King of Stats: Familiar face to lift the Racing Post Trophy

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The Racing Post Trophy has been a useful pointer to next year’s Classic in recent times, with last year’s winner Kingston Hill going on to win the St Leger and 2012 Guineas and Derby hero Camelot also taking the race as a two-year-old.

So spotting the potential champion juveniles at Doncaster could uncover a superstar next year.

All we have to do now is use those love-them-or-hate-them trends to one-by-one eliminate the runners we feel don’t tick all the boxes ahead of the final Group 1 of the UK flat season.

Firstly, looking at the last recent runnings of the contest it becomes evident that you need something unexposed and still improving on Town Moor, with none of the last 16 winners having had more than four runs beforehand. That means Cock of the North (25/1) becomes the first casualty to our workings.

We can eliminate two more that are set to line up with just a solitary winner the same period coming into the contest after finishing out of the first three last time out, and only one victor lifting the prize having not won over 7f or 1m.

This put’s paid to the chances, using our criteria, to Tupi (16/1) who was fifth in a Listed contest last time, and the well-fancied Jacobean (3/1) who is still a maiden.

Eight winners in the last 15 years had already won a Listed or Group race, but all but one that hadn’t tasted pattern level success, hadn’t even tried.

So with only one victor coming into the race after failing at the top level in recent times, we say goodbye to Restorer (8/1) here.

It can also pay to take a look into the breeding of the contestants here with 14 of the last 15 winners being by a sire with an allotted ‘Stamina Index’ of between 9.2 and 11.7. So with that in mind it might prove too much of a test for Celestial Path (5/1), a son of Footstepsinthesand (8.1).

So we are left with three now, and it becomes more subjective with our analysis.

The form of Snoano’s (10/1) win last month looks a little ropey, with Percus who was 7l behind him that day going on to be well beaten in a Class 5 Maiden at Lingfield. He was however supplemented for this race, so connections obviously think a lot of him, but we’d prefer more solid form in the book at the price.

Elm Park (7/4) is likely to go off favourite and with seven of the last 10 jollies obliging in the race, we certainly don’t want to put you off Roger Varian’s charge. He won the Group 2 Royal Lodge having stumbled out of the stalls, and should go well for a trainer that claimed the contest 12 months ago.

But if one trainer does well in this race, it is Aidan O’Brien. He has trained three of the last four winners of the race, and sends two here, but it is ALOFT (12/1) that gets our vote.

The son of Galileo (responsible for one win and two places from five runners) was very green on his previous two starts, yet still showed good attitude to get up to win last time out. With the round eight in the field, we think you could do far worse than an each-way punt on him.

All odds and markets 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.