It was nice to signpost you a winner last week as Sir Dancealot took Saturday’s Hungerford Stakes at Newbury.
On Wednesday the gates of York racecourse open to usher in four stunning days racing. Yes. It’s the start of the Ebor Festival. I have a few stats to share with you from the meeting. As well as taking a brief look at Saturday’s Ebor Handicap.
But first let's take a look back to Saturday's Hungerford Stakes.
Sir Dancealot Waltzs to Hungerford Success
There were three reasons why the 4-year-old’s win was so noteworthy. Firstly, he was carrying a 3lb penalty for his success in the Lennox Stakes. He also had a moderate early gallop to overcome. Finally, the ground would have been plenty soft enough.
Jockey Gerald Mosse, who granted isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, put all his years of experience in the saddle to use by riding an excellent race on the winner. As I mentioned last week the jockey rates him a Group 1 horse. On the evidence of this run you wouldn’t rule him out of being capable of winning one either when he gets his optimum conditions.
The disappointments of the race were Gustav Klimt and Librisa Breeze: The former was sent off the 15/8 favourite but found nothing when asked for his effort two out. Given the colt was dropping down in trip to 7f here and there didn’t look like there was going to be a lot of pace in the race, I was fully expecting Ryan Moore to go from the front so it was surprising to see him drop the horse in behind the leaders. This was a second disappointing effort from the horse who just isn’t progressing and is one to be very wary of.
Second Favourite Librisa Breeze, who finished last of the eight runners had a few excuses for this tame effort. He really needs them to go hard up front. So, the slow early gallop wasn’t in his favour at all. He would also have probably preferred softer ground. The 6-year-old had also put in a top-class effort over in France when 4th in the ultra-competitive Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville just 13 days previously. Given the hard race he had there. This probably came just to quick for the gelding.
This week’s horse for the tracker is the John Gosden trained juvenile Waldstern. The son of Sea The Stars made a winning racecourse debut at Newmarket on Friday evening. Racing over a mile the colt handled the good to soft ground better than many in the field.
Given those who finished around him had raced more prominently this was a good performance. He came with a powerful late run to collar the eventual runner-up in the final 100yds. He ran green in the early stages of the race but once the penny dropped his class overcame his inexperience.
He’s bred to be a smart middle distance 3-year-old, being a half brother to Group 1 winner Waldgeist and recent 1m 4f French Group 2 winners Waldlied. His trainer won this race last year with Roaring Lion so he will have a good idea as to how good the colt could be. Who knows maybe we just saw the 2019 Derby winner make his debut?
York Ebor Festival Stats
Here are three trainers whose well fancied runners (9/1 & under) need close inspection. All the stats below are from 2008 onwards.
- William Haggas – 17 winners from 64 runners 27% +31.88 A/E 1.51 28 placed 44% – 9 winners from 24 runners 38% +24.13 A/E 1.95 14 placed 58% with his juvenile qualifiers.
- Charlie Appleby – 6 winners from 15 runners 40% +18.38 A/E 2.13 7 placed 47%
- Tony Martin – 3 winners from 8 runners 38% +17.5 A/E 2.7 6 placed 75%
Sky Bet Ebor Handicap Trends
My favourite race of the four days and favourite race of the season. Here are some of the more interesting trends from the past ten years:
The results below contain – 10 winners from 189 runners 39 placed
Weight: 8-8 to 9-4 – 10 winners from 122 runners 30 placed
Age: 5yo to 7yo – 9 winners from 102 runners 25 placed
Last Time Out Placing: Top 4 – 7 winners from 111 runners 30 placed
Stalls: 1 to 5 – 0 winners from 45 runners 8 placed
Last Race Odds SP: 10/1+ 1 winner from 86 runners 15 placed
One of the most interesting trends in recent years has been the success of claiming jockeys (3lb or 5lb) in the race – 5 winners from 24 runners 21% +70.5 A/E 3.57. The Ebor Handicap is such a compressed handicap these days, that taking off 3lb or 5lb can make all the difference to a horse’s chance.
Hopefully the above trends will help you shortlist contenders for this years renewal.
Today’s big race is the Sky Bet Windsor Sprint Series Finale Handicap. A maximum field of 16 are set to go to post for this valuable prize.
Most of the field have some sort of chance. But I am happy to take an each-way chance with Bernie’s Boy. The 5-year-old won a C&D qualifier here back in June. The quick ground held no terrors for him that day as he came with a strong late run to win. This is his first start since. However, fitness shouldn’t be an issue as he goes well fresh and is 1 win from 2 runs when racing 60 to 90 days since his last run.
This is a much stronger race. But he’s only 3lb higher than for that win so remains on a competitive mark. If he gets a good pace to chase and all the cards fall right he can out run his price.
Bernie’s Boy – 20/1 (each way)
All that’s left is to wish you a profitable week’s punting at the Ebor Festival.