Lowther Stakes Betting

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The £100,000 Lowther Stakes is one of several Group 2 races conducted during the four-day York Ebor Festival each year in August. It takes place on Day Two, which is better known as “Ladies’ Day,” accompanied by an arresting parade of fashion as well as Thursday’s main event—the Group 1 Darley Yorkshire Oaks.

When this race was inaugurated in 1946, it was named to commemorate the 5th Earl of Lonsdale, Hugh Lowther (1857~1944). Prior to World War II, a race at Newmarket had been called the Lowther Stakes, a middle-distance event for horses aged three or older. This version, however, has always been restricted to Thoroughbred two-year-old fillies and run as a sprint of six furlongs, so historically there is no connection between the two other than name.

The Lowther Stakes is conducted on the straight turf of the York Racecourse. Each entrant must carry eight stone twelve pounds, with penalties of three pounds applied for previous wins in Group 1 or Group 2 events.

In the late 1980’s, sponsorship was obtained and the race went by the title ‘The Pacemaker Update’ Lowther Stakes until 1990. There was no backer after that until 1996, when Stakis Casinos took up the role for two years. For half a dozen years of its modern history, the event was associated with Peugeot, and then Jaguar Cars, the current sponsor, became the principal supporter in 2004.

Owing to the age restriction, no horse may ever triumph twice here, but some fine fillies have certainly shown their prowess over the six-furlong stretch. In 1977, Enstone Spark got her debut win in the Lowther Stakes before going on to victory in a British Classic—the 1,000 Guineas Stakes—the following year.

Fifteen years later, Niche attempted to reprise the double, winning here handily by four lengths in 1992, but she finished runner-up in the 1993 1,000 Guineas to Sayyedati. But vindication was achieved later in 1993, when she entered the mile-long Falmouth Stakes as the favourite and proved the bookmakers right, winning by ten lengths. Other leading horses from the Lowther Stakes can often be found doing well in the Cheveley Park Stakes in late September/early October.

Three different jockeys have guided home three winners apiece in this York Ebor Festival event. Harry Carr was the first to do so on Woodflower in 1947, Gamble in Gold in 1950 and Dunce Cap in 1962. Ron Hutchinson followed aboard Kathy Too in 1960, La Tendresse in 1961 and Sovereign in 1967, and then Lester Piggott succeeded on Kittyhawk in 1980 and Prickle in 1983 before riding Niche to her big win.

The top five trainers in the Lowther Stakes each have four wins. Paddy Prendergast got his between 1952 and 1963. Harry Thomson Jones accomplished it in a three-decade spanned from 1954 to 1984, as did Richard Hannon, starting with Enstone Spark, followed by Only Yours in 1990, then Niche and most recently Infamous Angel in 2008.

The other two with four victories are Sir Michael Stoute and Mick Channon. The winners schooled by the knighted trainer were Circus Ring in 1981, Dance Sequence in 1995, Enthused in 2000 and Russian Rhythm in 2002. The former footballer was responsible for the success of Bint Allayl in 1998, Queen`s Logic in 2001, Flashy Wings in 2005 and Nahoodh in 2007.

Since the turn of the new millennium, favourites have done quite well in the Lowther Stakes. Russian Rhythm won at 8/13 and Flashy Wings paid 10/11. Between those two, Soar came home first at 2/1 odds in 2004, and the most recent favourite to succeed here was Lady Of The Desert in 2009, paying 13/8. Only one filly has won at double-digit odds in the past decade—the underrated sprinter Hooray at 11/1, who claimed not only this race but also the Cheveley Park Stakes in 2010.

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