Wednesday 14th May, 3:30pm, York, 6f, Duke Of York Clipper Logistics Stakes (Group 2) (Class 1) (3yo+)
The Group 2 Duke of York States was created in its current form as a 6 furlong conditions race in 1968. It was given Group status in 1971 when it was run as a Group 3 event. The race was promoted to Group 2 level in 2003.
An event called The Duke of York Stakes was first run at York in 1895 and was named after the then Duke of York who was later King George V. Winners of the race in its original format included Polymelus in 1905 who became the leading sire of racehorses in the UK for five years and includes Secretariat and Northern Dancer as two of his more famous descendants.
Looking at the statistics of the race, age appears to be a major consideration. Only two three-year-olds have won any of the last 25 renewals, a comment which equally applies to seven-year-old runners. Four-year-old runners have won the race seven times, five-year-olds nine times and six-year-olds three times. Concentrating on four- and five-year-old winners would have assisted in finding 64% of the winners over the last 25 years and including six-year-old winners in deliberations would have increased this to 76%.
The draw bias at York is not significant over 6 furlongs. However horses tend to run down the middle of the course avoiding either rail and there has been a slight draw bias in the race over the last 12 years with horses drawn in stalls 4 to 9 winning eight of the renewals.
This does not appear to be a great race for favourite backers with only four obliging during the past 14 runnings. In fact, the betting is not a good guide at all with only three single figure odds horses winning any of the last 12 renewals.
Horses who have run in the same season are a reasonable pointer when finding the winner with eight of the last 12 winners having run within the previous 38 days. A run over the course is also a good pointer with 10 of the last 12 winners having had experience running at York previously.
Winning course form is not important as only two winners of the last 12 renewals having won at the course prior to the race. However, winning form over 6 furlongs is a good guide with 10 of the last 12 winners having won at least three races over the distance.
As we are talking about a Group 2 race a high Official Rating is normally required to win the race with 10 of the last 12 winners rated 105 or higher. Previous winning form at Group 1 to 3 is also useful as eight of the last 12 winners had previous wins in Pattern class races.
With only seven runners the draw is of no significance. A chance is taken with Brando who won the Group 3 Abernant Stakes at Newmarket on his seasonal reappearance beating Sir Dancealot who reopposes here. Brando has plenty of form in the ground and over the race distance and ran in the race last year when he was tailed off as he burst a blood vessel. He has his regular jockey in the plate and his yard are in decent form.
Harry Angel will be very difficult to beat if he turns up at his best, but he was beaten on his seasonal reappearance last year and he has been off the track for 207 days.
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