King Of Stats: Excilly to reign supreme in Sceptre Stakes

The Sceptre Stakes has been a Group 3 race since 2011 and is one of two Group races on the opening day of Doncaster’s St Leger meeting.

In an attempt to find the winner, the King of Stats has been running the rule over previous renewals to find the runner that has most in common with former victors. Their selection is below:

11 of the previous 12 winners were making their Doncaster debut

Previous course form historically counts for nothing in this contest, which isn’t the biggest surprise given its relatively flat nature.

Five of the 20-runner field are discounted because of previous visits to Doncaster, including last year’s Sceptre Stakes winner Kiyoshi, Realtra, who is 1-1 at the course, Dusky Queen, Lucky Kristale and Bella Nostalgia.

All of the last nine winners were three year olds

Not since Favourable Terms in 2005 has a horse older than three won this, showing the value of the weight-for-age allowance given to those of the Classic generation.

Majestic Queen, Bold Lass, Don’t Be, Pelerin and Penmaen are all struck off our shortlist on account of being too old.

10 of the last 12 winners had triumphed between one and three times previously

Horses that entered the race as serial winners don’t have the best record, with those without much winner’s enclosure experience performing best.

Primrose Valley’s four-race win streak on the all weather earlier in 2015 and six career successes suggest she can’t win this.

7 of the last 12 winners had previously secured victory over 7f

Is it a sprint or is it a middle-distance race? 7f can be a difficult distance to master, given it’s not just about pure speed.

Terror, Pearly Steph and Zifena haven’t won over the distance previously and so are omitted from the shortlist.

9 of the last 12 winners had been seen on the racecourse in the previous six weeks

A recent run has proved useful in the past decade, with horses clearly benefiting from turning up at Doncaster race fit.

This will be Lady Correspondent’s first start since April, which seems a negative to her chances, while Muffri’ Ha was last seen on July 15th.

8 of the last nine winners failed to win on their previous start

2011 victor Alanza is the only horse to prep for this contest with a victory, with the last three winners all finishing out of the first three on their prior start.

Fadhayyil won the City of York Stakes last time, while Mistrusting beat Dusky Queen by a neck in a York handicap.

This leaves us with Excilly and Marsh Hawk as the two most likely winners based on previous trends, with the former fourth in a French Group 3 last time on a first attempt at 1m, while Marsh Hawk has finished no better than sixth in three starts this season.

Kiyoshi won this last year having finished fourth in the Prix De Lieurey at Deauville and Excilly is the selection to follow an identical path to Sceptre Stakes success.

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

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.