As the flat season heads to a close attention turns to the leading juveniles in the UK. The Cheveley Parks Stakes is the first of two Group 1 races for 2-year-olds taking place this weekend at Newmarket, with the race set to feature the season's most promising 2-year-old fillies.
The Cheveley Park Stakes is run over 6 furlongs on the Rowley Mile at Newmarket, with the straight course evening out any advantage created by starting positions. The race distance combined with the inexperience of contestants makes this one of the most unpredictable Group 1 races of the season.
Cheveley Park Stakes trends
One of the good places to look for potential Cheveley Parks stakes winners is the Group 2 Lowther Stakes. Two of the last five Cheveley Park Stakes winners won that race, while another placed. While this race gives a good idea of the pecking order amongst 2-year-old fillies in the UK, horses travelling from France and Ireland will have been tested in other trials.
There are a variety of these, with France's Prix Morny and Ireland's Round Tower Stakes two potential sources of title challengers in the Cheveley Park Stakes.
Other than that horses who win the Cheveley Park Stakes tend to be in decent form. Three of the last five winners won their race prior to the trip to Newmarket, while the remaining two placed. Familiarity with the course is not particularly important, and it's common for horses to win the Cheveley Park Stakes when making their Newmarket debut.
Another tip for this race is to avoid being swayed too much by racehorse ratings, which tend to be speculative for juveniles. The top rated horse in the field hasn't won the race once in five years. However, markets have been good at picking out the genuine contenders with all of the last five winners priced 4/1 or lower
2016 Cheveley Park Stakes field
The 2016 Cheveley Park Stakes throws up a bit of a poser with both the winner of the Lowther Stakes and the Prix Morny in the field.
With a Group 1 win behind her Lady Aurelia has taken the antepost favourite billing. Her Prix Morny win was her third of the season, following on from a win in the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot. With three wins from three starts in her career, she's a strong favourite.
However, expect Queen Kindly to have a say in the outcome of this race. She won the Lowther Stakes by close on a length in August for her second consecutive win. She also managed a place when competing in the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot in June. She's won three of her four career starts and has never finished outside the places.
Queen Kindly also appears to have a yard of pace on Lady Aurelia, winning the Lowther Stakes in 1.09 seconds while Lady Aurelia was almost a second slower in winning the Prix Morny in 1.10 seconds.
While we can expect a few big improvements for longer priced horses in the field, there's only one other horse who has the potential to create an upset on Saturday.
That is Roly Poly, who finished under a length behind Queen Kindly in the Lowther Stakes. Prior to that she won the Group 2 Duchess of Cambridge Stakes at Newmarket over 6 furlongs, adding that to a victory in a Group 3 at Curragh in June.
At 5/1 she's the best balance of form and price. Furthermore her winning time of 1:10.72 in the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes beats every winning time in the Cheveley Park Stakes since 2010, although this time was achieved on the July rather than Rowley Mile course.
2016 Cheveley Park Stakes tip
The top three in this race are strong enough that a tricast on Lady Aurelia, Queen Kindly and Roly Poly to finish in any order could be a lucrative bet. There's very little between these three horses, and while Lady Aurelia has the strongest record in the field, there's not as much separating her and Roly Poly as their price difference suggests.
2016 Cheveley Park Stakes odds
antepost race not found