LAST YEAR'S WINNER - QUEEN'S TRUST
- Trainer: Frankie Dettori
- Jockey: Sir Michael Stoute
- Owner: Cheveley Park Stud
- Odds: 5/1
- Betting Stats
- Favourites: 2/7 (28.6%) | Level stake loss -8.6%
- Odds on Favs: None
- Median winning price: 4.9/1
Welcome to the equine equivalent of Elite Singles! This is where fabulous fillies advertise their desirability to the world’s super stallions – well that’s what happened to Dank! And her dalliance with Galileo turned out well, as her first foal, a filly, sold for four million guineas recently as part of Tattersalls Book 1.
How has the favourite fared?
In seven renewals of this division in California none of the winners have gone to post at double figure odds with two favourites, Dank (6/4 in 2013) and Islington (2.9/1 in 2003) prevailing. Although blindly following the favourite has yielded a loss, this is a division where the market provides a decent guide to the likely outcome.
Run record and class clues
Unbelievably, last year’s winner Queen’s Trust went into this race without a turf score to her name and she still has just this one! Indeed, the only win on her CV came courtesy of her maiden breaker on Kempton Park’s synthetic surface in September 2015. To be fair, she had finished in the frame in a trio of G1 races before heading across the Atlantic. All the other winners arrived at Santa Anita with at least one top-grade victory to their name. Three of them had won their immediate prep and the others had enjoyed frame finishes before succeeding in the big one.
As usual recently, the US challenge has been headed by Chad Brown who has three wins, the same number as Sir Michael Stoute. Add in Sir Henry Cecil’s win with Midday and being a knight of the realm could be a key factor – or not. No California based handler has taken this division.
Dayatthespa wired the field in 2014 but generally just behind the front rank, close enough to strike late, is the place to be. Last year’s winner had only one of her opponents behind at the first call before charging late to get up right at the wire. This year’s race will be run at nine furlongs, the shortest trip that it has ever been contested over, and will start in a chute between the two infield lakes making it a tighter circuit than usual and possibly more of speed test.
Last year’s winner became the second three-year-old to collect this event in California but overall the age spread is pretty even.
Although Queen’s Trust broke from gate 11 of 13, being drawn towards the inside has been the place to be.
- This is definitely one of ‘our’ races so start with the Europeans.
- The market is generally a good guide.
- As with all turf events have a good look at Chad Brown’s runners.
- Downgrade the chances of runners drawn wide.
- Look for runners with good recent form.