There’s a chill in the air, and we have entered a new month. We may have the Arc Weekend and Champions Day to look forward to this month, but you know winter isn’t far away, as later this month Cheltenham will be hosting its first jumps meeting of the season.
Let’s take a look back at Saturday’s Newmarket card and the three Juvenile Group races.
It’s the Aiden O’Brien Show at Newmarket
It may not have been the best of seasons for the Irish trainer, but there’s no doubt his horses are now over the mid-season bug that affected the yard.
On Saturday, the trainer won the first three races on the card, all ridden by son Donnacha, as Ryan Moore was over in the States to ride Mendelssohn at Belmont Park.
It began with Mohawk’s success in the Group 2 Royal Lodge Stakes. Closely followed by Fairyland’s success in the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes, and then Ten Sovereign’s win the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes.
Mohawk paid a big compliment to Quorto and stablemate Anthony Van Dyck, when landing the 1m Royal Lodge Stakes. The son of Galileo had finished 4 th to Quorto in the National Stakes on his last start. He was beaten fair and square that day, although the good to yielding ground probably didn’t quite suit the colt. Both the step-up to a mile and a quicker surface suited him here.
The front two in the betting, Beatboxer and Arthur Kitt, both failed to run their races for whatever reasons. The former was eased-off in the final two furlongs from home and finished slightly lame. Arthur Kitt, who had been a runner-up to Too Darn Hot on his previous start, could only finish 5th. Maybe he didn’t stay the mile, or maybe he just wasn’t right on the day, who knows, but this surely wasn’t his best, was it…
How good is the form? Well, despite the below performances by the fancied runners, Mohawk looks a smart colt who should do well over middle distances as 3-year-old.
Fairyland provided the second of the O’Brien Group winners, when taking the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes. Fairyland and The Mackem Bullet once again fought out the finish as they had done last month at York. It was the Irish filly who came out on top again, this time by a neck. Like at York, the winner showed a good attitude in the finish. She was a bit keen early part of the race, but was given a good ride by the jockey to hold off her old rival.
The disappointment of the race was the 6/4 favourite Pretty Pollyanna who was the only Group 1 winner in the field. Like the winner, she was also keen in the race, which didn’t help her cause at the finish and she could only finish 4th. Maybe it was one race too many for her or maybe she didn’t handle the track.
Before the race, I wasn’t convinced that either Fairyland or Pretty Pollyanna would stay the mile of the 1000 Guineas, and I saw nothing to change that opinion. The fact that the winner can still be backed at 12/1 for the first fillies’ classic shows just how open that race is. I don’t think that we saw next year’s 1000 Guineas winner there either.
Ten Sovereigns completed the treble with an impressive win the 6f Middle Park Stakes. The son of No Nay Never came into the race having won his two previous races. He had his first real race here, and at the finish he looked like he had plenty more in hand than the ½ length margin of victory suggested. The winner and the runner-up, Jash, finished nicely clear of the rest, so the form of the race looks solid.
He’s a real speed machine for sure, and an impressive specimen of a horse. Will he stay a mile? The trainer isn’t totally convinced he will. His sire was a sprinter, and his dam won over 1m 2f in France, so there’s a chance that he can stay a mile in his second season.
In a normal year Ten Sovereigns would probably have been favourite for next year’s 2000 Guineas on the back of this win. The fact that he can still be backed at 8/1 for next year’s Classic just underlines just what a fantastic group of juvenile colts we have this year.
One of the highlights of the last few weeks of the flat season are the end of season Newmarket maiden races, which usually contain plenty of future winners. On Friday, the 7f maiden saw the first four pull well clear of the field, and the form looks solid.
Velorum , trained by Charlie Appleby, was well backed for his racecourse debut. There was plenty of support for the son of Sea The Stars who was sent-off the 15/8 favourite. Sadly, his backers were not able to collect on this occasion, as the colt could only finish runner-up. He just lacked a bit of experience at the finish when it mattered. Given his sire, he should do better with racing and can make up into a decent 3-year-old. He can certainly win races on the evidence of this performance.
The Week Ahead: A Trainer Stats Perspective
Here are some trainer stats worth noting this week. As ever, I am concentrating on runners sent-off at odds 10/1 & under
5 winners from 16 runners
Strike Rate 31%
SP Profit +15
Place Strike Rate 50%
7 winners from 26 runners
Strike Rate 27%
SP Profit +20.88
Place Strike Rate 46%
Both trainers had a winner on Saturday, and have entries at Catterick today.
As for the rest of the week, the following trainer track stats are worth noting if they have runners.
Looking at trainers with runners 10/1 & under, but just looking at their records at the track in October.
10 winners from 35 runners
Strike Rate 29%
SP Profit +28.25
Place Strike Rate 54% in particular note any juvenile runners the trainer sends to the track this month:
3 winners from 6 runners
Strike Rate 50%
SP Profit +16.5
Place Strike Rate 83%
10 winners from 22 runners
Strike Rate 45%
SP Profit +12.19
Place Strike Rate 64%
Ian Williams (Class 4, 5 or 6 races only)
11 winners from 29 runners
Strike Rate 38%
SP Profit +32.63
Place Strike Rate 59% (each way +38.47)
Those ridden by Jim Crowley are:
4 winners from 5 runners
Strike Rate 80%
SP Profit +13.88
Kim Bailey (Hurdles only)
9 winners from 23 runners
Strike Rate 39%
SP Profit +31.6
Place Strike Rate 48%
Dan Skelton (Chases only)
11 winners from 23 runners
Strike Rate 48%
SP Profit +12.7
Place Strike Rate 65% (each way +17.81)
Two trainers who have interesting records with their 2-year-old runners at the course in October:
2 winners from 7 runners
Strike Rate 29%
SP Profit +6.5
Place Strike Rate 71% (each way +10.10)
Martyn Meade (Racecourse debut)
2 winners from 2 runners
Strike Rate 100%
SP Profit +83
Until next week.
All the best,
for The Race Advisor