Royal Ascot certainly has its fair share of devilishly difficult handicap puzzles to solve, with big fields, draw biases and runners open to varying amounts of improvement all playing their part.
Luckily, the King of Stats has run the rule over the winners of the last 15 years and found some common trends that link them all.
The horse that fits all of these trends is ??? at 25/1. Find out at the bottom:
All of the last 15 winners had finished in the first six on the previous start
Over a third of the field can already be removed from the shortlist on account on a disappointing result on their prior start before heading to Royal Ascot.
These include fancied each-way pair Intrinsic and Zarwaan, alongside Louis The Pious, Lancelot Du Lac, Highland Acclaim, Rivellino, Blaine, Polybius, Green Door and Suzi´s Connoisseur
Each of the last 15 winners had a maximum of four runs previously in the same season
Getting a horse race fit and shaking off the winter cobwebs is one thing, but over-racing them is another.
Three of the remaining horses on the list have been ejected from the shortlist. Top-weight Intransigent, Richard Hannon’s Ninjago and the in-form Basil Berry.
All barring two of the last 15 winners were aged four or five
Dandy Boy in 2012 and Baltic King in 2006 were the only two horses not to adhere to this trend and they were both aged six.
The fancied Robert Le Diable and Ruwaiyan are both six and so leave the shortlist, alongside seven-year-old Dinkum Diamond.
In the last five years, all of the top-three finishers came from a double-figure stall
This spells bad news for Watchable up against the rail in stall one, Gamesome from stall five, Divine in stall nine.
Over half (eight) of the last 15 winners had previously run at Ascot before
Course knowledge is understandably a positive. Unfortunately, Dutch Masterpiece and Tatlisu have none.
Some 14 of the past 15 winners had run within six weeks of Royal Ascot
Bottom-weight related hasn’t been seen since March, while Huntsmans Close ran too early in May to meet the criteria.
Two-thirds of the last 15 winners had run at least twice in the same season
Those to run five or more times in the same season have already been discarded, now so are those that have had just the one start. Interception leaves the shortlist.
A third of the last 15 winners also triumphed on their previous start
Of the final four on the shortlist, Barracouda Boy was second at Newmarket, Kickboxer was third in the same race and Rene Mathis was only fifth over 7f at York.
This leaves Algar Lad as the sole survivor that adheres to all of these trends and his victory on his last start also arrived at Ascot.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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