Thursday 10th May, 3:35pm Chester, 1m 5½f (1m 5f 84y) Boodles Diamond Ormonde Stakes (Group 3) (Class 1) (4yo+)
The Ormonde Stakes was established in its present form in 1936. The original version was a 5 furlong race for two year olds. Named after the often-called ‘horse of the century’ the race was reduced in length to 1 mile 2 furlongs in 1955 before being restored to its current 1 mile 5½ furlongs in 1958, at which time it was restricted to older horses.
Ormonde was foaled in 1883 and won the Triple Crown of the 2,000 Guineas, The Derby and the St Leger in 1886 and retired undefeated. He also won the St James’s Palace Stakes, Champion Stakes and Hardwicke Stakes twice.
The Ormonde Stakes serves as a trial for the Coronation Cup at The Derby meeting at Epsom. The last horse to win both races in the same year was St Nicholas Abbey in 2011.
The betting gives a good clue to a likely winner in recent times with 11 of the last 12 winners starting in the top three of the betting, but only four favourites have won.
Previous distance form is a good pointer, as nine of the last 12 winners had run over 1 mile 4 furlongs or further a minimum of three times. Seven of the 12 winners had at least two previous wins over longer distances. Previous course form should be noted as half of the last 12 winners had run at Chester previously but only three had won at the course.
Looking for horses with a previous run this season is a 50/50 call as only six of the last 12 horses to win the race had run previously the same season, in all cases within 33 days of the race.
It takes a decent horse to win the Ormonde Stakes as nine of the last 12 winners were rated 110 or higher and nine of the last 12 winners also had at least one win in a Group 1 to 3.
This year’s renewal sees only six runners taking part. Duretto trained by Andrew Balding and ridden by Graham Lee has won at Chester previously and has winning form in Group races. He looks to have a little to find on paper and his yard is not in good form, but has run well on his seasonal reappearance the last two years, including a decent third place in last year’s renewal of the Ormonde Stakes.
The ground is currently riding Good but the rains have arrived and with heavy rain forecast overnight the ground should soften, which will help Duretto who has done all of his winning in Good to Soft and heavier ground.
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