Nunthorpe Stakes 2019 Betting Preview, Odds and Tips
The Friday of the York Ebor Festival sees one of the fastest races of the week take place on the Knavesmire in the shape of the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes.
Some of the speediest horses in Europe and beyond do battle in a contest that often pitches exciting two-years-olds against their established Group 1 elders, and the packed York stands will marvel as they thunder past in the blink of an eye. It's one of the real highlights of the horse racing betting calendar
What Is The Nunthorpe?
First held in 1922, the Nunthorpe Stakes is a Group One race, run at York over the minimum racing distance of five furlongs. This year’s prize fund totals £400,000, with the Nunthorpe’s role of honour including horses such as Sharpo, Cadeaux Genereux, Lochsong, and more recently Sole Power, Mecca’s Angel and Martha.
The winner of the race now earns an automatic berth into the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) through the international Breeders’ Cup Challenge. If connections are so inclined to make the trip over to Santa Anita in November then they would see their entry fee of $150,000 (c£115,000) fully paid for as well as receiving $40,000 to assist with the cost of travel.
Are You Batty To Back Battaash?
Heading the betting at a best-priced 5/2 with BetVictor is the Charlie Hills-trained Battaash. He’s understandably the favourite for the race based upon his third straight King George Stakes win at Glorious Goodwood for, but should we not be worried about his record at York?
In both 2017 and 2018, the Sheikh Hamdan-owned speedball has followed up his Goodwood victory by running in the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes, but could only finish fourth on both occasions.
I’m pretty sure the jury will be split 50/50 come Friday about Battaash’s chances and there will be just as many people queuing up to lay him as their will be to back him.
Just let the following statistic sink in and digest it. Barring Sole Power in 2014, fillies and mares had the monopoly on the Nunthorpe Stakes and won it every year since 2011, with Mabs Cross just failing to keep up her end of the bargain in the tightest of tight photos last year. Invariably fillies and mares have either run right up to their rating in this sprint or have surpassed it.
Leading the way for the females again this year is the Michel Dods-trained Mabs Cross. She was rated 110 last year when she just lost out to the 40/1 outsider Alpha Delphini and runs this year off a mark of 114. She took those York exertions completely in her stride and followed that run up by lifting the Prix De L'Abbaye De Longchamp last October – a race I was lucky enough to witness in person.
Currently trading as a 5/1 with the best horse racing sites, I can see Mabs Cross trading much on the day as Battaash supporters begin to get the York heebie-jeebies.
Also flying the flag for the girls (should they all line up) are the French-trained Big Brothers Pride (33/1 with GentingBet) who won the Prix Sigy (G3) at Chantilly, Rous Stakes winner and Mabs Cross’ stablemate Intense Romance (50/1 with BetHard), Commonwealth Cup runner-up Forever In Dreams (16/1 with 888Sport), 2018 Queen Mary winner Signora Cabello (50/1 with Grosvenor Sport) and the July Cup fifth, So Perfect (22/1 with FansBet).
The most likely filly from that listing to put up a decent show at York is the Aidan Fogarty-trained Forever In Dreams. After romping to victory at Haydock (I was there too!) the filly ran a tremendous race to fill the runner-up spot behind Advertise in the Commonwealth Cup.
That form line has been well franked, with Advertise landing the Prix Maurice de Gheest and Ten Sovereigns crushing them all in the July Cup.
At 16/1 with 888Sport, Forever In Dreams, is the best each-way shot on the board in my opinion, and the only reason that is she is not priced up shorter is the fact that she does not hail from one of the “sexier” well known stables.
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I will endeavour to provide you with a juicy priced, each-way alternative to what all the other pundits will be picking this week.
The Qatar Racing-owned Big Brothers Pride ran too bad to be true in the King George Stakes at Goodwood after she impressed back in April at Chantilly.
A half-sister to Polydream, it is hard to see why on the face of things she should reverse the form line with Battaash, but the Arqana-bought filly is a little pocket rocket when she puts her mind to it and the Prix Sigy has been a rich well over the years for producing future Group One winners.
As I alluded to earlier, fillies and mares appear to put their best hoof forward in this late summer contest and Big Brothers Pride is well worth another go at odds of 33/1 with GentingBet.
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