Ribblesdale Stakes Betting Tips & Predictions – Ascot, Thursday 20th June 2019

The fillies take centre stage in one of the main attractions on day three at Royal Ascot in this contest run over The Oaks trip of 1m4f. It’s rare for an Oaks winner to attempt the double by competing in this Group 2 contest, but those to have taken part at Epsom do regularly line up.

There’s no appearance from the Epsom Oaks winner this time but third that day, Fleeting, is one of the 11 runners who have held their ground. She stands beside Queen Power at the top of the market but we’ll be siding with Frankellina despite her failure to deliver in the Classic.

Top Tips

Frankellina to win @ 7/1

Star Catcher each way @ 10/1

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

Race Info

1m4f is the trip for this Group 2 contest set to be run on good ground this year and offering £200,000 in total prize money.

GoingDistanceGradePrize MoneyRunnersEW Terms
Good 1m 4f Group 2 £200,000 11 1/5 1-3

Recent Winners

Ryan Moore’s name features three times on the list below but it’s actually Frankie Dettori who is the most successful jockey in the history of this race. The Italian is enduring something of a dry spell now though with his sixth victory coming nine years ago.

The favourites have offered little in the way of returns in the Ribblesdale for quite some time, Even Song being the only victorious one since 2011. Those second in the betting have fared far better, claiming victory in three of the last six renewals.

YearWinnerSPTrainerJockey
2018 Magic Wand 10/3 Aidan O’Brien Ryan Moore
2017 Coronet 9/1 John Gosden Olivier Peslier
2016 Even Song 15/8 Aidan O’Brien Ryan Moore
2015 Curvy 9/2 David Wachman Ryan Moore
2014 Bracelet 10/1 Aidan O’Brien Joseph O’Brien

Analysis: Gosden going for glory

John Gosden has only won this race twice before but he appears eager to increase his tally having three runners left in following the declaration stage. This is despite missing Cheshire Oaks champion Mehdaayih who requires more rest before making her return to competitive action. Taking this race so seriously, Gosden may well have a trick or two up his sleeve so keep a keen eye on his runners.

More than fleeting interest

Punters have been keen to place their bets on Aidan O’Brien’s Fleeting (9/4) for this race, largely on the back of her third place finish in the recent Epsom Oaks. A strong ending from the filly that day saw her close the gap on Anapurna and Pink Dogwood although she left her attack a little too late. Clearly distance is not issue for her but you can’t fully trust her to perform so well again. In two other Group tests the 110 rated horse has been involved in, she’s wound up dead, tiring for no apparent reason.

Star Catcher tops Gosden trio

The fact that Frankie Dettori has been given the job of riding Star Catcher (10/1) tells you a lot about where Gosden feels his best hopes lie. She sits beside Shambolic in the betting but expected rainfall will likely tip the scales in her favour. The daughter of Sea The Stars won on soft going at Newbury with absolute ease and wasn’t far from a follow up win the next month. Queen Power (2/1) beat her then but only half a length separate them by the end of the 10 furlong contest. Had the race been longer, as it is this time, Star Catcher could well have caught up.

Frankellina to prove 12f credentials

It’s fair to say that Frankellina put in a solid shift during the Epsom Oaks. A sixth place finish, a little shy of five lengths of the pace isn’t a bad return for a mile and a half debut. William Haggas saw enough in the showing to confidently signal his desire to run the chestnut filly in the Ribblesdale. Although the Suffolk based trainer hasn’t won this race since 2006, he’s been in great form this season and does have a filly on his hands capable of going the distance.

Final Verdict: Frankellina to win

This could end up being a fine race for Anthony Oppenheimer who owns both Frankellina and Star Catcher. Although we have a slight preference for the former, both are well worth backing as they remain significantly undervalued by the market. Star Catcher has already proved she’s at a similar level to the short-price favourite Queen Power while there’s more to come from Group 3 runner up Frankellina.

About

Lord Ribblesdale, Thomas Lister, the 4th Baron Ribblesdale
By Walter Stoneman, Wikimedia Commons (Cropped)

The end of World War I brought about the introduction of the Ribblesdale Stakes in 1919. Its name honours the 4th Baron of Ribblesdale who served as Master of the Buckhounds between 1892 and 1895.

Initially it was a one mile contest open to horses of both genders but both these aspects of the race have changed since. Today it stands strictly for three-year-old fillies and is run over a distance of one and a half miles.

For a small number of fillies that run in the Epsom Oaks, usually not the leading players, the Ribblesdale Stakes ends up being their next challenge. Those that perform well in the test at Ascot occasionally find themselves entered in the Irish Oaks the following month. Few runners have been able to replicate their success across the Irish Sea, although Bracelet did pull off the rare double in 2014.

The Oaks a poor guide

With the Epsom Oaks also a one-and-a-half mile contest strictly for three year old fillies, you might expect this to be somewhat of an Oaks re-match. There’s not a great deal of overlap between the two however with usually only one or two names entering in both races.

The Ribblesdale, despite being a well-respected race with not inconsiderable prize money on offer, remains a modest step down from the Oaks. As a result, what happens at Epsom is usually of little help when trying to figure out who might win this race as the chart below shows.

Chart Showing the Epsom Oaks Performance of Ribblesdale Stakes Winners from 2008

Irish Oaks a step too far

In terms of predicting the result of the Irish Oaks, the Ribblesdale result is unfortunately of little use either. As previously mentioned, Bracelet won both races in 2014 but this was the first time 20 years a filly pulled off the feat.

Ribblesdale victors have regularly tried their luck at the Curragh, the month after their Ascot success, but so few have succeeded with the step up in quality often too much. By examining the results of recent renewals, we can see that you’ll want to approach the Ribblesdale champion with plenty of caution in the Irish Classic should they make the trip over the Irish Sea.

Ribblesdale Stakes Winner's Performance in the Irish Oaks

Year Horse Irish Oaks Finish Distance Beaten By
2018 Magic Wand 5th 9 ½ lengths
2017 Coronet 4th 8 ¾ lengths
2016 Even Song 7th 17 ¾ lengths
2015 Curvy 3rd 1 ¾ lengths
2014 Bracelet 1st -
2013 Riposte 5th 1 ½ lengths
2012 Princess Highway 3rd 4 ¾ lengths
2011 Banimpire 2nd Short Head
2010 Hibaayeb 15th 47 ¾ lengths

Luckless Stoute unable to extend lead

No trainer has won this race more times than Sir Michael Stoute but it’s been a very long time since the veteran trainer celebrated success in the Group 2 contest. His sixth, and most recent win, came during the first renewal of the new millennium. You can’t accuse him of not trying to extend his now under-threat record but his luck appears to have dried up in this race. The knighted trainer regularly has a filly involved but none have had quite enough to win this race. Mori came agonizingly close in 2017 but lost out to Coronet during the final few strides.

Sir Michael Stoute's Ribblesdale Runners: 2013 to 2018

Year Horse Odds Finish
2018 Sun Maiden 3/1 3rd
2017 Mori 2/1 2nd
2016 Queen’s Trust 12/1 4th
2016 Shall We 25/1 5th
2013 Elik 9/2 3rd
2013 Waila 7/1 5th

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