Kingston has Great claims
Ian Ogg analyses the last 10 renewals of Wednesday's Neptune Investment Management Great Voltigeur Stakes at York and picks out the key statistics.
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This is set to be the largest field in four years since Epsom Derby third Rewilding beat nine rivals at the price of 6/4 in 2010 and KINGSTON HILL, runner-up in the middle distance Classic, has obvious claims of following suit.
He is rated higher than any winner in this period but that's hardly a negative and he could become the fifth winner to have contested the Epsom Derby in the same season.
He hasn't won a race this season but nor had Rule Of Law (also second at Epsom) when justifying favouritism in 2003 nor shock 2009 winner Monitor Closely who had contested the Guineas and Dante on two of his four starts.
Winning form at the distance isn't a pre-requisite either with three winners unraced beyond 10 furlongs and a handful more placed over 12 furlongs as the Mastercraftsman colt was at Epsom.
Sir Michael Stoute and John Gosden have won three renewals apiece but Aidan O'Brien has saddled 14 runners who have realised just three second place finishes and six thirds.
Granddukeoftuscany impressed some observers (including a couple from this parish) when running out a wide margin winner of a Tipperary maiden and there is a recent precedence with 2005 scorer Hard Top boasting a similar profile.
The son of Darshaan was one of the Stoute winners along with Telescope and Sea Moon and those three have more in common with each other than they do with Gordon Stakes winner and King Edward VII Stakes fourth Snow Sky.
Both of those races are represented on the roll of honour but not by Stoute's pair with Sea Moon winning a York handicap on his preceding start and Telescope coming via a Leicester conditions race and the Rose of Lancaster Stakes.
Hartnell was second to Snow Sky in the Lingfield Derby Trial before winning the Queen's Vase at Royal Ascot and the Bahrain Trophy at Newmarket.
Mark Johnson has run eight horses who have achieved a best of fourth which is a modest return given that they have included five Royal Ascot winners with two landing the King Edward VII Stakes and three the Queen's Vase.
That is disconcerting as is the trainer's record at York which has seen him win with 12 of his 227 runners here over the past five seasons with three-year-olds accounting for 3 from 84 at a strike rate of 4%.
As it could be argued that the Freemason Lodge runners had a similar profile, so it is with John Gosden's trio.
Lucarno and Thought Worthy were both fourth in the Derby and second and third respectively in the King Edward VII whereas Centennial came via the Dante, Irish Derby and Grand Prix de Paris, finishing eighth.
Queen's Vase third and beaten favourite Marzocco fared better in finishing fifth in that Longchamp Group One and connections now swap cheekpieces for blinkers.
He is closely matched with Hartnell on their runs at Epsom and Royal Ascot and two of Gosden's three winners have been returned at 9/1 and 12/1.
The Kitten's Joy colt could run better than his odds suggest as could Observational who had beaten him at Goodwood only to fail to reproduce his best form in the Gordon Stakes when conditions were possibly on the fast side.
For every Rewilding and Rule of Law there is a Main Sequence or Seville but Kingston Hill does boast very obvious credentials and can tee himself up for a tilt at another Classic with victory here but a big run from Marzocco would not surprise.
- Winners have been priced between 5/4 and 28/1 with seven in single figures.
- Three favourites have been successful with four more placed.
- Winners have been rated between 95 and 118 with nine 103+.
- Three winners were successful on their preceding start.
- Six winners had won a Group Three or a Listed contest
- Winners had run between one and six times during the current season.
- Winners had had between two and eight career starts.
The 2008 renewal was run at Goodwood
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