Oh So Sharp Stakes Betting

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Newmarket’s historic three-day Cambridgeshire Meeting has been moved up one week earlier in the calendar, beginning in 2011. Previously held on the cusp of October each year, the new gathering in late September features a total of seven Group-level conditions races. Among them is the Group 3 Oh So Sharp Stakes, which leads off an exciting card of racing action on Day Two, including the recently upgraded Group 2 Joel Stakes.

With a total prize purse worth £50,000, the Oh So Sharp Stakes is open exclusively to two-year-old Thoroughbred fillies. It covers a distance of seven furlongs on the straight turf of the famous Rowley Mile—the so-called “Course of Champions.” Each sprinter carries a weight of eight stone twelve pounds with penalties of five pounds applied to previous Group 1 or Group 2 winners and three pounds added for Group 3 winners.

When this event was first run in 1987, it was named in honour of Oh So Sharp, a famous filly that was trained at Newmarket earlier in the decade. The Irish chestnut compiled a career record of seven firsts and two seconds in nine starts, including the fillies Triple crown—the 1,000 Guineas, the Epsom Derby and the St. Leger—all accomplished in 1985.

The Oh So Sharp Stakes was not accorded Listed status until 1993. The event got its first sponsor in 1995, when Mary Reveley Racing Club came on board for a year. The next title change came in 2000, when the event was know as the Hole In The Wall Oh So Sharp Stakes. A year later, South Eastern Electrical became the primary back, followed by Finnforest from 2003 to 2007, when the event was promoted to its current Group 3 status.

Beginning with the 2008 edition, Shadwell Racing took up sponsorship, naming the race the Sakhee Oh So Sharp Stakes after one the champions produced by its stud farm. Sakhee was the winner of the 2001 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, among eight victories, three seconds and one third place finish in a career spanning 14 starts.

At the top of the leaderboard among all jockeys to race and win here is Richard Hills with four triumphs in total. He obtained his initial win with Hiwaya in 1994 and then added successes aboard Sarayir in 1996, Khulood in 2002 and Tabassum in 2009.

The top trainer at the Oh So Sharp Stakes is Sir Michael Stoute with five wins. The victors he schooled include Arsaan in 1988, Dartrey in 1990, Lilium in 2000 and Top Romance in 2003. He was also responsible for Tabassum.

The lack of experience and history among the two-year-olds makes them difficult to handicap. Bookmakers have correctly predicted only three winners since the turn of the new millennium. They include joint favourite Lilium at 9/2 odds, Protectress at 11/4 in 2001 and Race For The Stars at 7/2 in 2005.

Where the oddsmakers missed badly was in 2004, when an Irish filly named Penkenna Princess upset the field to win at odds of 25/1. Two years later, Selinka won at double digits, paying 10/1. And in 2008, the big surprise came from another Irish filly, Souter’s Sister, who led a charge of long-shots in the top four places, yielding 25/1.

Two other Listed races appear on the second day card of the Cambridgeshire Meeting with the Oh So Sharp Stakes—the Fenwolf Stakes and the Godolphin Stakes. Also offered are the Godolphin Stakes, the Newmarket Challenge Whip and the Silver Cambridgeshire Handicap, among eight races in total.

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