Growl can rise to the Challenge
Ian Ogg analyses the last 10 renewals and picks out the key statistics for Saturday's Totepool Two-Year-Old Trophy at Redcar and the totescoop6 Challenge Cup at Ascot.
The formula has been relatively simple for recent renewals of the Totepool Two-Year-Old Trophy and that has been reflected in the starting prices.
There have been three winning favourites in the last six years with the longest priced winner returned at 10s and the next longest at just 6/1.
Not surprisingly given that record, pattern race form has come to the fore and putting a line through those that haven't run at that level significantly reduces the number of eligible candidates.
It is probably worth giving a stay of execution to Orewa and Wick Powell – who showed a good level of form in a valuable sales race at the Curragh – and the blinkered Mazyoun who chased home Mubtasim in another sales race at Doncaster although no maiden has won the race in the last decade.
None are rated as highly as recent winners Limato, Log Out Island, Bogart and Ladies Are Forever which does, perhaps, suggest that this year's renewal is more competitive and, more importantly, lacks a standout star.
The highest rated runner is Repton – representing last year's successful yard – but his best run was achieved over seven furlongs and he hasn't been sighted since disappointing over that trip last time. Given the speed he showed in the Vintage Stakes, the drop back in trip may well not be a problem.
Rainbow Mist has come from off the pace in most of his races and that is a major negative on the stats and similar comments apply to Medici Banchiere who has made little impression in Group Twos the last twice.
That brings us back to Orewa and Wick Powell with The Wagon Wheel also worth a mention at this stage given her collateral form with the latter.
She was giving Wick Powell 12lbs when impressively winning a York nursery in which David Barron's runner was beaten just over four lengths and was well-backed to follow up at Goodwood. She made a mess of the start there and that course wouldn't be for every horse so it would be no great surprise to see her produce better here.
She is giving Wick Powell 8lbs this time around which is a measure of the task facing her.
Orewa impressed in Ireland when making the most of a good draw but he was getting 2lbs from Wick Powell that day and has to concede 11lbs this time around. He did, though, win with a bit to spare and he's taken to confirm the form and claim an open renewal.
- Winners have been weighted between 7-12 and 9-2
- Winners have been priced between 6/5 and 40/1 with seven 10/1 or shorter.
- Three favourites have won, all in the last six years.
- All of the winners raced either on the pace or were close-up.
- Eight winners had raced between four and nine times; the exceptions had had two and three starts.
- Eight winners made their debuts no earlier than May.
- Seven winners finished in the first three on their preceding start, two of the exceptions ran in Pattern races.
- Six winners had their preceding start in September.
- Seven winners had all run in a Group Two, one of the exceptions had run in a Group Three
- Four winners had won over six furlongs or beyond.
The totescoop6 Challenge Cup has produced a couple of shock results in the last decade with Advanced and Candidato Roy winning at 33/1 and 50/1 but there have also been five winners in single figures.
Buckstay was one of those when delighting favourite backers at 9/2 last season and Peter Chapple-Hyam is enjoying his best run of the season but the likeable six-year-old could be handicapped out of it from an 8lb higher mark.
That also has to be a concern for Librisa Breeze while Firmament and Coprah are on the cusp.
Winning form over the trip is desirable but those that aren't distance winners include Burnt Sugar who is 3lbs lower than when finishing a close fourth in the International Stakes over course and distance last season.
Few of the remainder can be discounted on those terms or on their age but we can look to take on those drawn high with runners boxed in low to middle numbers dominating.
Remarkable is a little higher than ideal but has to be considered on his first start since the Jersey Stakes, a race which has worked out well, and All Ivory defied an even longer absence when scoring in 2006.
Afjaan, course specialist Squats and Dutch Law are also of strong interest but Richard Fahey may be able to saddle the winner for the second time in four years.
Heaven's Guest took this prize in 2013 and races from a 2lb higher mark and 1lb lower than when winning last year's International Stakes. Right Touch is another with winning form at the track but he looks to be drawn higher than ideal and ready preference is for Growl who he had back in twelfth when winning here last year.
That run was a rare blip for the Oasis Dream gelding who made a winning debut at this track as a juvenile but he has been in fine form this season, finishing fourth in both the Bunbury and Stewards' Cups before a fine second in the Ayr Gold Cup.
That contest has provided five of the last seven winners of this race which has to be viewed as a strong pointer to the chances of Graham Lee's mount who may have sufficient improvement left to defy his latest rise in the weights.
He has never won over this trip but the Bunbury Cup was only his second outing over the distance and first since his second career run and his last two efforts suggest the extra yardage won't be a problem.
Growl should be very hard to keep out of the frame and may well be able to land a deserved success.
- Winners have been aged three, four (4), five (3) and six (2).
- Winners have carried between 8-10 and 9-8 with the last six between 8-13 and 9-8.
- Winners have been rated between 89 and 105 with eight of the last nine between 99 and 105.
- Winners have been priced between 9/2 and 50/1 (two winning favourites) with six at 12s or shorter.
- Nine winners have been drawn between one and 12.
- Seven winners finished in the first five on their preceding start.
- Nine winners had already won a class two handicap.
- Four winners had run in a handicap at the Royal meeting.
- Eight winners had between three and nine starts in the current season (the exceptions ran once and twice).
- Seven winners had won a race during the current season.
- Seven winners had already won over seven furlongs.
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