Bahrain Trophy Betting

Once a year in mid-summer, the racing world turns its attention to Newmarket and the Piper Heidsieck July Festival. This exciting three-day meeting combines top-class racing and stunning attire to create the region’s most stylish summer event. It begins on a Thursday, Ladies Day, when fashion sets the pace.

Beginning in 2011, the Ladies Day seven-race card features a pair of Group 2 events—the July Stakes and the Princess of Wales’s Stakes, both advanced from Day Two. To serve as the curtain raiser for all the action, another much anticipated event was moved up with them—the Group 3 Bahrain Trophy.

This £65,000 race is open exclusively to three-year-old Thoroughbreds. It covers a distance of one mile and five furlongs on Newmarket’s right-handed L-shaped turf, which finishes on the famed July Course.

All runners carry nine stone even, with an allowance of three pounds for fillies and mares. Penalties are applied to any entry previously successful in races since 1st January, amounting to five pounds for Group 1 or 2 winners and three pounds for Group 3 winners.

Initially, this event was conducted as a handicap over seven furlongs and known as the H & K Commissions Handicap. In 1991, it was converted to a Listed race covering a mile and three-quarters and given its current name, with the Kingdom of Bahrain as its primary sponsor. In 2006, the distance was shortened to the current mile and five furlongs. Finally, Group 3 status was achieved just ahead of the 2009 season.

The Bahrain Trophy has been won by some notable performers, not the least of which was Persian Punch, the victor here in 1996. The classy Irish stayer collapsed and died after the Sagaro Stakes at Ascot in 2004. Because he had won many of his 20 career wins at Newmarket, fans commissioned a life-size bronze of the chestnut gelding, and in now stands near the racecourse—The Persian Punch Memorial by Philip Blacker.

Among the many jockeys who have lifted the Bahrain Trophy, Frankie Dettori leads them all with six victories to his credit. His first win came aboard Podrida in 1989, followed by triumphant rides on Spring to Action in 1993, Grey Shot in 1995, Three Cheers in 1997, Kite Wood in 2009 and Corsica in 2010.

The leading trainer here with four winners is Henry Cecil. He started out with River God in 1990, and then added Jendali in 1991, Red Route in 1994 and Tranquil Tiger in 2007. Chasing him has been John Dunlop with three victories, including Rain Rider in 1992, Kahtan in 1998 and Cephalonia in 2000.

In recent years, the bookmakers have done quite well in predicting the winner of the Bahrain Trophy. Favourites succeeded in four of the six installments up to 2011, including Mr Vegas at 2/7 in 2005, Tranquil Tiger paying 11/4, Kite Wood at 2/1 and Corsica worth 15/8. The only horse to pay double-digit odds in the past decade was Donegal in 2008, delivering at a much-appreciated 16/1.

One of the darker days of this event came in 1999, when only four entries started the race. The 13/8 joint favourites, Royal Line and Moon Dragon, finished first and second, respectively, but afterwards the winner was disqualified owing to banned substances found in his urine. What’s more, officials determined that a running rail moved on the bend entering straight, invalidating what would have been a new course record time of 3:05:62 for Moon Dragon. Two years later, Arrive finished in 3:04:27, making the invalidation a moot point.

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