Newmarket’s three day Cambridgeshire meeting draws to a close on the Saturday, with an excellent seven race card on offer. One of the highlights of which being this 6f contest for the juvenile fillies, the Cheveley Park Stakes.
First run in 1899, the race is named after the Cheveley Park estate in Newmarket, which is now home to the Cheveley Park Stud farm. They have owned three winners of this contest with Gay Gallanta in 1994, Regal Rose in 2000 and Hooray in 2010.
Expect to see leading performers from the contest wind up in the 1,000 Guineas next Spring as has traditionally been the case. The last winner to go on and land the 1m fillies’ classic was Special Duty for trainer Criquette Head and owner Khalid Abdullah.
Six furlongs is the trip for this Group 1 contest which offers a substantial £220,000 in total prize money and is open to the two year old fillies. The ground at the track is currently described as good, but with a fair amount of rain in the Newmarket area it may ease come the day of the race.
|Going||Distance||Grade||Prize Money||Runners||EW Terms|
|Good||6f||Group 1||£220,000||9 Runners||1/5 1-3|
Cheveley Park Stakes Betting Tips
Of the trainers on show this year, only William Haggas, Richard Hannon and Mick Channon have a previous win in this race. Channon has the best record of the duo with two wins, but he may be struggling to add to that tally this time around, with his sole representative Illykato being the rank outsider of this year’s field. Haggas sends Sacred into battle, whilst Hannon relies on the four-timer-seeking, Happy Romance.
William Buick and Ryan Moore are the only previously successful riders on show in 2020. Buick gets the leg up on the James Ferguson runner, Zoetic, whilst Moore will be aboard the Ken Condon runner, Miss Amulet.
This has been a fair race for supporters of the market leader, with four of the past 10 jollies getting the job done – enough to hand favourite-backers a level stakes profit of £2.25.
|Dandalla||11/4||106||Karl Burke||Ben Curtis|
|Miss Amulet||7/2||111||Ken Condon||Ryan Moore|
|Alcohol Free||8/1||100||Andrew Balding||Oisin Murphy|
Dandalla – 11/4
Unbeaten in three career starts to date, and already a dual Group 2 winner, it is the Karl Burke-trained Dandalla, who heads the betting in most lists this year. Burke is a man who has achieved considerable success with his sprinters over the years, and looks to have another smart sort on his hands in this speedily bred daughter of Dandy Man.
Sent up to Newcastle to make her debut in a five furlong event back in June, she wasn’t unfancied in being sent off at odds of 7/1, but made those odds look pretty big in the final furlong when quickening up nicely to score by two lengths, with her rider being nowhere near flat out. Stepped right up in class for her next start in the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot, she more than delivered on that debut promise – scorching fully six lengths clear of a quality field in what was one of the standout performances of the prestigious meeting.
Kept to Group 2 company for her next outing in the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes on the July Course here, she again came home in front, although in much more workmanlike style to hang on by just a head at the line. With the runner up, Fev Rover, having since gone on to land a Group 2 over in France though, the form does have a solid look to it, and she ought to go well for Ben Curtis.
Miss Amulet – 7/2
The Irish have landed each of the previous four editions of this race courtesy of an Aidan O’Brien hat-trick between 2016 and 2018 and the victory of Jessica Harrington 12 months ago. Neither O’Brien nor Harrington are represented this year, but our friends from the Emerald Isle do still hold two entries, headed by Ken Condon’s speedy filly, Miss Amulet.
Going in the black and white silks of Miss Doreen Tabor, this daughter or Sir Prancealot heads into the race seeking a hat-trick and is actually three pounds clear of the field on official ratings. Something of a slow burner, this one’s first couple of runs didn’t really suggest she was a Group 1 filly in the making, but she has certainly sprouted wings in the summer months. A good winner of a Listed event over five furlongs at Naas two starts back, she was then brought over to York for her first British start in the Lowther Stakes last time out.
Travelling sweetly from a long way out that day, she quickened up nicely inside the final furlong before finding more when strongly challenged by Sacred to score by a length. The manner in which she hit the line that day augurs well for what could be a tough test at the trip, and Ryan Moore looks an intriguing jockey booking.
Alcohol Free – 8/1
By No Nay Never, and out of Plying, Andrew Balding’s Alcohol Free is another must for the shortlist on what will be only her third career start. Going in the Jeff Smith silks, and with the excellent Oisin Murphy in the saddle, she looks one of the more promising each way options, with three places up for grabs.
Making her debut in a novice event at Newbury in August, she posted a most eye-catching effort - travelling ominously well throughout before quickening up powerfully for a one and three quarter length success. That looked a smart performance at the time, and with the second, fourth and sixth from that race all having gone on to win next time out, the form has a solid look to it.
It was a Group 3 for Alcohol Free on her next outing, and whilst she could manage only second to Magical Romance (who also goes here) the bare result doesn’t really tell the whole story. Stuck out on the wing almost throughout that day, she then forfeit a fair bit of ground when drifting right across to the rail. The bird had flown by the time she straightened up, but she did close all the way to the line to go down by just three quarters of a length and seems likely to be well suited by the stiff six furlongs here.
Cheveley Park Stakes Winners
|2019||Millisle||16/1||Jessica Harrington||Shane Foley|
|2018||Fairyland||6/1||Aidan O’Brien||Donnacha O’Brien|
|2017||Clemmie||15/8||Aidan O’Brien||Ryan Moore|
|2016||Brave Anna||25/1||Aidan O’Brien||Seamie Heffernan|
|2015||Lumiere||10/3||Mark Johnston||William Buick|
|2014||Tiggy Wiggy||6/4||Richard Hannon||Richard Hughes|
|2013||Vorda||11/8||Philippe Sogorb||Olivier Peslier|
|2012||Rosdhu Queen||4/1||William Haggas||Johnny Murtagh|
|2011||Lightening Pearl||3/1||Ger Lyons||Johnny Murtagh|
|2010||Hooray||7/2||Sir Mark Prescott||Seb Sanders|
About the Cheveley Park Stakes: Fillies to the Fore
One of the most famous racecourses in the land, and the official headquarters of the flat racing game, the Suffolk venue of Newmarket of course hosts many high quality contests throughout the season. From the juveniles, to the handicappers and on to the Classic hopefuls, just about all are catered for over the course of the campaign.
When it comes to those juvenile contests – and specifically those restricted to the fillies – this September contest, which takes place on the third and final day of the hugely popular Cambridgeshire meeting, isn’t far off the top of the pile.
First run way back in 1899, and named in honour of one of the estates of army officer, politician and ardent racing enthusiast, Harry McCalmont, this Group 1, six furlong affair remains essential viewing for those seeking a glimpse of a future star or two.
15 To 1000
The trip may be two furlongs shy of the 1,000 Guineas, which takes place at this course in late April/early May each year, but the Rowley Mile track is the same, and a proven ability to handle the famed dip certainly can’t hurt when it comes to landing the opening fillies-only Classic of the season.
This race does in fact boast a fair record when it comes to signposting the winner of one of the jewels in the crown of the fillies’ flat season, with 15 winners in total going on to Guineas glory. The flying fifteen are shown in the table below.
Dual Cheveley Park & 1000 Guineas Winners: 1899 – 2019
|Horse||Trainer||Cheveley Park Win||1000 Guineas Win|
|Special Duty||Christiane Head-Maarek||2009||2010|
|Ma Biche||Christiane Head-Maarek||1982||1983|
|Humble Duty||Peter Walwyn||1969||1970|
|Night Off||Walter Wharton||1964||1965|
|Belle Of All||Norman Bertie||1950||1951|
|Brown Betty||Cecil Boyd-Rochfort||1932||1933|
|Scuttle||William Rose Jarvis||1927||1928|
|Witch Elm||Jack Robinson||1906||1907|
|Pretty Polly||Peter Gilpin||1903||1904|
Junior And Criquette Hit Four
Alec Taylor, Jnr set the early benchmark for the number of wins by a trainer in this race when landing the prize for a fourth time in 1924. It was an excellent record, and one which stood for 85 years until French handler Criquette Head-Maarek registered a fourth success of her own with her subsequent 1,000 Guineas heroine, Special Duty in 2009.
Having retired in 2018, Head-Maarek won’t now be adding to her tally, but it wouldn’t be too surprising were we to have a new name topping the leader board in the coming seasons here, with two of the most successful trainers in the modern era, Sir Michael Stoute and Aidan O’Brien, at the head of the chasing pack.
Sir Gordon Out On His Own
There are differing opinions when it comes to the greatest flat jockey in the history of the sport, with the likes of Lester Piggott in particular having plenty of supporters. In the eyes of many though it is Sir Gordon Richards who stands tall above the rest, and it is certainly not hard to make a pretty compelling case for the man who remains the only flat rider to have been knighted by the Queen as of 2019.
He was champion jockey a staggering 26 times, and winner of an incredible – and record setting – 4,870 races during his career, Gordon’s place in the history of the sport is assured.
What is also assured, at least for the foreseeable future, is the fact that no rider has landed this prize on as many occasions as Richards. His impressive total of nine victories puts him four clear of Pat Eddery in second place.
Sir Gordon Richards’ Cheveley Park Stakes Wins
|6||1950||Belle Of All|