Albany Stakes Betting

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When June’s Royal Ascot Meeting was extended to five days in 2002 to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, one of the races added to Day Four was the Albany Stakes. This Group 3 sprint joins the two-mile Group 3 Queen’s Vase, the 1.5-mile Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes and the mile-long Group 1 Coronation Stakes for Europe’s leading fillies to create one of the most exciting cards of the British flat racing season.

The Albany Stakes covers a distance of six furlongs over the straight turf of the Ascot Racecourse. Entry is restricted to two-year-old Thoroughbred fillies, each of which carries a weight of eight stone twelve pounds. There are no penalties for wins in previous races.

The inaugural running of the Albany Stakes was conducted as a Listed race with Henry Carnarvon as the primary sponsor. It has been run as an unsponsored contest ever since. In 2005, the event was upgraded to its current Group 3 status and the total prize purse grew gradually to a peak of £70,000 in 2009-10.

Given the rather short history of the Albany Stakes, along with the fact that no filly may repeat as a winner, it may come as some surprise how dominant a trio of trainers have been here over the past nine editions. Together, Mick Channon, Richard Hannon and Jeremy Noseda have been responsible for all but three winners.

Channon leads the others with three victories to his name. They came with Silca’s Gift in 2003, Nijoom Dubai in 2007 and Samitar in 2011. Following him with a pair each, Hannon schooled Jewel in the Sand to win in 2004 and Memory in 2010. Noseda picked up his two wins back-to-back in 2005-06 with La Chunga and Sander Camillo, respectively.

Jockey Jamie Spencer owns the top of the leaderboard for riders with three victories. He got them in the space of six years with La Chunga, Nijoom Dubai and Samitar. Chasing him is Richard Hughes with wins on both of Hannon’s mounts, while Frankie Dettori and Richard Hills have yet to pick up a second win.

The Albany Stakes frequently attracts a large field of two-year-olds anxious to show off their form. It is not uncommon to see 20 or more entries take their places at the starting line. Because the distance is so short, a perfect blending of speed and tactics is required to succeed in this race.

Not surprisingly, perhaps, starters at long odds have faired rather well here to date. In the inaugural installment, Duty Paid outraced 18 other runners to return a pleasant 11/1. Jewel in the Sand paid 10/1 in her victory, as did La Chunga the following year.

It was not until 2006 that a favourite managed to cross the finish line first, that honour went to Sander Camillo at odds of 4/1. Since then, only one other top-rated filly has been able to duplicate the feat. Ireland’s Cuis Ghaire came home at 8/11 odds, completing a hat-trick of victories in her first three starts.

The duel between favourites and long-shots has made for some exciting racing of late. In 2007, You’resothrilling was favoured at 7/4 in a field of twenty, but could not hold off the charge of Nijoom Dubai, paying a whopping 50/1. Two years later, Ireland’s Lillie Langtry led the betting at 11/8 in a field of 22 runners, but she came runner-up to Habaayib at 16/1. When Samitar won most recently, the payout was also 16/1, but with just a dozen other runners to beat and 5/4 favourite Teolane left far in the back after an awkward release from the stalls.

So although favourites do tend to place in the Albany Stakes, the overall impression is that small bets on outsiders are well warranted here. That’s especially true if they happen to have been trained by someone named Channon, Hannon or Noseda.

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