Welcome to the BetBright STATZONE, where we give you the stats and you make the decisions!
A cracking midweek in prospect with the three-day Chester May Meeting running from Weds-Friday. We get going on day one with FOUR LIVE ITV races that include the plus the Cheshire Oaks and Chester Vase – a race that last year’s runner-up – Wings Of Eagles – finished second in before going onto land the Epsom Derby the following month.
Don’t forget the Chester Cup, which is normally run on the opening day, has been moved to the Friday this year.
So, as always, we’ve got it all covered here on STATZONE with all the key trends, plus our verdict, on each of the LIVE ITV races – we’re confident these trends will point you in the direction of a few winners, or at least help narrow down some of the field to highlight the horses that fit the best profile of past winners – So, let’s get cracking!
CHESTER HORSE RACING TRENDS (ITV/RUK)
1.50 – Stellar Group Lily Agnes Conditions Stakes (Plus 10 Race) Cl2 5f16y ITV
16/16 – Had a recent run that season
15/16 – Finished in the top 3 last time out
12/16 – Favourites that finished 1st or 2nd
12/16 – Had won over 5f before
12/16 – Priced 5/1 or shorter in the betting
10/16 – Horses from stall 2 finished in the top 3
10/16 – Won last time out
9/16 – Came from stalls 1-3
5/16 – Winning favourites
3/16 – Came from stall 1 (but none in the last 11 years)
2/16 – Trained by Tom Dascombe (2 of last 8 years)
2/16 – Trained by David Evans
2/16 – Trained by Mark Johnston (2 of the last 4 years)
The horse from stall 5 has won 4 of the last 11 runnings
The average winning SP in the last 10 years is 9/2
STATZONE VERDICT: Plenty of unknowns here with most of these 2 year-olds only having a handful of races but there are several key trends that seem to keep cropping up year-after-year around the tight turns here at Chester. As we all know the draw can play a big part around the Roodee, especially over the sprint trips, and that is backed-up with 9 of the last 16 winners coming from stalls 1-3, while the horse from stall 2 has been placed (top 3) in 10 of the last 16. However, we’ve actually only seen three of the last 16 winners come from stall 1 and none in the last 11 runnings. Gingersdunthelot is the horse that’s been allocated stall 1 but even after two runs this David Loughnane-trained runner looks to have a lot of improvement to find. So, the ones I’m interested in are the two Tom Dascombe-trained runners – Jensue and Light My Fire. These have been handed top draws in 2 and 3, while the last-named of that pair – LIGHT MY FIRE – has already tasted the winners’ enclosure after impressing on debut at Ripon. She got the job done that day by an easy 2 ¼ lengths and with the expected improvement looks a big player here. Yes, that came on much softer ground and this is a step up in grade but she did it nicely that day to suggest there is a lot more to come. Arthur’s Spirit and Kinks are other recent winners in the field that would have been respected had they been drawn better – they look to have it all to do in stalls 10 and 11. Tom Dascombe also has Five Amarones and Dark Thunder entered and after both recording fair thirds on debut can’t be discounted either with draws 7 and 6 just about ok. Lady Prancealot is another that has started her career well but the danger to the pick is NO LIPPY. This Mark Johnston-trained runner won her maiden well on debut at Doncaster last time and having made all that day then stall 4 is a big plus. She can be expected to blast out from the front with Light My Fire and with the pair also getting a handy 5lbs from most of the others that will be a further plus. Both yards also have decent records in the race with Dascombe winning it in 2010 and 2013, while Johnston took the honours in 2014 and 2015. Finally, it’s worth giving the David Evans-trained Lithou a mention too – the yard won this 12 months ago and this 2 year-old is another recent winner in the field. She also comes from stall 5 and this has been a lucky draw in recent times with 4 of the last 11 horses from that berth winning.
2.25 – Arkle Finance Cheshire Oaks (for the Robert Sangster Memorial Cup) (Listed Race) (Fillies) Cl1 1m3f79y ITV
14/16 – Had not won over this trip (or further) before
14/16 – Had a previous run that season
13/16 – Favourites that finished in the top three
12/16 – Finished 1st or 2nd last time out
10/16 – Returned 5/2 or shorter in the betting
9/16 – Winning favourites (1 joint)
8/16 – Won their last race
5/16 – Winners from stall 4
5/16 – Won by trainer Aidan O’Brien
3/16 – Ridden by Ryan Moore
2/16 – Trained by John Gosden
2/16 – Winners (Light Shift) that went onto win the Epsom Oaks
None of the last 16 winners had run at Chester before
The average winning SP in the last 10 years is 9/1
STATZONE VERDICT: A race that has been dominated by the powerful Aidan O’Brien yard in recent years – winning 5 of the last 10 runnings. Like most years they are also well-represented with three horses heading to post – Dramatically, Forever Together and Magic Wand. The last-named is the one that’s going to be the most popular with number one jockey – Ryan Moore – booked to ride. This 3 year-old hasn’t set the world alight as yet but has only had two runs so there’s every chance we’ve not seen the best. Both runs also came in much softer ground and also over shorter, so today’s conditions will be a lot different. Breeding suggests the longer trip here is a big plus and the fact Moore has picked her is a big positive ahead of her chance. However, I’d have liked to have seen a bit more on the track and with 12 of the last 16 winners finishing in the top two last time out then this also a trend against her. The Roger Varian yard took this in 2014 and try again – this time with Shaherezada, who has the form to go well. However, with five career runs, even though she’s got the experience edge over most of the rest she could also be vulnerable to an improver. The once-raced Kinaesthesia could be one of those. She was a winner on debut at Nottingham over the extended mile and being out of former Derby winner Sea The Stars then she can be expected to be better over this longer trip. She holds Epsom Oaks and Ribblesdale entries so is clearly though to be better than this. Princess Yaiza is another that can be expected to run ok. She was staying on really well over 1m2f last time at Navan and will be popular for place players. Shailene and Hazarifiya are others to consider coming from the Andrew Balding and Sir Michael Stoute yards but the John Gosden camp too this 12 months ago with the classy Enable and look to hold another strong hand with AWARD WINNING (e/w). This 3 year-old got off the mark last time at Wetherby over 1m2f but with that coming in soft ground then the extra yardage here should be fine on this quicker surface. Frankie rides for the first time and although she’s unlikely to be as good as the yard’s winner in the race 12 months ago she did everything right last time to suggest be can go well again here. It goes without saying the O’Brien runner Magic Wind can’t be discounted in a race jockey Ryan Moore has won three times in the last 7 years, while Ralph Beckett often does well with his fillies so his Kinaesthesia is also expected to run a big race – these two rate the main dangers to the selection.
3.00 – Boodles Diamond Handicap Cl2 5f16y ITV
16/16 – Winners from stall 7 or lower
15/16 – Had won before over this trip
13/16 – Carried 8-11 or less
13/16 – Winners came from stalls 1-4
10/16 – Had run before that season
10/16 – Favourites that finished in the top three
7/16 – Returned a double-figure price
7/16 – Had won before at Chester
2/16 – Trained by Eric Alston
3/16 – Won their last race
2/16 – Winning favourites
The average SP in the last 10 years is 8/1
The last 10 winners returned 12/1 or shorter in the betting
STATZONE VERDICT: 10 runners head to post here but with ALL of the last 16 winners coming from stalls 7 or lower then this looks to be a negative for the likes of Billy Dylan (8), Porchy Party (9) and Joegogo (10). Next up is that 15 of the last 16 winners had won over this trip before so the Richard Fahey-trained Showmethedough, who has only won over 6f so far, would have this against him. 13 of the last 16 winners carried 8-11 or less in weight and also 13 of the last 16 came from stalls 1-4. With that in mind, the ones that catch the eye are Looks A Million, Spoof and Global Academy. The last-named – GLOBAL ACADEMY (e/w) is down 3lbs from it’s last run but likes to get on with things so from stall 2 this Gay Kelleway-trained 3 year-old should be well-suited by this tight track and might just be hard to peg back. Spoof has to give weight away all-round but that is for a reason as the form of his recent third at Sandown (Global Academy 5th) makes him a big player and from stall 3 he’s another that likes to race prominent so can his starting berth is a plus. Looks A Million was well down the field on her return run at Bath but that should have blown the cobwebs away and had been running in much better races last season to also warrant respect off this mark off 88 and back into a handicap. Of the rest, the Tom Dascombe yard often do well with their sprinters here so their consistent Big Time Maybe is respected too but it won’t be easy from stall 7, while they also have the only proven course and distance winner in the field – Porchy Party – but it’s worth pointing out that win came off 5lb higher mark, while he also has stall 9 to overcome. However, their FORMIDABLE KITT looks the yard’s main runner with Richard Kingscote in the saddle. She’ll need to overcome draw 6 but won on her seasonal reappearance last season so clearly goes well fresh. A mark of 85 looks fair considering she has run well in Listed and Group races in the past and looks sure to go well.
3.35 – Centennial Celebration – MBNA Chester Vase Stakes (Group 3) (Colts & Geldings) Cl1 (3yo) 1m4 1/4f ITV
15/16 – Returned 9/1 or shorter in the betting
14/16 – Finished third or better last time out
13/16 – Favourites that finished 1st or 2nd in this race
13/16 – Had a previous run that season
11/16 – Went onto finish 7th or better in the Epsom Derby
9/16 – Didn’t win their previous race
8/16 – Came from stalls 1 or 2
8/16 – Winning favourites
8/16 – Trained by Aidan O’Brien (last 5 winners)
7/16 – Ridden by Ryan Moore (last 5 winners)
2/16 – Trained by Sir Michael Stoute
Just one winner in the last 16 years went onto win the Epsom Derby winner (2013 – Ruler Of The World), but last year’s runner-up (Wings Of Eagles) did go onto win the Derby.
The average winning SP in the last 10 years is 11/2
Just 1 of the last 16 winners had won before over 1m4f
STATZONE VERDICT: Last year this race produced the Epsom Derby winner as the runner-up – Wings Of Eagles – went onto glory on The Downs the following month. In fact, 11 of the last 16 winners went onto finish in the top 7 in the Epsom Derby so this has been a fair trial over the years. It’s also been a good race for the favourites with 13 of the last 16 finishing first or second last time out, while 50% of the last 16 market leaders have won. It’s also another race the Aidan O’Brien yard love to target – they’ve won the prize a staggering 8 times in the last 16 years, with their main jockey – Ryan Moore – having a tremendous record in the race too with wins in the last five renewals. Despite being run over 1m4 1/2f the draw has also been significant with 50% of the last 16 winners hailing from stalls 1 or 2. Therefore, taking all of the above into account then the Ryan Moore-ridden HUNTING HORN (e/w) catches the eye. Ok, a fairly obvious call with O’Brien also the trainer and having two others in the race also – Flag Of Honour and Family Tree. Moore would have had the pick and despite only managing third in a Group Three at Sandown last time out, that was over 1m2f and was only his fourth career run. He ran on well to take third that day so the extra 2 ½ furlongs look a huge plus and we can also expect the horse to have come on a lot for that run that was just 12 days ago. The other O’Brien runners are certainly no back numbers either and the yard are no strangers to winning big races with their second or third strings. Of his other two, Flag Of Honour is a Group Three winner over 1m1f and with 5 career runs has a fair amount of experience, but the once-raced Family Tree might have the more scope to improve now that he’s stepping up in trip – his maiden win was over 7f and on heavy ground so we don’t really know what’s left to come. The in-form Charlie Appleby camp run Ispolini, who is closely-matched with Hunting Horn – they were 2nd and 3rd in the same race last time. However, having been headed over that 1m2f trip then I’m not sure this extra trip is going to be in this ones favour – we’ll see. Young Rascal is the horse from stall 2 and after a 5 length maiden win at Newbury then this 3 year-old clearly looks above average. The William Haggas yard will have plenty of yardsticks in their care so clearly feel this horse is up to the rise in grade, plus holds a Derby entry. Mark Johnston’s Dee Ex Bee and Tom Dascombe’s Proschema are others to note. The former was third at Epsom last time out over 1m2f after a 193 day break and the way he ran on suggests he’s another that will enjoy the longer trip. Proschema was an 11 length winner at Haydock last time so could be anything, but this is a big step up in grade and that win also came on much softer ground. These two are certainly not ones to rule out but would probably need to improve a tad.
That should be all you need, if you can’t make the right decisions with all that info, there’s no helping you!
Also published on Medium.