Two-year-old's Take Centre Stage at Newmarket on Saturday

By Gavin Beech
 |  5 mins
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Two-year-old's Take Centre Stage at Newmarket on Saturday


Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes

Newmarket 1.50 - live on ITV4

One mile, Group 2 (Colts & Geldings)

Quick-fire 10-Year Trends

  • In the last decade, no horse has won the Royal Lodge Stakes having not already won a race that season.
  • However, those wins didn’t come in Group company because none of the last 10 winners had won a Group race.
  • Every one of the last 10 winners had also raced at least twice previously.
  • Eight of the last 10 winners were 6/1 or shorter in the betting.

Trainers and Jockeys to Note

  • Aidan O’Brien has won the race seven times, including two of the last three.
  • Frankie Dettori is the winning-most modern-day jockey with six Royal Lodge Stakes victories.

Key Contenders

The form of Masekela’s Listed win at Newbury took quite a boost when runner-up Bayside Bay won the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster next time and the progressive Masekela looks a sure-fire improver for stepping up to a mile. He fits the trends and arguably sets the form standard so he’s a rock-solid contender.

Royal Patronage caused a 25/1 horse racing upset in the Acomb Stakes, but there was no fluke about the success and he’s bred to relish going up to a mile. He also represents a stable that have won this race twice since 2008.

Coroebus looked for all the world a stakes horse in the making when winning on debut at Newmarket, but he’ll need to buck the trends if he is to win this on the back of just a sole previous outing. Cresta has a very similar profile.

Juddmonte Cheveley Park Stakes

Newmarket 2.25 - live on ITV4

Six furlongs, Group 1 (Fillies)

Quick-Fire 10-Year Trends

  • Every Cheveley Park Stakes winner had run at least once over six furlongs and eight of the last 10 winners had won at least once over that trip.
  • Experience is crucial - Nine of the last 10 winners had already run at least three times.
  • Seven of the last 10 winners were not sent off as favourite on the day.
  • Five of the last 10 winners were trained in Ireland.

Trainers and Jockeys to Note

  • Aidan O’Brien has won three of the last five editions of the race while fellow Irish trainers Ger Lyons and Jessica Harrington are also on the board in the last decade.
  • Frankie Dettori is the only current rider to have partnered more than one Cheveley Park Stakes winner, but the Italian hasn’t won the race since 2003.
  • William Buick and Oisin Murphy have both won the race in recent years.

Key Contenders

This looks a classy renewal. Lowther Stakes winner Zain Claudette has progressed with every start and might well be able to confirm York form with Sandrine and Desert Dreamer, although Sandrine’s supporters will argue that things didn’t go her way in the Group 2 contest.

Desert Dreamer has the advantage of having experienced the contours of the Rowley Mile track, but she has three lengths to find with Zain Claudette on the Lowther Stakes form.

However, Irish raider Sacred Bridge looked a Group 1 filly when trouncing her rivals in a Group 3 race at the Curragh last month. This strong-travelling daughter of Bated Breath fits all the trends (although there is a chance that she might go off favourite on the day) and her trainer Ger Lyons knows exactly what is required to win this race having plundered it in 2011 with Lightning Pearl.

Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes

Newmarket 3.00 - live on ITV4

Six furlongs, Group 1 (Colts)

Quick-fire 10-Year Trends

  • Nine of the last 10 winners had already won two races and the same number already had a Group-race victory under their belt.
  • Every Middle Park Stakes winner in the last decade had already won a six-furlong race of some sort.
  • Nine of the last 10 winners had at least three runs under their belts.

Trainers and Jockeys to Note

  • It won't surprise many to learn that Aidan O’Brien is the leading Middle Park Stakes trainer with six wins, including two of the last four editions. John Gosden, Mark Johnston and Clive Cox have all won the race twice since the turn of the century.
  • Frankie Dettori has won the race four times, but William Buick is the only other modern-day jockey to have ridden more than one Middle Park winner.

Key Contenders

Group-race winners tend to come to the fore in this, so it’s no surprise that Perfect Power, who got up late on to win the Group 1 Prix Morny at Deauville, is sitting at the head of Middle Park ante post betting lists.

He’s the highest-rated colt in the race and rates a rock-solid trends angle to provide Richard Fahey with a first victory in the race.

Ebro River is the other Group 1 winner in the line-up after his heroics in the Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh. He was no match for Native Trail in the National Stakes, but the return to six furlongs looks very much in his favour.

Dr Zempf and Go Bears Go were close up behind Ebro River at the Curragh, so are also firmly in the mix given the prospect of further progress.

Bet365 Cambridgeshire Handicap

Newmarket 3.40 - live on ITV4

One mile, one furlong, Class 2 Heritage Handicap

Quick-fire 10-Year Trends

  • None of the last 10 Cambridgeshire winners were older than five. Seven of the last 10 were ages three or four. None of the last 10 winners had won at Listed level or higher.
  • Eight of the last 10 winners were NOT sent off favourite with the bookmakers, indeed only three single-figure priced horses have won in the last decade.
  • The last five winners were all drawn in stalls 21 or higher.

Trainers and Jockeys to note

  • John Gosden is the man to follow in the Cambridgeshire Handicap. The Newmarket trainer has won two of the last three renewals. Marcus Tregoning is the only other modern-day trainer to have won the race more than once.
  • Frankie Dettori is the only modern-day rider to have won the race more than once. William Buick teamed up with Marcus Tregoning to win the race in 2012.

Key Contenders

No easy pickings here. Uncle Bryn is the only runner trading at single-figure odds in ante post betting lists after bouncing back to form at Ascot last time, where he made all the running under Frankie Dettori to win what looked a decent handicap on paper.

He is by no means fully exposed, represents a top team and a 4lb penalty shouldn’t stop him remaining competitive, but he’s a very short price in such a competitive race and there are several better value options.

Last year’s easy winner Majestic Dawn, is an obvious contender despite being higher in the weights this time around. He wasn’t disgraced in Group 3 company last time given that trip just stretches his stamina, but he needs some rain to fall at Newmarket.

Astro King was staying on well in the one-mile Clipper Logistics Handicap at York and he might be able to turn that form around with Magical Morning over this slightly longer trip. That’s a strong piece of handicap form so both have to be considered each-way options.

However, the best-handicapped horse in the race has to be Chichester who bolted up in a hot heat at Ayr last week. The handicapper had hiked him up 12lb for that, but he gets in here with just a 4lb penalty, making him 8lb ahead of the game. He’s a four-year-old with plenty of experience so he is a strong trends contender, especially if the ground stays on the quick side.


A veteran of two decades in the sports journalism industry, Gavin Beech is a very experienced horse racing writer, sports betting content producer and tipster for the likes of MailOnline, and the Racing Post. Not restricted to racing, he also writes about football.

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