WHO WILL BE THE GRAND DUKE OF YORK?
Andrew Newton dissects the Nunthorpe facts and figures
The Ebor Handicap is the centrepiece of York’s fourday August meeting and is invariably one of the toughest races of the year for punters to solve, as befit the Nunthorpe Stakes Trends and Betting Guide 2022.
The Group One Nunthorpe Stakes is another of the feature contests at the four-day York Ebor Festival this month - a race that some of the best sprinters in training will have on their radars each season.
Run over the minimum trip (5f) and staged this year on Friday August 19 twleve months ago, we saw the filly Winter Power take the race and she was the seventh winning female to win in the last 11 years to show this really has become a ‘girl power’ event.
It could be more of the same this year too, with the exciting three yearold filly Royal Acclaim a likely runner for the James Tate yard that have gone on record as saying she’s the fastest they’ve trained.
If getting to the race, Royal Acclaim will also be looking to follow in the hoofprints of other three year-old winners of the race in recent years – Mozart (2001), Oasis Dream (2003), Sole Power (2010), Margot Did (2011) and last year’s winner Winter Power.
Let’s take a look at the main Nunthorpe Stakes trends...
Recent Form - With 90% of the last 20 winners placed in the top five last time out, this is the first key trend to have onside. Yes, many of the runners will tick this stat, but it should still put a line through some that are coming here off the back of poor runs. In short, we are looking for horses in better recent form.
Trip - It goes without saying having won previously over this 5f trip is another huge trend. Again, 90% of the last 20 winners had past winning form over the minimum trip and the bulk with tick this stat. However, once the final runners are out, we might still find a few horses that are yet to win over 5f or perhaps stepping back in distance.
Draw - Being drawn a bit lower in recent years has been the way to go. 18 of the last 20 winners came from stalls 11 or lower, but with 77% of the last 20 winners coming from stalls 6 or higher then this suggests looking for horses between 6-11, which will give us five contenders (providing there are
Track Experience - 16 of the last 20 Nunthorpe Stakes winners had run at York before - this works out at a 80% strike-rate so certainly something to look for when the final runners are out.
Previous Group Form - You often get an in-form Listed (or even handicap) horses stepping up in class to contest this top sprint – backed up again last year with Winter Power winning the John Smith City Walls Stakes (Listed) before taking this. The already mentioned – Royal Acclaim – also won this race this July so has a very similar profile to last years winner (age, recent run and sex). But, it’s also worth noting 13 of the last 20 winners being previous winners at Group level.
Favourites - It’s not been a bad race for the favourites, with 5 of the last 20 (25%) market leaders taking the prize. With 15 of the last 20 jollies also finishing in the top four, then it’s not often the horse at the head of the market doesn’t get involved – last year’s favourite – Suesa – was well beaten, but still managed to finish fourth to back up the ‘top four’ trend
Age - It’s a race that since 2000, we’ve seen five 3 year-old winners – as mentioned, another last year too with Winter Power, and even a rare 2 yearold winner (Kingsgate Native, 2007). However, since 2012, 9 of the last 10 winners have been aged between 4-7 years-old.
While, if we go back to 1922, there has only been one winner aged older than 7! In short, we are putting a line through any older sprinters (8+) that might still be deemed good enough to tackle this Group One.
Girl Power – I’ve touched on the record of the girls in this top sprint. Be sure to look out for fillies or mares in the race as a decent 64% of the last 11 Nunthorpe winners have been female. They will also get the fillies weight allowance in the race, so in a race run over just 5f and one that is often decided by a fine margin, then his lighter
burden can often be a huge help.
Top Stables - We’ve had a fair mix of winning yards in recent times. Trainer Aidan O’Brien has won the race twice, but those wins came back in 1999 (Stravinsky) and 2001 (Mozart).
The Hills yard are another to look for, having won the last two runnings (Battaash), while Barry Hills also won the prize in 2005 (La Cucaracha). Michael Dods popped up in 2015 and 2016 to win the race with their classy Mecca’s Angel, while 12 months ago the Tim Easterby camp recorded their first success when Winter Power won.
Nunthorpe Stakes Betting Guide
18/20 – Finished in the top 5 last time out
18/20 – Had won over 5f before
18/20 – Came from stall 11 or lower
17/20 – Had an official rating of 108 or more
16/20 – Had run at the course before
15/20 – Favourites to finish in the top 4
13/20 – Were previous Group race winners
9/20 – Ran at Goodwood last time out (inc 8 of last 11)
5/20 – Winning favourites
3/20 - Won by the Hills yard (Charles/Barry)
3/20 – Placed horses from stall 1 (3rd in 2003 & 2012)
2/20 – Ran at Sandown last time out
2/20 – Trained by Michael Dods
- 10 of the last 13 winner drawn 6 or higher
- 7 of the last 11 winners were fillies/mares
- 9 of the last 10 winners were aged between 4-7 years-old
Recent Nunthorpe Stakes Winners
2021 – Winter Power (9/1)
2020 - Battaash (1/2 fav)
2019 - Battaash (7/4)
2018 - Alpha Delphini (40/1)
2017 - Marsha (8/1)
2016 - Mecca’s Angel (9/2)
2015 - Mecca’s Angel (15/2)
2014 - Sole Power (11/4 fav)
2013 - Jwala (40/1)
2012 - Ortensia (7/2 jfav)
2011 - Margot Did (20/1)
2010 – Sole Power (100/1)
2009 – Borderlescott (9/1)
2008 – Borderlescott (12/1)
2007 – Kingsgate Native (12/1)
2006 – Reverence (5/1)
2005 – La Cucaracha (7/1)
2004 – Bahamian Pirate (16/1)
2003 – Oasis Dream (4/9 fav)
2002 – Kyllachy (3/1 fav)