Stats point to Quiet success

Ian Ogg analyses the last 10 renewals of the 32Red Sprint Cup and 32Red Casino Handicap and picks out the key statistics.

Market leaders have had a relatively lean time in the 32Red Sprint Cup with just three of the last 10 successful but Limato is certainly in the right hands.

As well as saddling last year's winner Twilight Son, Henry Candy also sent out Markab to win in 2010 to become the only trainer to win the Haydock Park Group One twice in this period.

He certainly looks the part on paper although four-year-olds have a surprisingly poor record with only Red Clubs getting on the scoresheet for a generation that has been well represented in this period.

Given the number of four-year-olds that have hit the frame, it's possible to argue that this may just be an anomaly but I'll take them on nonetheless.

Five-year-olds have done well and Suedois looks to be the leading candidate for that peer group having finished second to Limato in the July Cup on his penultimate start. Trainer David O'Meara has had this race in mind since the Prix Maurice de Gheest and the pick of this season's performances certainly put him in the mix.

Three-year-olds have provided just as many winners and provide a much stronger representation with Dancing Star and Quiet Reflection to the fore.

Twelve months ago Twilight Son proved that the step from handicap to Group One company could be made successfully at the first attempt and the former cannot be dismissed lightly following her Stewards' Cup success.

However, Karl Burke's daughter of Showcasing is preferred and taken to follow in the steps of French raider African Rose who became the only winning filly in this period when taking the 2008 renewal at Doncaster.

Quiet Reflection improved in leaps and bounds in winning her first four starts this season – including one over course and distance – and can bounce back from her July Cup defeat where the ground was probably a shade faster than ideal.

  • Winners have been aged three (4), four, five (4) and seven.
  • Winners have been priced between 11/4 and 14/1 with six at 9/1+.
  • Three favourites have been successful.
  • The nine winners with official marks have been rated between 104 and 124 with seven between 109 and 117.
  • Seven winners finished in the first four on their preceding start with three successful.
  • Four winners had already won a Group One with a further three placed at that level.

The 32Red Casino Handicap – rather better known as the Old Borough Cup – often goes the way of a fancied in-form runner.

Three of those have been three-year-olds but there are no representatives from the Classic generation and it is a somewhat unusual renewal given that there are no runners from the yards of Mark Johnston or John Gosden, trainers who have provided five winners between them.

There has been a wide range of weight carrying performances – and consequently of official winning ratings – and Ebor runner-up Shrewd cannot be dismissed for last year's winning stable despite his mark of 102. The 2004 and 2005 winners of this race both finished fourth in that prestigious York handicap prior to lifting this prize although they had slightly lower ratings of 101 and 98.

Walpole is an interesting runner at the other end of the handicap but Hugo Palmer's lightly raced four-year-old is sue to run at Ascot on Friday and it remains to be seen how he fares there and, if he does run, whether he makes a quick reappearance in Merseyside.

One stat which has been fairly constant is that winners have come into the race on the back of a good run with eight achieving a top four finish with one of the two exceptions sent off the 7/2 favourite regardless, it has clearly paid to focus on those in form.

There are surprisingly few runners who can boast such credentials and Gold Prince is not among them but like the aforementioned exception – who was Sir Graham Wade – his poor run came at York (in a race where Shakopee finished second) and he had been running well prior to that, including when finishing second here in July; he should not be dismissed with Edward Greatrex a positive booking.

Shakopee's trainer, Luca Cumani, saddled the unfancied Bauer to win in 2011 (the other exception to the in-form rule) as well as saddling the runner-up in 2007 while his only other runner in this period unseated the jockey when sent off the 4/1 favourite.

Magic Circle did win on the Knavesmire when last seen and this two mile course winner has leading claims, especially if a little rain arrives, although no winner of this historic handicap during this period has been off the track for as long as the son of Makfi.

That is also the case with Montaly – first and second in two runs at the track – who was in good form when last in action and has been given every chance by the handicapper.

Gabrial's Star is older than a typical winner and is only 4lbs lower than when well held in midfield in last year's renewal so probably needs to find a little more but Intense Tango has a decent course record and comes here at the top of her game.

A good handful of runners to consider but preference is for Magic Circle, despite his absence, with Gold Prince an appealing option at a longer price.

  • Winners have been aged three (3), four (4), five, six and eight.
  • Winners have been rated between 84 and 101.
  • Winners have carried between 8-3 and 9-9 with five between 8-9 and 9-3.
  • Five winners have been drawn in single figures, five in double.
  • Six winners have raced in midfield or in rear, two of the exceptions were trained by Mark Johnston.
  • Eight winners had run no more than 14 times in their career.
  • Eight winners finished in the first four on their preceding start with five successful.
  • Eight winners had won during the current season.
  • Nine winners had won over at least 1m 4f.
  • Favourites or joint-favourites have won four renewals with winners priced between 7/2 and 20/1.

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