Group 1 racing continues at Newmarket this weekend with the running of the season's last mile race for 3-year-old and above fillies and mares, the Sun Chariot Stakes.
The race is the sequel to the Falmouth Stakes, run at the same racecourse over the July course earlier in the season. Run over the Rowley Mile, the Sun Chariot Stakes is the richer of the two races, with a purse of £250,000. The Sun Chariot Stakes has pulled in a top quality field of the 2016 renewal with two multiple Group 1 winners topping the betting markets.
Sun Chariot Stakes trends
The first obvious trend in the Sun Chariot Stakes is the excellent strike rate of favourites. The market has successfully predicted four of the last five winners, a rare feat in Group 1 races for fillies and mares. This trend is mirrored by the ratings, with the highest rated horse in the field achieving the win for four of the last five years.
The route winners take to the Sun Chariot Stakes can vary quite a bit. Recently the 1,000 Guineas, Falmouth Stakes, Coronation Stakes, and France's Prix Rothschild and Prix Jacques Le Marois have all been won by horses that went on to win the Sun Chariot Stakes later the same season.
A victory in the previous race is not a requirement for success in the Sun Chariot Stakes. Only two of the last five winners won their race prior to the Sun Chariot Stakes. Previous Group 1 wins are a more helpful indicator of a horse's prospects, with three of the last five winners taking a Group 1 race over a mile earlier in the season.
2016 Sun Chariot Stakes field
Alice Springs carries the favourite tag into the 2016 Sun Chariot Stakes. This filly is the reigning Falmouth Stakes champion, and won the Irish Group 1, the Matron Stakes, last time out. While she tends to win by handy margins when she gets it right, she also has her off days, and finished near the back of the field in the Prix Rothschild in July. The trends tell us we can't ignore a favourite priced as low as 11/8, but she is likely under-priced given her lack of consistency.
Ervedya won the French equivalent of the 1,000 Guineas last season before going on to win the Coronation Stakes at Ascot. She's yet to win in the new season, but did place in the Prix Jacques le Marois last time out. Saturday will mark the first occasion she's run at Newmarket.
The only other horse who looks like a credible contender in the field for the 2016 Sun Chariot Stakes is Volta. She finished second in the Prix Rothschild in July, and won every other race she competed in over a mile this season. She's also finished outside the places just once in her career. The key to her prospects in the Sun Chariot Stakes is her second place in the Prix Rothschild, where she lost out narrowly but finished well ahead of Alice Springs.
2016 Sun Chariot Stakes tip
Trends suggest that we should take the favourite seriously in the Sun Chariot Stakes, and 2016 gives us no reason to ignore trends, with the race favourite appearing to have a touch more class and form than her competitors. Unfortunately she's under-priced, which means you may get more value looking for a horse who could place and pay out each-way bets.