The Weekend Bulletin (Sat 5th Oct)
Saturday sees the latest renewal of what has become the richest seven furlong handicap in the UK, The Challenge Cup. The Heritage Handicap at Ascot was featured in the brand new edition of the Insiders Club Members Report, Issue 204.
You can find out more about the Insiders Club including a discounted trial offer which ends today here – Discount Trial
bet365 Challenge Cup (7f Heritage Handicap) – Ascot 15.10pm
The penultimate day of the Flat racing season at Ascot features the richest seven furlong handicap in the UK, The Challenge Cup. The £180,000 contest will see a maximum of 18 runners go to post.
The latest 10 runnings have resulted in 3 winning outright favourites in the shape of Librisa Breeze @11/2 (2016), Buckstay @9/2 (2015) and Redford @7/1 (2010) and there have also been 4 others single figure priced winners. Suffice to say despite that the market appears to have been a useful guide during the last decade.
The 3 remaining winners from that timeline were returned at 16/1 (twice) and 33/1 so we can’t dismiss the bigger priced ones too quickly.
Each of the last 10 winners has come from a different yard although there are still pointers to be had from the recent trainers’ records such as the following:-
Andrew Balding has had runners in 5 of the recent 10 renewals and these have produced a 16/1 winner, a 15/2 runner up and a 5th place at 12/1 which would likely to have landed place spoils in these days of extra place pay-outs. Useful to know, but not able to help this time around as the yard have no entries at this stage.
On the other hand John Gosden may, as from only 4 runners to date he has landed the spoils with Skilful (2012) and Johnny Barnes was 5th in 2017. At the time of writing the yard have the lightly raced 3yo Casanova entered to run.
Age wise the last 10 winners have been fairly evenly spread with 3 wins a piece for 4 and 5yo’s and the 3yo’s and 6yo’s have two each. Those aged 7 or older haven’t fared so well with 0 from 16, although 5 of them did place so last year’s winner Raising Sand (now a 7yo), may give it a good go defending his crown although he will have to overcome his highest ever OR of 109.
A recent run appears to be a decent pointer with the last 10 winners all having been last on the track within 45 days, although to be fair that covered a good chunk of the runners. Only 1 horse placed from the 17 that had been off for longer.
With regard to the draw the past 10 runnings have seen a fairly even split across the track. The results appear to have favoured those more centrally berthed (8-13) from a win and place perspective.
A similar comment could be made to those held up in the pack as it has been difficult to lead all the way over this stiff straight seven furlongs.
Official Ratings wise we have seen the classier types being entered in recent times, understandable given the level of increased prize money on offer. Of the last 10 renewals the lowest rated winner was the aforementioned Raising Sand (97) and the highest was Librisa Breeze (108).
This OR band (97-108) have also been responsible for just shy of a quarter of the placers and outside of it only 3 have placed from over 40+ such runners.
All of the last 10 winners had won at the same or higher Class of race.
If we sum up from the above we get the following key trends of a recent bet365 Challenge Cup winner:
- Play close attention to any John Gosden runner
- Those towards the head of the market have performed well (top ½)
- Raced in the last 45 days
- Age 3yo to 6yo
- Rated 97 – 108
- Won at Class 2 and above
- Consider carefully those with a more central draw (8-13)
- Favour hold up types over those that race prominently
You can find out which of the entries in the bet365 Challenge Cup ticks the key trends boxes and our final selection(s) below:-
Sat 5th Oct
None of the 17 that are due to go to post meet all of the guide stats but a trio go close with Escobar, Keyser Soze and Ripp Orf matching 6 of the 7. Last year’s winner Raising Sand appears primed to give it a good go defending his crown but has to overcome his new high mark and the age factor. The Gosden trained Casanova has the potential to improve on what he has achieved so far after only 5 runs but has raced keenly which may prove troublesome although the step back to 7f might negate that.
At the prices and overall form on turf we will pass on Keyser Soze so that leaves us with the duo of Ripp Orf and Escobar.
Ripp Orf – 13/2 (Lads, BetV, Boyles & SBet)
Escobar – 18/1 EW (5pl, 1/5, BFsb, BetV, PPower)
Together We Can Win in 2019
Darren & Steve