Key trends for the Ebor Hand­i­cap at York

Andy New­ton looks at the key trends for the big York race on Au­gust 25

Racing Ahead - - CONTENTS -

It’s Au­gust al­ready folks so some of you might be read­ing this month’s edi­tion on your sun loungers while on hol­i­day – if you are, then I’m jeal­ous! So, yes, it’s Au­gust al­ready and it’s crazy to think we’ve only re­ally a few months of the Flat turf sea­son left be­fore we are back with the hedge hop­pers!

How­ever, be­fore we turn our at­ten­tion to the jumpers there is still plenty to look for­ward to this month – in­clud­ing the four-day York Ebor fix­ture (22nd-25th) so that’s where I’m head­ing for this month’s ‘big race’ trends piece.

We’ve plenty of stand­out races over the meet­ing – in­clud­ing the Nun­thorpe Stakes, Jud­dmonte In­ter­na­tional, Great Voltigeur Stakes and the York­shire Oaks, but the Ebor Hand­i­cap, run this year on Au­gust 25th, has al­ways been a de­cent con­test for the stat lovers so let’s home-in on that one.

First run way back in 1843, the Ebor Hand­i­cap is cur­rently the most valu­able hand­i­cap Flat race in Europe. With a lu­cra­tive prize on the table it’s no sur­prise this 1m6f con­test at­tracts an ul­tra-com­pet­i­tive field.

An­other big field will head to the Knavesmire – last year we had 19 run­ners – but with some stand­out trends we should be able to whit­tle down the en­tries once we know the fi­nal run­ners nearer the time. So, let’s get crack­ing! Let’s start with the age trend. We saw a 6 year-old in Na­keeta win the race 12 months ago and a 7 year-old land the prize in 2015 so maybe the tide is turn­ing on the age stat. How­ever, with 15 of the last 16 win­ners aged 6 or less then re­cent re­sults sug­gest we should still be wary of older horses. In fact, with 11 of the last 16 (69%) win­ners aged 4 or 5 then this age bracket is the one that holds the clear ad­van­tage. Lit­i­gant won in 2015 as a 7 year-old, but be­fore that the mighty Sea Pi­geon (9 years-old) in 1979 was the last horse older than 6 to take this race.

Mov­ing onto the draw. Be­ing run over a trip of 1m6f many feel the draw isn’t go­ing to have much of a say – wrong! De­spite be­ing run over one of the longer trips on the Flat the start­ing po­si­tion is cer­tainly some­thing to take into ac­count, es­pe­cially with 13 of the last 16 win­ners com­ing from a dou­ble­fig­ure stall – backed-up again in 2017 with Na­keeta win­ning from stall 18. Get­ting a good early po­si­tion in the race and, more im­por­tantly, sav­ing valu­able ground is key – es­pe­cially when turn­ing for home at York. The horses drawn low of­ten have much more ground to run over and can of­ten be car­ried wide into the home straight – plus, when there are 15+ run­ners in the field this is high­lighted even more. This is fur­ther backed-up as we’ve seen just two placed horses from stall one in the last 16 years!

Win­ning form over a trip of 1m4f+ is also some­thing to look for with 13 of the last 16 win­ners fit­ting this trend. This will, how­ever, ap­ply to most of the run­ners but is some­thing to still take into ac­count.

Weight car­ried is an­other key fac­tor as this is a hand­i­cap. With ALL of the last 16 win­ners hav­ing 9-4 or less this should be your cut-off point, while 12 of those 16 won with 9-1 or less if you wanted to take the weight trend a tiny bit fur­ther.

Bookie v Punter – who has fared best? Well, we’ve seen just one win­ning favourite since 1999, plus even a 100/1 win­ner pop­ping up in 2006, so I think it’s safe to say this is a race the book­mak­ers have dom­i­nated in re­cent years. Plus, if you like lay­ing horses on the bet­ting ex­changes then you might also be in­ter­ested to know that 8 of the last 16 mar­ket lead­ers (59%) have also NOT even made the frame (top four fin­ish).

Fit­ness seems to count for some­thing too. Run­ners that had three or more out­ings that same sea­son is an­other key stat to look for - 9 of the last 16 fit the bill here, while 7 of the last 16 win­ners had pre­vi­ous course ex­pe­ri­ence at York. A mas­sive 9 of the last 16 (56%) win­ners ran at ei­ther Good­wood or Ascot last time out, so it’s cer­tainly worth look­ing back to see where your fancy last raced.

Fi­nally, in terms of the best sta­bles to note, then look no fur­ther than Luca

Cu­mani and Sir Michael Stoute. Cu­mani has won the Ebor three times since 1999, with the most re­cent be­ing in 2007, while de­spite not hav­ing won the prize since 1996 the Sir Michael Stoute team have recorded three wins in the race over the years. Be­ing run over 1m6f it’s also a race some of the jump­ing yards like to tar­get – es­pe­cially the Ir­ish ones. Since 2009 we’ve had win­ners for the Wil­lie Mullins, Gor­don El­liott, Johnny Murtagh and Tony Martin camps so any­thing any of this Ir­ish­based bunch send over shouldn’t be over­looked.

Good luck and have a great month!

Key Ebor Hand­i­cap 16 Year Bet­ting Trends

16/16 – Car­ried 9-4 or less 15/16 – Aged 6 or younger 13/16 – Won from a dou­ble-fig­ure stall 13/16 – Had won over at least 1m4f be­fore 12/16 – Car­ried 9-1 or less 11/16 – Aged ei­ther 4 or 5 years-old 11/16 – Win­ning Dis­tance - 1 length or less 9/16 – Had 3 or more runs al­ready that sea­son 8/16 – Un­placed favourites 7/16 – Had run at York be­fore 5/16 – Ran at Ascot last time out 5/16 – Won last time out 4/16 – Ir­ish-trained win­ners (4 of last 9) 4/16 – Ran at Good­wood last time out 3/16 – Ran at Galway last time out 2/16 – Rid­den by Jamie Spencer 2/16 – Trained by Luca Cu­mani 2/16 – Placed horses from stall 1 (third 2011, third 2013) 1/16 – Win­ning favourites Just one win­ning favourite since 1999 Trainer Luca Cu­mani won the race in 1999, 2004 & 2007 Trainer Sir Michael Stoute won the race in 1980, 1991 & 1996 Av­er­age win­ning SP in last 16 years is 22/1

Past Bet­fred Ebor Win­ners

2017 – Na­keeta (12/1) 2016 – Heart­break City (15/2) 2015 – Lit­i­gant (33/1) 2014 – Mu­tual Re­gard (20/1) 2013 – Tiger Cliff (5/1) 2012 – Will­ing Foe (12/1) 2011 – Moyenne Cor­niche (25/1) 2010 – Di­rar (14/1) 2009 – Se­senta (25/1) 2008 – All The Good (25/1) 2007 – Pur­ple Moon (7/2 fav) 2006 – Mu­dawin (100/1) 2005 – Sergeant Ce­cil (11/1) 2004 – Mephisto (6/1) 2003 – Saint Alebe (20/1) 2002 – Hugs Dancer (25/1)

Note: 2008 re­newal at New­bury over 1m3f

Lit­i­gant won the Ebor Hand­i­cap in 2015 at 33/1

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