Horris Hill Stakes Betting

Conducted in late October, the annual Armed Forces Day Meeting is the last day of the flat season at Newbury Racecourse. Free entry is offered to all active members of the Armed Forces for a full day of racing plus such exciting events as a freefall display, military band, laser and paintball ranges, an assault course and more.

The first featured event on the dayís card following the mile-long EBF Maiden Stakes is the Group 3 Horris Hill Stakes over seven furlongs. It is joined by two handicap events and three other conditions races. Among the latter is the Group 3 St. Simon Stakes covering a mile and a half, along with a seven-furlong Listed race known as the Radley Stakes.

The £50,000 Horris Hill Stakes is conducted on the straight turf of the Newbury track. Entry is restricted to two-year-old Thoroughbred colts and geldings, excluding previous Group 1 winners. Each sprinter carries a weight of eight stone twelve pounds. Penalties are applied to previous Group 2 and Group 3 winners, amounting to five pounds and three pounds, respectively.

When this event was inaugurated in 1949, horses of either gender were allowed to enter. It was also conducted over a distance of seven furlongs and 64 yards on Newburyís left-handed course. From 1987, entry was limited to male horse and the switch to the shorter straight course occurred in 2000.

One of the earliest sponsors of the Horris Hill Stakes was Vodafone, who held the title spot for a decade and a half through 2003. In 2004, bookmaker Stan James became the main backer of the race. In 2007-08, Mountgrange Stud took up sponsorship, followed by Totesport in 2009. Currently, the even is run as the unsponsored Newbury Stakes, while retaining its original registered name.

Although no sprinter has an opportunity for repeat victory here, many of the Horris Hill Stakes winners have gone on to win legs of the British Classics. For example, the 1957 winner Alcide was successful in the St. Leger Stakes the following year, and the 1965 winner Charlottown captured the Epsom Derby in 1966. Another great runner was Tirol, winning here in 1989 before claiming both the 2,000 Guineas Stakes and the Irish 2,000 Guineas in 1990.

Among jockeys, Tirolís rider Pat Eddery leads all others with six wins in total. He claimed his initial victory aboard Corby in 1974 and then added his other wins in the saddle with State Occasion in 1975, Montekin in 1981, Naheez in 1986 and Peak to Creek in 2003. Since 1995, only Richard Hills and Jimmy Fortune have been able to achieve multiple victories here, with two apiece.

The trainer who leads all others atop the Horris Hill Stakes leaderboard is Barry Hills. His four wins came from Disguise in 1971, Glacial Storm in 1987, La-Faah in 1997 and Makhlab in 2002. Following right behind him is Tirolís trainer Richard Hannon with three wins, including Umistim in 1999 and Carnaby Street in 2009.

Bookmakers have not done very well in predicting the outcome of the Horris Hill Stakes in the past decade. The only favourite to have won in recent years was Cupid`s Glory at 2/1 in 2004. On the other hand, the oddsmakers have missed the mark by a wide margin on two occasions, Beacon Lodge in 2007 and Carnaby Street, both winners at 14/1.

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