Britannia Stakes

18 Jun


Features 30 three-year-olds, the majority of which are unexposed and from top yards, for my money the Britannia Stakes is the most competitive (though not impossible) three-year-old handicap of the season. It has been a very good race for favourites, 17 of the last 24 winners could be found in the first half-dozen in the betting so this isn’t the punters’ nightmare. Many punters fall into the trap of backing a flashy, last-time-out maiden winner from a big yard but no horse with such a profile has won in 18 years ago. An emerging pattern is that the four of the last five winners won a handicap on their previous start. On the weight front, the fact that just three of the last 25 winners have carried have carried over 9st should set alarm bells ringing if you fancy one of the top weights. It has also paid to overlook horses that failed to notch up a top-four finish last time out as just two winners since 1991 did not adhere to this. So you’re looking for a horse coming into the race in top form and has a few runs under its belt and carries under 9 stone.


I’ve narrowed the field down to 8 runners. From there it’s tough to pick a winner. 6 of the 8 horses are very closely matched on form. The one that stands out the most to me is Sahaafy. He won a handicap on his last starts and races of 9 stone 1lb. I think this horse is a group calibar horse and he could be thrown in at the weights. The form of each of his runs has worked out so well. 2 runs back he was only barely beaten by Always Smile. He was very unlucky not to win that day. Always Smile was 2nd here yesterday in another 3 year old handicap. This race is a lesser version of that race though. Sahaafy could be class above these. Her last win was very eye catching. She beat Angel Vision by 5 lengths going away at the finish. It could’ve easily been 10 lengths. Angel vision previously ran 4th to Sahaafy’s stablemate Fadhiyyal, he was placed in a group 2 race here yesterday. Sahaafy’s trainer is the great Barry Hills who came out of retirement to train this horse as the former trainer, his son passed away. It would be a great win for the family if Sahaafy could win.


Sahaafy is owned by Hamdan Al Maktoum, he also runs Mutarakez. Paul Hanagan has the pick of the two horses be decided to ride the latter. Mutarakez’s form is not as strong as Sahaafy’s though and he has to give Sahaafy 2lbs. Mutarakez has been impressive of late though, winning 3 on the trot. He’s a good horse but I think he’s too high in the weights. Another horse I really like in here is Azraff who brings some good placed form into the race. He ran 2nd to Peacock 3 runs back, he since ran a close 2nd to the Epsom Derby winner Golden Horn. Also Azraff’s last run might bring the best piece of form into this race. He was 4th behind Time Test and Dissalusion who both run in other races today. A good showing from them would improve this one’s chances. Azraff has run into a few well handicapped horses this season and a win is certainly not out of the question here. Some of his form ties in with Sahaafy and he gets 4lbs off that one.


Of the others the Queen’s Capel Path has a chance. He brings good form into the race and is sure to be primed for this race. His run behind Mister Universe last time out was quite good but has work to do with Sahaafy on form. The Richard Hannon trained King to be has a chance, on form he should finish in front of Capel Path but might come up short at the business end. Rotherick’s 2nd to Jack Hobbs was a good run, albeit a 12 length defeat. Stavagante was back in 3rd and that has won since. He’s another who could run well but might be too high up the weights.


Of the rank outsiders in here, Crescent catches my eye. He’s trained in Qatar by a relatively unknown trainer but he used to be trained in Ireland by David Watchman. He had some top class form in Ireland. He ran 3rd in a maiden behind Tombeliane and Highland Reel. That is top form seen that Tombelaine was placed in the Irish Guineas behind Gleneagles and Highland Reel was placed in the French Oaks. He won a decent maiden at Naas after that. He then went to Qatar where he won 2 races and finished 4th behind a decent horse. His last run was in Newbury over 1 mile 2. It was that top Time Test race that Azraff was 4th in. Crescent tried to make all and faded late on into 7th. Not beaten too far my Azraff. The drop back in trip here to 1 mile is sure to suit as he’s won at that trip. The ground is sure to suit and I can’t believe the price of 125/1. Paddy Power are playing 6 places and I would not rule this one out! This is a tough race to find the winner of so I’m going to go for a few each way.


Selection: Sahaafy 10/1 & Azraff 25/1

Outsider: Crescent 125/1







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