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Handicap Future Pointers – The Sires

Last season’s Stewards Cup at Goodwood featured highly in our list of handicaps (highlighted in the two previous editions of the OCP magazine) which supplied the most future winners when following runners on their next start.

My favourite sprint handicap of the season remembered fondly from my days out to Glorious Goodwood in the school holidays watching the likes of Soba, Al Trui and Rotherfield Greys thundering down Goodwood’s six furlongs and adding their name to the list of Stewards Cup winners and in the process leaving a lasting impression.

One of my favourite sprinters of all time, the flying filly Lochsong was the “final” Tuesday winner of the Stewards Cup as in those days the cavalry charge was staged on the first day of the meeting. From 1993 the Stewards Cup moved to the current Saturday slot and continues to provide high quality sprint winners and last year’s renewal was no different.

Six of the twenty-four Stewards Cup runners won on their next start, admittedly it’s not a mind-blowing statistic however a 25% win to runs ratio is not too shabby either and a £53 profit would have been made (before commission) backing all runners to £1 level stakes at Betfair SP.

Also noteworthy is among those six winners was the Ayr Gold Cup winner Bielsa who finished 6th before taking the Ayr’s September showpiece @ 9.85 (BFSP) and Justanotherbottle who trailed home 22nd of 24 at Goodwood went on to win Ripon’s Great St Wilfrid in August @ odds of 29.54 (BFSP).

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Interestingly three of the six next time winners were among the last six finishers (19th, 20th & 22nd) in the Stewards Cup so may have benefitted from not having the hardest of races at Goodwood and being saved for another day.

York Ebor Festival

Another race I am keen to highlight in this edition is the valuable Class 2 seven furlong nursery ran on the Thursday of York’s Ebor Festival. Admittedly it’s not one of the numerous higher profile races at the meeting however last year’s renewal appeared to be above average and worthy of the £36,078 prize money to the winner.

Five next time winners emerged and another five made the frame from the sixteen runners showing a £13 profit to £1 level stakes at Betfair SP (before commission).

Again, not a bank busting profit but a profit all the same and if we look beyond just the next start of those runners and focus on all subsequent runs to date at the time of writing then the overall quality of the renewal is vindicated:

Ten of the sixteen runners have won a total of 14 races returning a healthy £46 profit to £1 level stakes.

This year’s race at the time of writing carries the same sponsorship and is scheduled to be the 6th race (16:40) on Thursday 18th August and hopefully will be a source of future winners in our race tracker.

First Season Sires

We’re just past the halfway point in the turf flat season so I thought it would be a good time to take a closer look at how some of the first season sires have performed with a view to highlighting one or two to follow for the remainder of the turf season.

At the time of writing (3rd July) there have been 277 turf races for 2yo’s in the UK and Ireland so far this season and interestingly two of the top three sires for the most numerical winners are first season sires:

Havana Grey

Currently leads the way numerically for most two year old winners on the turf in the UK and Ireland this season. Havana Grey is a son of Havana Gold and had a brief career on the track before retiring at the end of his 3yo campaign. He won six of his sixteen career starts and over £400,000 in prize money. His most prestigious win came in the Group 1 Flying Five at the Curragh over five furlongs. He was a speedy 2yo himself winning four of his eight juvenile starts including the Group 3 Molecomb Stakes at Goodwood and was also runner up in the Group 1 Prix Morny at Deauville.

His first season crop hit the ground running with 15 winners from 52 runners between March and the end of May. The winners have dried up since with a return of just 4 winners from the last 55 runners since the beginning of June.

If we take a more detailed look at Havana Grey’s progeny stats since the start of the season then we can highlight two key factors which are worth focusing on for the remainder of the season.

Distance – 5 furlongs

His progeny appear to have generally inherited his speed if we look at their wins to runs stats over 5 furlongs compared to 6 furlongs:

The above stats conclusively show Havana Grey’s progeny in 5 furlongs races have performed better than those contesting 6 furlong events. Betting all his runners in 5 furlong races would have returned a £49.63 to £1 level stakes at Betfair SP.

“Novice” Races

His progeny also appear to perform a great deal better in races with a “Novice” status as opposed to “Maiden” events:

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