King of Stats: Koukash’s Gabrial ticks the boxes of a Huxley winner

So often in flat racing, the thunder is stolen by those horses of the Classic generation, with the three-year-old campaign overshadowing that of their elders.

But the Huxley Stakes provides the elder statesman of the racecourse the chance to show their worth and land a Group 3 prize at Chester’s May Meeting.

Sir Michael Stoute’s improver Cannock Chase heads the market for this year’s renewal, but does he have the profile of a winner of the race?

We look at the trends and see which horses tick those all important boxes.


  • Four-year-olds have won 64 per cent of the renewals from just 43 per cent of the runners

– Cannock Chase, Maverick Wave

Prep run

  • 10 of the last 15 winners had run within the previous three weeks

– Cannock Chase, Gabrial

Proven class

  • Just one of the last 14 victors hadn’t already won at least a Listed race

– Windhoek, Air Pilot, Cannock Chase, Gabrial

A perfect draw

A horse drawn in stalls one, two or three has finished in the first two in 13 of the last 15 renewals

Cannock Chase, Gabrial


  • 12 of the last 13 winners had run at least eight times before

– Windhoek, Gabrial, Maverick Wave

The right handler

  • Michael Stoute has an unbelievable record in the race with five winners and two runners-up from 11 representatives

– Cannock Chase

Bred for the job

  • Irish bred horses have filled 71 per cent of the places in the last 10 years

– Gabrial


The two horses at the top and the bottom of the market stand out head-and-shoulders above the rest here with both  Cannock Chase and Gabrial ticking five of the seven boxes.

With the perfect connections for this race behind him it’s easy to see why he will have plenty of support.

However, the favourite’s comeback run behind Western Hymn at Sandown seemed to fold tamely, and with the fact that he has won first time out in the past, it’s hard to say whether he would have needed that run.

He does look a class act on previous form, and could take all the stopping.

On form, it’s hard to fancy Marwan Koukash’s charge, but he certainly has the profile of a winner of the Huxley Stakes.

Most of his better form is at a mile, but with the sharpness of the Chester track, he could match his close second in this race from 12 months ago.

‘The Good Doctor’ likes nothing more than a winner at this meeting and with one already in the bag on the opening day, this one could be the play for each-way backers.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.