Solario Stakes Betting

In August each year, the Sandown Park devotes a full Saturday of racing to a much loved charity—The Variety Club—raising funds to improve the lives of sick, disabled and disadvantaged children throughout Great Britain. Among the highlights of the annual Variety Club Day are games, story telling, family activities and BHA Pony Races for children, followed by the afternoon’s main event—the £50,000 Solario Stakes.

This Group 3 sprint is open exclusively to two-year-old Thoroughbreds. It covers a distance of seven furlongs and 16 yards on the right-handed turf of the Sandown Park Racecourse. All runners carry a weight of nine stone even, with an allowance of three pounds for fillies. Penalties are applied to entrants that have succeeded in previous events, amounting to five pounds for Group 1 or Group 2 winners and three pounds for Group 3 winners.

The Solario Stakes was inaugurated in 1947 and named after a successful racehorse that won the St. Leger Stakes in 1925 and the Ascot Gold Cup in 1926. Initially, this event was classified at the Listed level until it gained it current Group 3 status in 1986. In the late 1980s, Imry was the race’s sponsor. During most of the 1990s, however, the meetings were conducted without a primary backer, with the exception of Sunset Boulevard in 1992-94.

In 2000-01, Ford came on board as the title holder, followed by Iveco Daily from 2002 to 2007. For a single year, held the sponsorship, and then in 2009 the Variety Club got involved. Now £1 from every ticket sold goes straight to this child-focused charity.

Although no winner has an opportunity to repeat in the Solario Stakes, many have used it as a springboard to greatness. In 1965, the bay colt Charlottown got his maiden victory here and went on to claim the Epsom Derby the following year. Similarly, Athens Woods took an initial triumph here in 1970 and parlayed it into a St. Leger Stakes win a year later.

One of the greatest mares to get her debut win in the Solario Stakes was Oh So Sharp in 1984. 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 top jockey in the Solario Stakes with six wins is Lester Piggott. He got his first victory here aboard March Past in 1952 and then rode to success atop Pindari in 1958, Speed of Sound in 1966, Remand in 1967 and The Fort in 1982, before finishing up with Oh So Sharp.

The top trainer here also has six wins to his credit. That’s Henry Cecil, who had victories with Lyphard’s Wish in 1978 prior to The Fort and Oh So Sharp. Thereafter, his successes came with Sanquirico in 1987, High Estate in 1988 and Be My Chief in 1989.

Bookmakers might have thought the Solario Stakes was beyond their understanding in the early part of the new millennium, when the long-shots kept upsetting their predictions. In 2000, King’s Ironbridge delivered at 10/1, followed a year later by Redback winning at 14/1. In 2003, it was Barbajuan’s turn to upset the oddsmakers by succeeding at 12/1.

In more recent years, however, the bookmakers seem to have broken the Solario Stakes’ code. They got Drumfire correct at 6/4 in 2006 and then Raven’s Pass at 11/8 in 2007. For the 2010 edition, they marked Native Khan as the favourite and the grey colt from France proved them right by reaching the finish post first at 6/5.

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