Saturday 9th June, 4:00pm, Haydock, 7f (7f 37y) Betway John Of Gaunt Stakes (Group 3) (Class 1) (4yo+)

Named after John of Gaunt, the 1st Duke of Lancaster, the race was established in 1976 as a Listed race when it was open to three year old horses and older. The minimum age was raised to four in 1998 and was elevated to Group 3 status in 2008.

Since the race was promoted to Group 3 the 20 renewals have been won by four- and five year old horses 14 times (70% of the total). Nine of the last 12 winners could be found in the first three in the betting but over the same period only four favourites or joint favourites have been successful.

Being drawn low appears to be an advantage with nine of the last 12 winners in stalls 1 to 3. All of the last 12 winners had run previously in the same season and 11 of the last 12 winners also had previous winning form over 7 furlongs with nine winners having won at least three times, although not necessarily over the race distance.

A reasonably high Official Rating is required to win the race with a rating of at least 108 being required to be successful in 10 of the last 12 renewals. However, only three of the last 12 winners had previously won at Group level.

Godolphin’s D’bia who is trained by Charlie Appleby and ridden by William Buick fits the stats profile well. Trainer and jockey are on a high having won The Derby last Saturday with Masar. D’bia has won twice over 7 furlongs and is proven in the Good to Firm ground he will encounter at Haydock.

The four year old Bay Gelding has plenty of experience and will be making his 17th start. He won over 7 furlongs in Meydan in January and was giving a break after running their for the third time this year in March. He made a pleasing reappearance in a Listed race at Windsor on 21st May finishing second to the very smart The Tin Man. That should have brought him on and he should give another good account in this race.

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