Joel Stakes Betting

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As a Group 2 event open to all horses aged three years and older, the £100,000 Joel Stakes is conducted each September as part of the three-day Cambridgeshire Meeting at Newmarket. It covers a distance of exactly one mile on the straight turf of the famous Rowley Mile.

Held on Day Two of the meeting, the Joel Stakes shares the card with the Group 3 Oh So Sharp Stakes, two Listed races—the Fenwolf Stakes and the Godolphin Stakes—and the Silver Cambridgeshire Handicap. Another exciting race newly added in 2011 is the Group 1 Fillies Mile for juveniles, which has been transferred from Ascot in conjunction with the Advent of the QIPCO British Champions Series.

Indeed, the Joel Stakes has been designated as the last leg of the racing season’s mile events in the QIPCO-sponsored series. From here on, it will serve as a qualifier leading into the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes on QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot in October.

Each three-year-old runner in the Joel Stakes carries eight stone thirteen pounds, while entrants aged four years and upwards bear nine-stone-three. Allowances of three pounds are given fillies and mares, and there are no penalties for winners of previous Group 1 or Group 2 events.

Many refer to the Joel Stakes as “a race built on gold and diamonds,” in reference to the Joel Family’s fortune made in the 19th century, mining diamonds and gold in South Africa. The event was originally classified as a mile-and-a-quarter Listed race and known as the Main Reef Stakes. It was named after a colt owned and bred by Jim Joel that won Newmarket’s July Stakes in 1978.

In 1989, the distance was reduced to one mile. Three years later, Jim Joel passed away and the event was subsequently renamed in his honour in 1994, with Baxi Heating as the primary sponsor. NGK Spark Plugs backed the race in 1995, and then there as no sponsor for a year until Heath Court Hotel came on board in 1997.

In 2000-01, Unicoin Homes held the title role, followed by Shadwell Stud in 2002-04. It was during 2003 that the Joel Stakes was upgraded to the Group 3 level, a status it would retain for the next seven years. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars London sponsored the event in 2005, followed by Countrywide Steel and Tubes in 2006-07.

Then came Shadwell Racing, who have called this the Nayef Joel Stakes since 2008 in honour of a successful Shadwell stallion. In 2011, the promotion to Group 2 status was made in conjunction with the establishment of the QIPCO British Champions Series fixture.

No horse has won this race more than a single time since 1987. Jockey Michael Kinane rode three winners here—Raj Waki in 1990, Beckett in 2001 and Rob Roy in 2005—before retiring in 2009 at age 50.

That leaves Michael Hills and Kerrin McEvoy as the riders to beat. They each have had two Joel Stakes wins, with Hills getting his on Lockton in 1987 and Splendid Era in 2003, while McEvoy succeeded back-to-back in 2006-07 on Satchem and Creachadoir, respectively.

Among trainers, Sir Michael Stoute holds the lead here with three triumphs. His victories came with Sabotage in 1989, Rob Roy in 2005 and Confront in 2009.

In the past five outings, four-year-olds have prevailed on four occasions, breaking the dominance of three-year-olds that was the status quo until 2005. Only two five-year-olds have won the Joe Stakes—Fraam in 1994 and Polar Ben in 2004.

Confront was the most recent favourite to cross the finish line first, paying 7/4. Single-digit payouts have become the norm of late, although Polar Ben delivered at 16/1 right after Splendid Era came home at 25/1. Before that, Hopeful Light paid 20/1 in 2000.

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