Hackwood Stakes Betting

Also known as the “Shadwell Stakes,” the Hackwood Stakes is a Group 3 flat race conducted in July during Newbury’s annual three-day Dubai Summer Festival meeting. It is part of a seven-race card on Day Two that includes the Weatherbys Super Sprint and the Steventon Stakes.

Open to Thoroughbreds aged three years and upwards, this £65,000 event covers a distance of six furlongs and eight yards over the straight turf of the Newbury Racecourse. Three-year-olds carry a weight of eight stone twelve pounds, while those aged four years and upwards must bear nine-stone-three.

An allowance of three pounds is give to fillies and mares. Penalties are applied to those who have finished first in meetings since 1st November of the previous year, amounting to eight pounds for Group 1 winners, six pounds for Group 2 winners and four pounds for Group 3 winners. However, a penalty exemption is made for any two-year-old wins.

For its first decade, the Hackwood Stakes had no sponsor and was classified at the Listed level. In 1997, Ruinart Champagne became the race’s primary backer, and a few years later took to calling it the Ruinart Champagne Stakes, although the registered name has never changed throughout its history.

Once the unofficial naming began, other sponsors soon took advantage of the opportunity to associate themselves with the Hackwood. From 2003 to 2005, it was known in turn as the David Wilson Homes Stakes, the Racing UK Stakes and the Trailfinders Stakes. In 2006, the event was reclassified and given its present Group 3 status. That’s when it was briefly known as the Stan James Hackwood Stakes.

H.B.L.B. became the sponsor in 2008, followed by Uplands Racing. Then in 2009, Shadwell Racing lent its support to the event and, concurrent with its official name, it has been called the Shadwell Stakes ever since.

Although horses may participate in the Hackwood Stakes on more than one occasion, no winner has ever been able to repeat here. On the other hand, several jockeys have posted multiple victories, and leading the all with four wins to his credit is Pat Eddery. He got his first triumph on Interval in 1987, and then added to his success aboard Lake Coniston in 1994, Hattab in 1997 and Invincible Spirit in 2001.

Trainers have had a bit more difficulty gaining dominance in the Hackwood Stakes. To date, five of them are tied atop the leaderboard with a pair of wins apiece. John Gosden was first among them to produce two victors—Keen Hunter in 1991 and Catrail in 1993. He was quickly followed by Geoff Lewis, who had a win with Point of Light in 1988, but needed six years to get his second with Lake Coniston.

The other top trainers include Luca Cumani, who schooled Arkadian Hero in 1999 and Balthazaar’s Gift in 2007, along with Tim Easterby, who was responsible for Somnus in 2003 and Fayr Jag in 2006. The most recent double winner to join them was Hughie Morrison, who trained Pastoral Pursuits in 2004 and Intrepid Jack in 2008.

Handicappers and bookmakers have a difficult time using history to predict the outcome of the Hackwood Stakes. Since the turn of the new millennium, there have been three favourites succeed here: Invincible Spirit at 3/1, Pastoral Pursuits at 15/8, and the 2009 winner High Standing at 5/2F. On the other hand, three have delivered at double digits: Beckermet in 2005 at 14/1, Fayr Jag at 16/1 and Intrepid Jack at 12/1.

Similarly, age gives no clue to greatness. Until 2005, the three-year-olds prevailed in 13 of 19 installments, but since then they haven’t been seen in the winner’s enclosure. Instead, two four-year-olds, two six-year-olds and a seven year-old (Fayr Jag) have had the honour. The oldest winner ever was Hard to Figure in 1995 at age nine, paying a lovely 25/1.

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