King of Stats: French raider set to upset the Nunthorpe regulars

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Trends. You either love them or hate them. But what cannot be denied is their undoubted ability to throw up some intriguing patterns in the racing world.

Today we focus on the Nunthorpe Stakes, with the sprinters set to strut their stuff on the Knavesmire.

Races over the minimum distance can often be messy affairs with luck in running of vital importance, and take working out and then some for punters.

But by looking over the past 20 runnings of the race, we have decided that Thursday’s Yorkshire puddings could have the odd aftertaste of garlic.

The initial discardings

There can be no sentiment involved when analysing a race through stats, and this Group 1 is no different, so some key omissions can be made using the following criteria.

–          19/20 winners had won the same season

–          19/20 had finished first or second in a race at Group or Listed level beforehand

–          17/20 victors finished in the first six in their final start

One fell swoop across this year’s field can narrow the field down to just less than half, with a trio of three-year-olds as well as favourite Sole Power still present.

Age

In certain races runners from the Classic generation seem to outperform their elder peers, the Nunthorpe is one of those contests.

Three-year-olds have won seven of the last 20 renewals (around 35%), from just 21% of the runners.

With that impressive return in mind, we are looking at a trio of nicely priced chances in their second racing season.

Begrudgingly, this means excluding favourite, and shock 100/1 winner of this race in 2010 Sole Power, the late bloomer Take Cover, as well as Steps and Stepper Point.

The ability to stay further

As with most larger field sprints, the pace is set to be rampant down the Knavesmire, so the ability to see out the race is vital.

This is demonstrated by the fact that 15 of the last 20 winners had all previously tasted victory over 6f.

Of our remaining trio, only Rangali has achieved this, with neither G Force or Extortionist getting their head in front over further.

The draw

In the past two decades, it looked wise to follow those drawn low in this race, with 10 of 20 winners coming from stalls 1-4, but things have changed of late.

Six of the most recent seven victors have started within the bracket of stalls 7-12. All three on our shortlist are located in this hotbed of winners.

Verdict

While this way of selecting a runner in a Group 1 may seem foolish to some, the numbers are there to see. Throw in the unpredictable nature of sprint contests and a chance each way on a nicely priced charge looks the way to go.

Both G Force and Extortionist fit most of the trends, but do look like they will come up short, having been turned over in weaker contests previously.

Henri-Alex Pantall’s, RANGALI is an interesting runner, having his first run outside his native France.

He recently got the better of last year’s Prix De L’Abbaye runner-up Catcall, at Chantilly so clearly doesn’t lack class.

And with victories at distances ranging from 5f-7f and ground conditions ranging from very soft to good, he looks worth taking a chance on.

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.