Wednesday, 29 May 2019

2019 Royal Ascot: Coventry Stakes Betting Odds

Royal Ascot 2019. 

The Coventry Stakes (Group 2) takes place on Tuesday 18th June. 

This Class 1 race is run over 6f. The race was established in 1890 after the 9th Earl of Coventry. However, this race was upgraded in 2004 to Group 2 status. It has been won by some exceptional horses. 

Always a supporter of the underdog, I have fond memories of Bill O'Grman's Mac's Imp who won in 1990. 

Last year saw John Gosden prevail with Calyx, ridden by Frankie Dettori. 

So what about this year: 2019 Coventry Stakes (Group 2).

Taking a quick look at Odds Checker, who have a few prices on offer. 

I have no idea about the Irish contenders which will be strong. Readers may remember that Caravaggio won the Coventry Stakes in 2016, for Aidan O'Brien. War Command won for Ballydoyle in 2013 with Seamie Heffernan in the saddle. 

Monarch Of Egypt hails from the mighty O'Brien stable, after winning comfortably at Naas back in April. This son of American Pharoah cost $750,000 at the yearling sales. Another major fancy from this stable is the twice-raced Arizona

Other rivals include Hurricane Ivor, who is a son of Ivawood, who is trained by F Chappet. A seven-and-half length winner at Chantilly, France.  

The British challengers are a little easier to assess. That is assessing from their perspective of winning rather than their merit of being the victor of the 2019 Coventry Stakes.

Richard Hannon (Senior) is no stranger to making the Coventry Stakes his own. The stable hit a purple patch in 2009/10 with Canford Cliffs and Strong Suit prevailing at the Berkshire racecourse. 

Hannon junior now holds the reigns these days and the stable always send a juvenile or two to compete in this pattern race. 

Cheveley Park Stud has a live prospect in Threat, who was something of a surprise package when winning well on debut at Newmarket. This son of Footstepsinthesand ran in a four-horse race and was made 10/1. This February foal ran out a tidy winner. However, there will be a lot more to prove to win the Coventry. Sure, this is a statement which can be attributed to most of the colts and fillies in this field. 

A couple of prospects I have noted are:

Bomb Proof. He ran out a fair winner at York on debut for Jeremy Noseda. This son of Society Rock cost 100,000 guineas is a good-looking type and I was impressed how he travelled throughout the race and was pushed out by Frankie Dettori to beat Monoski [trained by Mark Johnston] who won easily the second start and held in high regard by the stable. That initial race was over 5f and this step up to 6f trip should be positive. 

Another horse I like the look of is Ventura Rebel. Richard Fahey's son of Pastoral Pursuits got a slow start on debut at Thirsk but ran on well to steal a win. That win was decent but this juvenile caught the attention when running on with purpose at Ascot, beating Wesley Ward's Lady Pauline who was a 4/11f when running out of petrol in the closing furlong. Ventura Rebel should appreciate over 6f although with his strong finish over 5f it may be positive to stick to the shorter trip. 

Coventry Stakes 2019 Betting:

Monarch Of Egypt 5/1
Hurricane Ivor 7/1
Arizona 8/1
Threat 10/1
Pierre Lapin 10/1 
Ventura Rebel 16/1
Bomb Proof 20/1
Take a look at 2018 Coventry Stakes Winner

Monday, 20 May 2019

Kingsgate Native Wins Nunthorpe Stakes (Group 1)

Kingsgate Native Wins Nunthorpe Stakes
Foaled in Ireland on February 20, 2005, Kingsgate Native was sired by Mujadil, a prolific source of precocious, speedy types, out of Native Force, by high-class sprinter Indian Ridge. Owned by former bookmaker John Mayne and trained, initially, by John Best at Scragged Oak Farm in Hucking, near Maidstone, Kent, Kingsgate Native missed his intended racecourse debut twice, at Goodwood because of a passport irregularity and at York because of a waterlogged track, before connections decided to send him straight to the Windsor Castle Stakes, over 5 furlongs, at Royal Ascot. 

Ridden by George Baker, Kingsgate Native belied odds of 66/1 by finishing second of 20, beaten just a head, by Drawnfromthepast, trained by Jamie Osborne. Consequently, on his next start, in the Molecomb Stakes, also over 5 furlongs, at Goodwood the following month, he lined up as 4/1 second favourite behind 5/2 favourite, Starlit Sands, trained by Sir Mark Prescott, who’d been beaten just half a length in the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot on her previous start. 

The field split and jockey George Baker, having initially headed for the far side, realised his mistake and belatedly switched to the stands’ side at halfway. Kingsgate Native disputed the lead inside the final furlong but, despite running on well in the closing stages, was held in the last 50 yards or so and beaten a neck by subsequent Cheveley Park Stakes runner-up Fleeting Spirit, trained by Jeremy Noseda. 

Despite still officially being a maiden, in August, Kingsgate Native was stepped up to Group One level in the Nunthorpe Stakes, again over 5 furlongs, at York. He was described by Timeform as a ‘strong, lengthy’ colt and was clearly precocious, so lacked nothing in terms of the size or maturity required to take on older horses at the early stage of his career. His connections were also, no doubt, tempted by the generous 24lb weight allowance offered to two-year-olds in the Nunthorpe Stakes. 

Carrying just 8st 1lb, and ridden for the first time by lightweight jockey Jimmy Quinn, Kingsgate Native was sent off 12/1 seventh choice of the 16 runners in the Nunthorpe Stakes behind 9/4 favourite Dandy Man. He took a keen hold in the early stages but, having chased the leaders, led in the centre of the course approaching the final furlong and, despite edging left in the closing stages, kept on strongly to beat Desert Lord by 1¾ lengths. In so doing, Kingsgate Native caused a considerable upset and became the first two-year-old to win the Nunthorpe Stakes since Lyric Fantasy in 1992. 

Having beaten the older sprinters, at the highest level, on just his third start, Kingsgate Native proved his Nunthorpe Stakes win was no fluke by finishing second, after missing the break, to Benbaun in the Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp on the final start of his two-year-old season in October and by winning the Golden Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot the following June. He subsequently ran in the Nunthorpe Stakes another five times, in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013, but never won the race again. 

His best subsequent finish came in 2008, when he finished third, beaten 1½ lengths, behind Borderlescott in a rescheduled race run on the July Course at Newmarket. Indeed, in 2009, Kingsgate Native was bought by Cheveley Park Stud and retired from racing, but returned to training with Sir Michael Stoute after proving infertile. That year, he finished sixth, when favourite, behind Borderslescott again, in 2010 he finished sixth behind shock 100/1 winner Sole Power, in 2011 he finished fourth behind Margot Did and, in 2013, on his final attempt, when trained by Robert Cowell, he finished fifth behind lesser-fancied stable companion Jwala.

Related stories: Man Vs Horse (No contest) 

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Sheikh Albadou Wins Nunthorpe Stakes

Sheikh Albadou Wins Breeders' Cup
Foaled on April 15, 1988, Sheikh Albadou was a son of Green Desert, who was a good miler, but a better sprinter, as he demonstrated when winning the July Cup at Newmarket in 1986. Bred by Highclere Stud, owned by Hilal Salem and trained by the late Alex Scott at Oak Farm Stables in Newmarket, Sheik Albadou was given a low-key introduction to racing in a maiden stakes race, over 6 furlongs, on the Rowley Mile Course at Newmarket in October 1990. Ridden by Pat Eddery, he was sent off 11/2 co-second favourite but, after a slow start, weakened in the closing stages to finish eighth of 11, beaten 7 lengths. However, after a 192-day break, he made his three-year-old debut in a similar race at Pontefract where ridden by Bruce Raymond, he started favourite, at 13/8, and won very easily, by 7 lengths. 

Sheikh Albadou was stepped up to 7 furlongs for his handicap debut at York, in May, but failed by a short head to concede 14lb to the more experienced Rocton North. Nevertheless, back over 6 furlongs on the Knavesmire the following month, off a 3lb higher mark, he easily won a similar race by 4 lengths. 

Thereafter, Sheikh Albadou was campaigned, exclusively in Pattern company and, although he was beaten favourite on his first attempt in that sphere, in the Criterion Stakes, over 7 furlongs, on the July Course at Newmarket in late June, he soon established himself as the leading European sprinter of his generation. 

After a 54-day break, he was stepped up to Group One company for the first time, in the Nunthorpe Stakes, over 5 furlongs, at York. Despite tackling the minimum trip for the first time in his career, Sheikh Albadou was sent off 6/1 third favourite, behind French raider Divine Danse – who was chasing a hat-trick after two impressive wins at Group Three and Group Two level in his native country – at 2/1, and King’s Stand Stakes winner Elbio, at 11/4. 

In any event, it was the fast, precocious juvenile, Paris House, trained by Jack Berry, who gave Sheikh Albadou. In receipt of a colossal 21lb weight-for-age allowance, Paris House took the lead after a furlong-and-a-half and soon had most of her rivals at full stretch. However, Pat Eddery was always close up on Sheikh Albadou and produced him, under a determined drive, to tackle the long-time leader close home and win by 1½ lengths. Outsider Blyton Lad, at 40/1, finished third, a further neck away, with a long-looking 2 lengths back to the remainder, headed by Divine Danse. 

Sheikh Albadou subsequently finished second, under Bruce Raymond, in the Ladbroke Sprint Cup at Haydock and the Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp, before heading across the Atlantic for the final start of his three-year-old campaign, the Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. Reunited with Pat Eddery, but racing for the first time on a dirt surface, Sheikh Albadou was sent off a relatively unconsidered 26/1 outsider in the 11-strong field, behind red-hot favourite Housebuster, at 2/5. However, he took to dirt like an old hand, clearing away from the best sprinters in North America in the closing stages to win easily by 3 lengths. Sheikh Albadou was, unsurprisingly, named Champion Sprinter at the Cartier Awards in 1991.