip off a fierce pace could be optimal. Adam Kirby is enjoying a fine season and takes the ride.
There are a number of lightly races alternatives, headed by Yenhaab and Black Shadow. The former is trained by Willie Haggas, and he has shown plenty of pace in his three runs thus far. David Probert, who knows these slopes better than many, will probably have him just behind the speed and he can improve plenty on what he's shown to date.
Indeed, in a bizarre race the last day, he was two lengths behind Lyn Valley in a field of seven. Bizarre because they split into two groups, with Lyn Valley last of three in one group and Yenhaab first of four in the other! The last named may reverse the placings here, and has much the greater scope so to do.
The jockey of the season so far has, for me, undoubtedly been Andrea Atzeni, and he rides Al Busayyir here. Marco Botti's Amadeus Wolf gelding is unbeaten in two since stepping up to this ten furlong trip, and has form on both good and good to soft ground. Atzeni is a very cool customer and should have Al Busayyir placed on the heels of the leaders. That can be a rough, tough place to be in the helter-skelter skirmishes down the hill and around the camber here, but have faith in Andrea. He's my idea of a bet in the race, if there is such a thing.
It's a ferocious start to the wagering day, but Al Busayyir is the one for me, and Yenhaabshould also run well.
2.10 WOODCOTE STAKES (Listed Race)
The Woodcote is a six furlong Listed race for juveniles, and it's a speed test plain and simple. They hurtle downhill pretty much all of the way, and if you miss the kick, your chance is gone. The last half furlong or so does kick back up, and that's where those freewheeling will need to gather momentum for the final shove.
All of the last seventeen winners of the Woodcote had between one and three prior starts, and fifteen of them were first or second the last day, albeit from the majority of the runners. That alas does very little to pare the protagonists, and all bar two of the field of nine satisfy the fairly flimsy trends.
Baitha Alga and Ballymore Castle head the market. The former is one of only two distance winners in the field, though plenty of others are bred for this and more, and plenty of previous winners had yet to win at six.
The Fast Company colt won his maiden at Chester a week ago, and backs up here soon enough afterwards. It's too early to say what he beat that day, and with no subsequent winners emerging from his debut run either, the form has a hollow look at this stage.
Ballymore Castle by contrast has run in two races awash with subsequent winners, and he was the victor in the latter of that pair, having run third to Kasb in one of the best juvie maidens to date. His draw is wider than ideal, but he's bred for the trip, has shown form on the soft side of good, and has the services of one R L Moore. He doesn't need to lead so his wide draw may be less of a hindrance than it might be for some, and this chap looks to have a fine chance.
One such wider drawn speed horse is Red Icon, and it's possible his chance will be compromised by his post position. Tom Dascombe's team continue in sensational form, however, and if he can get a position early, he could hold onto it until very late. Still, he has a bit to find on Chester form with Ballymore Castle, and I'd not be convinced of his ability to reverse the placings.
Exentricity is an interesting contender for the stable which saddled the winner two years ago and the second last year. On form he has a bit to find, but he improved for the step up to six last time and was a touch unlucky to go down by a head there. Previously, he'd run behind Tiggy Wiggy on debut, and that one has gone on to win the Listed National Stakes at Sandown. He sandwiched that pair of runs with a mid-div effort in Listed company behind Patience Alexander and Tiggy Wiggy (again), beaten seven lengths.
On balance that gives Exentricity something to find, though connections are respected.
Lightning Stride has a first run on ground softer than good to firm and that could be a source of regression, or improvement. At the least, it's a question mark about his ability to handle conditions, and combined with the limited value of his form to date (improved on a well beaten debut - as so many Meehan horses do - to win a moderate looking maiden), he's a pass.
The rest are probably not good enough, though Fine Prince is an interesting one at a reasonable price. Second on both runs so far, he's been beaten an aggregate of less than a length, and looks well drawn to avail of the early speed he's shown. He might jump fast and hang in there for a long time, and looks the best each way option in a race where each way betting is not really advised...
I think Ballymore Castle will take some beating.
2.40 Coronation Cup (Group 1)
Eight runners over a mile and a half and they're headed by the magnificent Cirrus Des Aigles, trained by the magnificent Corine Barande-Barbe. I'm a huge fan of both of them, and am personally delighted that Cirrus was 'decoupled' so early in his career. Since that severance, he's been a reformed character and, now eight, continues to plunder Group 1's like they're going out of fashion.
He's won twenty races. TWENTY! He's won five Group 1's. FIVE! He's a superstar and no mistake.
Getting over my personal crush on Cirrus Des Aigles, his rating superiority is only three pounds over 2013 Grand Prix de Paris winner, Flintshire. That one was subsequently under-cooked when fourth in the Prix Niel and had a horror run in the Arc last time. On his Grand Prix de Paris win, he'd be a serious danger to Cirrus Des Aigles, but whether he's quite ready for this on debut is another question. The guy (pronounced 'gee') from Paris Turf sitting opposite tells me he is ready, and has a very good chance on good ground.
If he's as fit and well as M. P Turf relates, he's clearly the main danger to CdA.
The top three in the ratings is completed with another overseas raider, this time from Germany, Empoli. This Halling colt has been racing with credit in Dubai, culminating in a close fourth in the Sheema Classic. He has a high level of form but is not a frequent winner: indeed, just one win from ten starts tells its own story. It's not hard to see Empoli running well but it is quite hard (for me at least) to see him beating Cirrus et al.
Talent won the Oaks here last year, so there are no course or distance fears. There is however a reservation about whether she's up to showing her best on seasonal debut, and in any case she needs to improve nine pounds on a race fit Cirrus Des Aigles.
For those looking for an each way bet, a mile and a half on the soft side of good is ideal for Joshua Tree and, while he has a bit to find on form, Ryan Moore will bridge at least some of that gap with his tactical acumen. 40/1 is worth a shekel win and place.
I'm not one for backing odds on shots, but I think Cirrus Des Aigles is a supreme animal, fit, and racing under optimal conditions (course question notwithstanding). He looks robust in the extreme.
3.15 INVESTEC "DASH"
The Dash. The fastest five furlong race in the world, so the media blurb relates. Clearly then, you need a horse that can get out and stay out. Half asleep in the box? No chance. Or have you?
Whilst traditionally you need to be close to the speed - though not necessarily on top of it - Duke Of Firenze demonstrated Ryan Moore's trackcraft with a superlatively charmed run to weave his way to victory under the jamstick last year. It was a masterful ride, but also a lucky one, and the balance of probabilities demands a wager on a prominent racer than can stalk an unsustainable meter.
Let's begin with the pace profile for the race, then. You won't be shocked to read that there is plenty of zip in the formbook. Even Stevens may be the speed of the speed, and it will be very interesting to see how he fares from the widest stall of all. He'll be hustled by some or all of Caspian Prince, Tangerine Trees, Addictive Dream, and Judge N'Jury.
Expecting any of that group to prevail may be dependent on the rain staying away. In the likelihood that it won't, something in the next rank may be a better option. That group includes Eton Rifles and Taajub and, in a wide open race, they'd be my pair against the field.
Eton Rifles has plenty of weight, largely by dint of the fact that he has plenty of ability. He's a pound lower than his last winning mark, and a bit of give in the ground will be ideal. In fact, the more rain the better for this fellow. Closely tied in with Steps, who has beaten him by fine margins twice and is worse off at the weights today, he's twice the price of that one in some lists. His stall eight draw gives jockey Andrea Atzeni options, and I like his chance from an each way bet perspective.
Taajub was fourth in this race two years ago, and was tenth - beaten just three lengths - in the race last year. He's also been second and third at the track, and looks likely to run his race once more. 20/1 seems reasonable.
Smoothtalkinrascal was extremely unlucky when a neck second in The Dash last year, but his running style means he'll have to be as lucky this year as he was unlucky last to prevail. A horse of obvious talent, he can win if it all falls right for him.
Lots more with chances but there's little point me prevaricating further!
A handicap over the Derby course and distance. Lots of exposed types, so the unexposed Stomachion from the Sir Michael Stoute yard catches the eye. A winner of three of his last four starts, he looks like twelve furlongs on the easy side of good will be ideal at this stage of his career, and Ryan Moore will eke out every ounce of talent from his mount. Indeed Moore has won on Stomachion the last three times he's ridden the Duke Of Marmalade gelding.
Two that are relatively new to domestic eyes are Kelinni and Open Eagle, and both could get involved. Kelinni has been racing in Australia at up to Grade 1 level and, while he wasn't up to winning in that stratosphere, he can boast a pair of Grade 3 handicap victories. He seems versatile with regards trip and ground, and should be cherry ripe on this third start for Marco Botti. Frankie Dettori, without a ride in the Derby, will be especially keen to press his claims here.
Open Eagle was bought by Middleham Park Racing for 50,000 guineas last autumn, and he ran third in the November Handicap before rather disappointing in three subsequent starts. It's perfectly possible he was over the top after a hard season, and he's had a pipe opener this term too, so he should be fit to fire. As with Kelinni, a mile and a half on the easy side of good is dead on, and he could be a big priced play.
Blue Wave is a typically tough Mark Johnston handicapper and he will track the speed early on. That will likely give him first run on his rivals, and he might well be good enough to make the frame at least.
Christopher Wren is a relatively rare flat runner for Nick Gifford, and the booking of my mate Atzeni looks intriguing for this JP McManus-owned US bred. He probably wouldn't want too much rain, but good to soft should be fine, and he is a tough and genuine competitor, and another at a price that could go better than his odds suggest.
Typically trappy and a potential placepot-buster of a race for those skilful/fortunate enough still to be rolling; and I'm taking tentative interest in Kelinniand Christopher Wren. Stomachion is the most obvious of many dangers.
5.25 6f Handicap
The curtain falls on two fascinating days of racing on the Downs, with a six furlong handicap. With winners at 25/1 and 33/1 in the last five years, it might not be a race to go mad in, but equally there could be a spot of value to dig us out of a hole, or elevate us to punting glory.
Course form is represented by Fair Value, a horse that has been in the first four on all five runs at this track. However, all five were over the minimum distance, and his form suggests that the sixth furlong does rather stretch his stamina and, thus, the credibility of advising him as wager material. Fair Value has yet to win at six, and his better runs at that trip were on fast ground.
Swiss Cross could be more interesting at a price, his five course runs including three places, all at the six furlong distance. Indeed, both five furlong runs culminated in staying on fourth placings in dozen-plus fields, so we can say he loves this strip. Whilst he wouldn't want much rain, his trainer Phil McEntee is in cracking form, and Swiss Cross is now nine pounds below his last winning mark. With a nice low draw to track the speed, he won't be far away as long as it remains good to soft or quicker.
An alternative, should the heavens have well and truly vented their soggy spleen by this time, is Bondesire. He's a versatile sort as regards both trip (five or six furlongs seem alike to him) and ground (placed from heavy, to good to firm), and he's in fine form at present. To that end, three runs this season have yielded two wins and a second. He's just four pounds above his last winning perch, and may not have finished progressing yet.
Bondesire will give his supporters a run for their money as he's likely to lock horns early with the probably favourite, Ashpan Sam. It's possible one of that pair can prevail in their duel and in the race, but it might be more likely that something will track the pace and have a bit more in the locker to go by. Swiss Cross is one option and, on softer ground, the formerly talented juvenile Lewisham may be another.
Lewisham has had more trainers than Mo Farah in his short career, but he doesn't lack talent. His career best effort was when second on his sole start on soft in the Group 2 July Stakes as a two year old, and if he could find anything like that form under current handler, Dandy Nicholls, they might not see which way he went. Put it like this: he was rated 107 after that July Stakes run, and he's in here off 84.
Best of luck whichever way you wager in the 'lucky last'. My ha'penny will be shoved towards Swiss Cross on good to soft or quicker, or on Lewisham on softer. They'll both be fair prices I'd imagine, so you pays your money and takes your chance.
Epsom Investec Derby 2012 Trends, Preview and Tips
Camelot to win the Epsom Derby 2012?
It's the main Classic of the year, the Investec Derby 2012, at Epsom racecourse on Saturday, 2nd June, and here you'll find a full Derby preview, containing the key Derby trends and, of course, some Derby tips (win, each way, longshot).
So let's get into the Derby trends...
Epsom Derby 2012 Trends
There are some key trends for the Derby, taken over the last fifteen years, and they centre around the top of the market.
- Twelve of the last fifteen winners won their last race, and the other three finished second. So if your Derby fancy was third or worse last time, it doesn't look good...
- No Epsom Derby winner has started at a bigger price than 7/1 since 1998 (when the favourite was a filly!). The year before, 1997, Entrepreneur was sent off the 4/6 favourite having won the 2000 guineas on his previous start. He finished 4th. Since then, Sea The Stars has done the double (2009, 11/4). This year's hot favourite, Camelot, will also bid for the 2000 Guineas / Epsom Derby double.
- The top four in the betting have won 14/15, and all of the last thirteen Derby's.
- Of those to be officially rated by the handicapper, all were rated 108 or more, and all bar one were 113+
- Thirteen out of those fifteen were returning to the track within 16-30 days of their last run.
- Twelve of the last fifteen Epsom winners had had between three and five career runs, prior to Derby glory.
Epsom Derby 2012 Preview
In essence, if the trends are to be believed, this makes it a two horse race between impressive 2000 Guineas winner, Camelot, and impressive Dante winner, Bonfire.
However, just about the last time there was a big upset (1997) was when impressive 2000 Guineas winner, Entrepreneur, was sent off odds on favourite and could finish only fourth..
That year, Benny The Dip, the 11/1 3rd choice, prevailed. He had finished 3rd in the Racing Post Trophy at the end of the previous year, a performance that probably entitled him to consideration in the Derby itself; and then he was second in the Sandown Classic Trial the time before winning at Epsom.
Camelot is unbeaten in three races and has a perfect profile fit for the race. Every time I watch the 2000 Guineas, I'm more impressed by the way he won, and he was going away at the end. Whether that makes him a top drawer ten furlong horse, or a top drawer twelve furlong (Derby trip) horse, remains to be seen. But he deserves to be a clear favourite for this race, in my opinion (and just about everybody else's).
Bonfire won in good style at York in the Dante Stakes, the other top Derby trial, and he is the clear pick of the home challenge. He and nearest rival, Ektihaam, pulled four lengths clear of the form yardstick, Fencing, and it was another ten lengths back to the rest. With Ernest Hemingway clearly not firing, 'the rest' may have been trees... or, at least, non-stayers. He is another who ticks all boxes and may very well be an each way bet to nothing against such a strong favourite.
Main Sequence is third favourite currently and is unbeaten. But his official rating of 106 would be the lowest in the last fifteen years at least to win the Derby. On balance, that's too big a leap of faith, despite the fact he remains a colt of potential. I suspect he may stay even further and it would not surprise me if he wound up running a big race in the St Leger before the season is out.
The winner of the Sandown Trial this time was Imperial Monarch, who is unbeaten in two starts.
Incredibly, to me at least, it's ten years since Aidan O'Brien won the Derby - with High Chapparal - and that was his second string that day, as Hawk Wing (runner up) was sent off favourite.
Imperial Monarch has recorded his two wins on soft ground, and is bred on soft ground lines (German sire loved soft and dam sire, Slip Anchor, also liked it muddy). That doesn't mean Imperial Monarch won't act on faster, just that we don't know he will act on faster.
It was a really strange race that last day, as Joseph O'Brien brought Imperial Monarch to the near side and the others stayed on the shorter route, the far side. That manoeuvre was probably an extra half furlong onto the race distance, but was counter-balanced by the better ground he encountered as a consequence.
It would take a quantum physicist with a second doctorate in blarney to adequately assess that line of form, and Imperial Monarch can only be called a wild card. He could win, but there's nothing so far to suggest he ought to be joint fourth favourite, in my view at least.
Can Parish Hall win the Derby?
Parish Hall is interesting. I am writing this before his run in the Irish 2000 Guineas. If he wins and wins well, already a big 'if', then he'd be second or third favourite.
But that race is just seven days before the Derby, and only one horse in recent memory has come back to win within two weeks let alone a single week. It's asking too much for my money to be investing in a horse bidding for a Classic double on back-to-back Saturdays.
Besides which, he's yet to run beyond seven furlongs in his life, so an extra half mile after Saturday's Guineas run is a massive step up in trip, and another imponderable.
Deep down in the midst of the unknown's, there is a horse whose trainer is a magician, and who is unbeaten in a four start career. If he shows up, he'll be worthy of serious respect. And his name is Kesampour. Owned by the Aga Khan, this chap won a muddling Group 2 last time on very soft ground.
The slow pace and deep ground may not have been to his liking and he showed a very favourable attitude to repel two different challenges. Class horses are able to maintain their challenge under duress for longer, and the way he battled that day showed he has guts as well as talent.
He's previously won on good ground so that ought not to be an issue for him, and I've had a little nibble at 80 on Betfair. Obviously, if he doesn't run, I'll lose my tenner, but I got drawn in by the odds... (He's a best priced 33/1 with Skybet as I write, 20/1 elsewhere).
Epsom Derby 2012 Tips
So there you have it. In my opinion, the fancied horses will probably fare best again, but there is a dark horse and an each way bet to nothing in the field too.