Roy The Boy looks towards some relevant stats and trends for this weekend's big races to highlight a few picks of potential interest.
Trying to find the winner of Saturday’s Kentucky Derby or Sunday’s 1000 Guineas? Here’s a few stats to consider …
Since 1986 only one horse has won from stall/post 1, 2 or 3. So strike out Firenze Fire, Free Drop Billy and Promises Fulfilled.
Since 1957 only one horse has won the Kentucky Derby despite being absent from the track for more than 42 days. Therein put a line through Noble Indy, Bravazo and Lone Sailor.
Charismatic, in 1999, was the last horse to win the Lexington Stakes and then the Derby. Not good reading for My Boy Jack Fans. Similarly Funny Cide was the last horse to ‘prep’ in the Wood Memorial – giving Vino Rosso fans cause for doubt.
The Blue Grass Stakes has served as the final prep race for 23 Derby winners but just only one since 1995. That’s Good Magic accounted for!
Finally on this theme, no horse has won the Derby without previously winning a graded stakes race since Giacomo in 2005. Strike out Hofburg from your list.
Remarkably trainer Steve Asmussen has never trained a Kentucky Derby winner from his 18 runners. He saddles Combatant this year.
The last horse who won the Derby without racing as a two-year-old was in 1882. So the stats are very much against joint favourite, Justify.
Here’s the most pertinent of all stats. The last six Kentucky Derby winners went into the race unbeaten as a three-year-old. That’s closely followed by the fact 7 of the last 17 Kentucky Derby winners have won the Florida Derby en-route to Kentucky Derby glory. So despite the fact that only one New York-bred has ever won the Kentucky Derby, it’s Florida Derby winner Audible for me at a whopping 13/2 with Betway.
The 1000 Guineas
The 1000 Guineas is a lot more difficult to unravel from a statistical viewpoint. Group 1 winning form as a two-year-old was once vital. But we have seen a mixed bag in recent years meaning there is no definitive guide as to where the winner will come from.
That’s apart from the Aidan O’Brien factor of course. He has produced the winner of the first fillies classic for the past two years, three times in the last six years and four times in total. Given the strength and depth in the Ballydoyle yard, and the ability for conceived third and fourth strings to win major races (last year’s 1000 winner, Winter, was a third string), it might just prove prudent to play O’Briens' Sizzling and Sarrocchi each-way at 33/1 apiece with William Hill.
For those interested, a brief profile of previous 1000 Guineas winners highlighting their best two-year-old achievements shows:
2017: Winter Maiden race winner at Dundalk
2016: Minding G1 winner as a two-year-old at Newmarket
2015: Legatissimo Listed race winner as a two-year-old in Gowran Park
2014: Miss France G3 winner as a two-year-old at Newmarket
2013: Sky Lantern G1 winner as a two-year-old, G3 placed at Newmarket
2012: Homecoming Queen Raced 11 times at two, beaten first 7 starts, just two wins
2011: Blue Bunting Listed race winner as a two-year-old at Newmarket
2010: Special Duty G1 winner as a two-year-old at Newmarket
2009: Ghanaati Twice raced at 2, winning a maiden on second start
2008: Natagora G1 winner as a two-year-old at Newmarket
2007: Finsceal Beo G1 winner as a two-year-old at Newmarket
2006: Speciosa Twice a Group 2 winner at Newmarket
2005: Virginia Waters One win and listed placed from four starts at the Curragh
2004: Attraction G2 Newmarket winner, unbeaten in five starts at two
2003: Russian Rhythm G1 runner-up at Newmarket