Ormonde Stakes Betting

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One of the most glamorous venues for spring racing is the Chester Racecourse, where the three-day May Festival mixes stylish fashion and galloping steeds. The track’s opening meeting of the flat racing season kicks off on a Wednesday with the annual running of the Group 2 Chester Cup and concludes on a Friday, also known as City Day, when the main event is the Group 3 Ormonde Stakes.

Inaugurated in 1936, this £65,000 race is for Thoroughbreds aged four years and older. It is contested over a distance of one mile, five furlongs and 89 yards on the left-handed turf of the famed Roodee course—the oldest in all of Britain since 1539.

All runners carry nine stone even, with an allowance of three pounds for fillies and mares. Penalties are applied to entries successful in races held since 31st August of the previous year, amounting to seven pounds for Group 1 winners, five pounds for Group 2 winners and three pounds for Group 3 winners.

The naming of the Ormonde Stakes honours a highly successful racehorse that was foaled in 1883 at Eaton Hall in Cheshire. Originally, only three-year-olds were permitted to enter the event along with the older horses. For several years, from 1955 to 1957, only three-year-olds were permitted to run and the distance was reduced to one mile, two furlongs and ten yards.

Since 1971, the Ormonde Stakes has always been a Group 3 event. It was EBF sponsored for many years and then went without primary sponsorship for most of the 1990s. In 2001, Breitling Watches and Waltons of Chester took up the title opportunity, followed by betfair.com, betdaq, Blue Square and betchronicle.com. Since 2010, Boodles Diamond have backed the race.

The very first winner of the Ormonde Stakes was Quashed, the champion filly of the 1935 Epsom Oaks that later triumphed in the 1936 Ascot Gold Cup. In 1952, Tulyar won here and went on to claim the Epsom Derby and the St. Ledger. Three different horses have won this event twice, all of them in consecutive years, including Sovrango in 1962-63, Shambo in 1993-94 and St. Expedit in 2001-02.

Now that entry is restricted to older Thoroughbreds, the Ormonde Stakes is seen as a trial for Ascot’s Coronation Cup in June. The most recent horse to win both of these events in the same season was St. Nicholas Abbey in 2011.

Two jockeys have managed to gather five wins apiece at the Ormonde Stakes. Lester Piggott accomplished it first by riding to victory on Primera in 1959, Arctic Vale in 1964, Biomydrin in 1966, David Jack in 1967 and Quayside in 1971. Then came Pat Eddery for a handful of wins of his own on Oats in 1977, Crow in 1978, Teenoso in 1984, Saddlers’ Hall in 1992 and Sadian in 1999.

Similarly, two trainers share the distinction of five wins each here. Harry Wragg’s initial two victories were with Sovrango, followed by success with Ormindo in 1973, Pelerin in 1981 and Six Mile Bottom in 1982. Wragg’s son Geoff then did his father proud with the same number of victories, starting with Teenoso and St. Expedit’s double, and then repeated with Asian Heights in 2003 and The Whistling Teal in 2006.

The Whistling Teal produced an especially satisfying result, given that bay gelding was a ripe ten years old that day. Since the turn of the new millennium, all of the other winners have been age four or five, with Shambo at ages six and seven being the only other “older” horse to win in the Ormonde Stake in the past two decades.

Comment on this event
michael jessop  at 14/11/2015 20:33:43

Ascot should read Epsom ...Referring to the late st. Nicholas Abbeys win in both events...

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