Dahlia Stakes Betting

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At the end of April or in early May each year, one of the highlights of the two-day QIPCO Guineas Festival at Newmarket is the mile-long 1000 Guineas Stakes for three-year-old fillies. Complementing this Classic race on the card for day two is the Group 3 Dahlia Stakes for fillies and mares aged four years and upwards.

This £50,000 event sponsored covers a distance of one mile and one furlong on the straight turf of the famous Rowley Mile. All entries carry a weight of eight stone twelve pounds, with penalties applied to entries successful in races held since 31st August of the previous year, amounting to eight pounds for Group 1 winners, five pounds for Group 2 winners and three pounds for Group 3 winners.

As the epicentre of racing in the U.K., Newmarket is home to the British Horseracing Authority as well as dozens of training yards and stables. When this event was inaugurated in 1997, it was named after an internationally successful filly of the 1970s, Dahlia, winner of the Irish Oaks and the U.K. Horse of the Year in 1973.

The Dahlia Stakes started off as a Listed event and gained its Group 3 status in 2004. Sponsors here over the years have included Equity Financial Collections, Charles Heidsieck Champagne, Directa Parseal, Letheby & Christopher, vcbet (Victor Chandler) and Stan James. In 2011, the raceís sponsorship was taken up by Qatar Bloodstock.

No mention of the Dahlia Stakes can be made without uttering Sir Michael Stouteís name in virtually the same breath. The knighted trainer has played a dominant role in this event in recent years, schooling four of the latest five winners. Whatís more every single one of them came into the race as the favourite.

Echelon was his first champion in 2007, ridden by Kerrin McEvoy. The bay mare from Cheveley Park Stud paid 8/11 in the sixth win of her career, which began in 2004 at Newmarket with victory in the McKeever St. Lawrence EBF Maiden Stakes and included the 2006 Princess Elizabeth Stakes at Epsom Racecourse.

In 2008, Stoute teamed up with jockey Ryan Moore to bring Heaven Sent home at 6/4 odds. The trainer-rider-mare trio then teamed up again in 2009 for a repeat victory, paying 4/11. There were only four starters at the line for Heaven Sentís second winóshe had scared all the other competitors away.

When Moore saddled up Strawberrydaiquiri in 2010, there were seven others in the field, including Spacious, the 2009 winner of the Group 2 Windsor Park Stakes that had beat Heaven Sent by a length. Revenge was sweet as 11/8 Strawberrydaiquiri gave Stoute his fourth victory here, and then the grey mare went on to beat Spacious again a few weeks later in the Windsor Park Stakes by a shoulder.

In 2011, Stoute brought 5/1 co-favourite Eleanora Duse to the starting post, where ten other entries waited. This time, however, the field was too strong. An Irish bay filly named Iím A Dreamer blasted past everyone to seize the day and pay 10/1, the first long-odds winner since Tarfshi delivered at 10/1 in 2002.

Four-year-olds owned the five furlongs from 1997 through 2005. Violet Park ridden by Richard Hughes became the first five-year-old winner in 2006, followed by Echelon and Heaven Sent, both aged five. But since Heaven Sentís second win at age six, the four-year-olds have been back in control. Race fans can look forward to plenty of great racing competition in the 2012 edition and beyond.

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