Home sweet home in Hungerford
Ian Ogg picks out the key stats from the last 10 renewals of the Betfred Hungerford Stakes and William Hill Great St Wilfrid on Saturday.
Newbury's Betfred Hungerford Stakes has been a surprisingly bad race for favourites with only two successful in the last decade.
The race has changed shape since it was first run as a Group Two in 2006 with eight winners having won at Group level with the exceptions being subsequent dual Group One winner Lethal Force and 2014 scorer Breton Rock.
Three and four-year-olds have dominated and provide all of the leading players (all aged four with no three-year-old reprsentatives) including last year's sixth Markaz.
Richard Pankhurst and Home Of The Brave were both non-runners 12 months ago and it is not inconceivable that the former could provide a shock.
He was well beaten in the Sussex Stakes but had previously finished in front of Convey in the Summer Mile at Ascot when racing too keenly and he may just benefit from a drop back to seven furlongs, the distance over which both career successes have been achieved.
Obviously he does have plenty to prove and Home Of The Brave rates the one to beat having beaten Convey at Haydock in May and following that up with a good run in the Lennox Stakes last time.
- Winners have been aged three (5), four (3), six and seven.
- Winners have been priced between 6/5 and 25/1 with eight between 6/5 and 15/2.
- Two favourites have been successful with a further three placed.
- Eight winners had won a race during the current season.
- Three winners had their preceding start at Glorious Goodwood in the Lennox (2) and Sussex (2).
- Winners have been officially rated between 107 and 117.
The William Hill Great St Wilfrid has been the sole reserve of David O'Meara and Richard Fahey in the last five years and the runners of both trainers merit respect.
David Nicholls used to be the go to man and with his stable enjoying an upturn in fortunes this season, his runners are clearly to the fore while Kevin Ryan regularly goes close.
Kimberella has been beaten a length and a half and a head in the last two runnings and, although he's considerably higher in the weights this time around, he's earned his mark and it's one from which he still looks competitive.
The same is true of Orion's Bow who lost little in defeat in the Stewards' Cup but he has to prove his effectiveness on this course and it is not a track that suits every runner and five winners in this period had previously scored over course and distance.
However, both are rated higher than any winner in the last decade and it's worth taking the pair on as a result.
Nuno Tristan doesn't have any course form but he does look a huge player having shown the best form of his life in recent starts during what is his first season with Fahey. He looked a shade unlucky over a fast six furlongs at Goodwood in the Stewards' Cup consolation (where Related was second) and there's a slight concern he may prefer a stiffer six than this.
Mujassam has also done most of his racing over further but this is his first start for O'Meara after being sold out of Roger Varian's stable and any market encouragement behind the four-year-old who is back on his last winning mark would look significant.
The market has got this race right more often than not and it's paid to focus on those towards the top of the betting but it may pay to make an exception for Pipers Note. A four time course winner, he finished fifth in the 2014 renewal and is very well weighted on his best form and showed a little more last time.
Henry Candy sent out the winner in 2009 and Son Of Africa has each-way claims having shown a little more the last twice and with his yard in the middle of the purple patch.
He had Snap Shots behind when winning at Newmarket in June and Tom Dascombe's runner may be high enough in the weights having won twice since. He does, though, have a decent course record with a win and two seconds from just three visits and he may not be easy to peg back from his low draw.
Intisaab meets Kimberella on better terms than when second to the Nicholls' runner in the Sky Bet Dash, but may not be ideally drawn in 17.
That brings us to decision time and Nuno Tristan looks a very fair each-way bet at a double figure price with Pipers Note tempting at longer odds.
- Winners have been aged three, four (3), five (3), six (2) and seven.
- Winners have carried between 8-12 and 9-6.
- Winners have been rated between 92 and 100.
- Winners have been priced between 7/2 and 20/1 with eight returned between 7/2 and 11/1.
- Four favourites, including the last three, have been successful with a further two placed.
- Winners have been drawn between 2 and 17 with nine between 2 and 12.
- Six winners have been placed on their previous start with two successful.
- Six winners had won a race during the current season.
- Nine winners had won a race with a field size of at least 13.
- Three winners ran in the Stewards' Cup (two finished fourth, one was unplaced) and three in the Sky Bet Dash (all unplaced).
- David O'Meara (three) and Richard Fahey (two) have trained the last five winners.