Best Betting Sites UK / Ginger Joe / Tony's Trends - Stats Sourced Selections for The Victoria Cup, Ascot, 7 May 2022

Tony's Trends - Stats Sourced Selections for The Victoria Cup, Ascot, 7 May 2022

Spectacular racing in the Guineas races last week!

James Doyle really had something to write home about last weekend, after riding the winner of both races for a truly memorable double. Our selection in the 2000 Guineas, Luxembourg, ran well, but did not quite have the turn of foot needed to overcome the winner.  However, he still placed at 6/1, which were the very fair odds from Bet365, meaning we made a minor profit.

As I anticipated, the top three in the market filled the first three places and the Trends did not favour any outsider, so I did not try to put up a saver on that occasion.

The 1000 Guineas went to Cachet, who I thought would be outstayed by our saver, Prosperous Voyage, who was so close to getting it right at 33/1. The line came just too fast, as our saver was staying on and may have won if she had just slightly better acceleration. I’ll take it, but it is disappointing that on a few occasions we have hit the crossbar with a big priced selection.

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The Victoria Cup, 7 furlongs, Ascot, 7 May 2022

This week, I will review the Victoria Cup which is run over 7 furlongs at Ascot. The race is run over a straight, but undulating, 7 furlongs, with a stiff uphill finish, so it requires horses with both speed and stamina.

The race was first run in 1988 and tends to attract proven course specialists, as well as interesting, less exposed youngsters alike. There have been three years where the race did not take place and I will also discount the results of the 2005 race (won by Iffraaj) as the race was run at Lingfield on an all-weather track.

This leaves us with 30 previous race results from which to build our Trends profile.

Age

The previous winners have been aged four years (x 15) five years (x 10) six years (x 4, but none since 2013) and seven years (x 1, Global Village in 2012, who was fancied and sent off at 7/1).

Weight

The previous winners have carried a variety of weights between 07-07 (Tender Moment in 1993, no longer permitted) and 09-08 (Gabriel’s Lad in 2014, who had previous course form and ran in Listed company during his prep).

Odds

There have been a wide variety of SPs over the 30 renewals of this race, but just four Favourites have won in that time. The last being Fastnet Tempest in 2017, with a further 11 placing in the top five.

Although there has been that variation in the SPs, only one of the 30 winners was returned at greater than 25/1. When I use this criterion, I need to warn readers that this is not static. Do bear in mind that the horses I discount now, based on their odds at the time of writing, may shorten in price and need to be reconsidered. Conversely, if a horse that I retain drifts out too far in price, then I would eliminate them if that happens leading up to the race.

The races run by previous winners have been a key part of the Trends, with 28 having run in Handicaps in their final prep race. Most previous winners had prep runs that season and the six that did not, either had previous course form or ran in the race the year before. One other was gelded.

The draw has not been a good indicator of where the winner will come from.

The 15 previous winning four-year-olds have:

  • All carried between 08-01 and 09-06
  • All achieved an OR of at least 75 but not more than 104
  • All achieved an RPR of at least 82 but not more than 107
  • 14 won or in a race over 7fs or more and the one that did not came second and had been close in many big competitive handicaps over 7f or more
  • Had between 4 and 25 lifetime runs but 14 had no more than 14 runs

The previous winning 5-year-olds have:

  • All since 2000 carried between 08-09 and 09-08
  • All since 2000 achieved an OR of at least 93 since 2000 and not more than 104
  • All since achieved an RPR of at least 91 but not more than 107
  • Had between 10 and 29 previous runs but since 2000 not more than 25

The previous winning 6-year-olds have:

  • All carried between 08-01 and 09-07
  • Since 2000 achieved an OR of at least 99
  • Achieved an RPR of between 92 and 105
  • Had between 14 and 32 previous lifetime runs
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Trend review

In short, the Trends indicate we are looking for a horse aged four or five years, who has had a prep run.

I’ll begin by discounting any runner who does not meet the age criterion. In racecard order, those are:

  • Accidental Agent (who has too much weight and has posted too high an RPR)
  • Chiefofchiefs
  • Eagleway
  • Hieronymous
  • Orbaan

Next, I will remove any of the remaining runners who are due to carry more than 09-08 after their Claimers allowance has been taken into account. These are:

  • One Ruler
  • Magical Morning

Now, I will now discount any of the remaining runners who fall outside the OR or RPR Trend requirements:

  • Path of Thunder (both the OR an RPR posted are too high)
  • Oo De Lally (RPR is slightly too high)
  • River Nymph (RPR is slightly too high and there have been no repeat winners)
  • Mums Tipple (OR is too high)
  • Popmaster (RPR is slightly too high and he has not raced over 7f let alone won)

I will now remove any remaining runner whose odds are around 33/1 or more:

  • Spirit of Light
  • Baldomero
  • Shoot to Kill

I will also overlook any remaining runners who have not won over 7f, or been close to winning a big Handicap over that distance, or further, which loses us Fresh.

Finally, I will discount the one remaining runner who has not run this season, does not have an excuse (gelded, changed trainer) or that has run well over C&D previously. So here we lose Star of Orion.

Discussion

We have therefore need to review 11 qualifiers, who I shall discuss in race card order.

Aratus is a lightly raced four-year-old, partnered by Adam Kirby who has ridden two previous winners. The concern would be that he has not run in any big fields previously and is generally inexperienced, with just six lifetime runs to his name.

Vafortino is another lightly raced four-year-old. He changed yards and ran well, when just failing to hold off the 110-rated Bless Him over 1 mile on his seasonal debut. His trainer has stated that he has had this race in mind since that run and has booked one of the best Claimers for the run, namely Benoit de la Sayette. The trainer, Kevin Philippart de Foy, has been highlighted by Ginger Joe as one to follow and the jockey, by Joe McCabe.

Dance Fever is a five-year-old, who has run well over longer distances and was just two lengths behind Aratus at Goodwood last year. He gets a 16lb pull for that, when taking his jockeys Claim into account. It could also be telling that the trainer has put his son up for this race, so it could be a family affair.

Gioia Cieca is yet another lightly raced four-year-old, who had a good prep run, as he stayed on behind Boardman and is weighted to finish close to Alrehb. The yard is in form and he could run well, but my one concern would be his draw in the middle to high, which is not ideal. I can see him drift before the race to odds of 33/1.

Royal Pleasure is trained by the plot king himself, Sir Mark Prescott. However, he has yet to win on turf, has been running over insufficient trips and steps up now. Again, I’m not convinced that the middle is the place to be drawn and I will pass him over for this one.

Ropey Guest ran well in the race last year and has been running in big Handicaps all along. His odds are borderline at present and I’m going to pass, as I think he could go off too high at 33/1.

Tadreeb is another whose current odds are borderline and are likely to drift to eliminate him. In addition, he looks held by Gioia Cieca, based on their running last year. I am also not sure his form from all-weather tracks will translate well to a big field Handicap like this.

Darkness is a four-year-old who attracted serious support for the Lincoln, before finishing down the field. In fairness, that was his first run since moving to the O’Meara yard from France. I just get the feeling that they are dropping him back, as he failed to deliver over further and it is a sighting mission as much as anything.

Dark Shift is the Favourite. He has already won over course and distance and absolutely could win this hard held. The Hills yard are in form and doing very well, but given he is the Favourite and they have a poor record here, I’m going to pass him over.

Alrehb is a five-year-old from the same stable as Vafortino, but appears to be their second choice based on the current odds. He ran in the same race as a few others and looks weighted to finish behind Gioia Cieca based on that race. I’ll pass him over as he looks beatable and his odds are on the Trends borderline at the time of writing.

The Turpinator was another who attracted support in the Spring Cup and finished close behind Modern News over a mile. He faded late on into sixth place on that day and this trip looks more suitable for him. However, his yard is under a small cloud at present and not among the winners, so in such a competitive type of race, I’ll pass on him too.

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Conclusion

This is a really hard call, as there are a lot of good horses in the field, but I’m going to put up one from each side of the draw, who should both stay under 25/1 before the off.

Vafortino, from a high draw, has been backed all week and looks like one that should do well. We also know has been aimed at this race. In addition, his jockey is value for his Claim and has ridden well in other big field Handicaps.

However, if he goes off Favourite, then he would not be my selection and I’d look at Gioia Cieca as the replacement.

Dance Fever, from a low draw, looks to hold a decent chance and is slightly better off at the weights and showing at a better price than his stablemate Aratus. His odds are unlikely to fluctuate to make us need to review.

I really expect him to do better in a more strongly-run race than his prep, when he was beaten by Accidental Agent.

Finally…

As always, make use of Betting.co.uk and Oddschecker to find the best odds or offers for the race and be sure to bet safely.

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