Somerville Tattersall Stakes Betting

Previously held on the cusp of October each year, Newmarket’s historic three-day Cambridgeshire Meeting has been moved up one week earlier in the calendar, beginning in 2011. The late September gathering features a total of seven Group-level conditions races, including the Group 3 Somerville Tattersall Stakes on opening day.

Open exclusively to two-year-old Thoroughbred colts and geldings, this £60,000 sprint is a seven-furlong contest conducted on the straight turf of the famous Rowley Mile—the so-called “Course of Champions.” Each entrant carries a weight of eight stone twelve pounds with penalties of five pounds applied to previous Group 1 or Group 2 winners and three pounds added for Group 3 winners.

When this event was inaugurated in 1950, it was open to horses of either gender and named in honour of a senior partner of Tattersalls bloodstock auctioneers—Edmund Somerville Tattersall (1863~1942). When the current system of classifying races was introduced in 1971, the Somerville Tattersall Stakes was accorded the Listed level. Then, after 50 years of exceptional competition, it was upgraded to its current Group 3 status in 2000.

It is not at all uncommon for the leading horses from this race to compete a few weeks later in Newmarket’s own Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes over seven furlongs or Doncaster’s mile-long Group 1 Racing Post Trophy. Among sprinters to have succeeded here and at Newmarket were Grand Lodge in 1993 and Milk It Mick in 2003. In 1990, Peter Davies won here and at Doncaster.

With a total of six victories over the years, the rider of both Grand Lodge and Milk It Mick, Pat Eddery, had more success at the Somerville Tattersall Stakes than any other jockey. His first triumph came aboard Don Comiso in 1977, followed immediately by a first-place finish atop Borderline in 1978. Eddery’s other two wins were with Damister in 1984 and Tertian 1991.

At the top of the leaderboard among trainers at the Somerville Tattersall Stakes is Henry Cecil. He started off his collection of wins with Polished Silver in 1982, Salse in 1987 and Opening Verse in 1988. He was responsible for the success of Peter Davies and got his fifth victory with Enrique in 1998.

The lack of history and experience among the two-year-olds makes them difficult to handicap. In fact, bookmakers have correctly predicted only winner since the turn of the new millennium. That was in 2005 when they chose Aussie Rules, who started as the joint favourite along with third-place finisher Stepping Up at 3/1.

On the other hand, entries starting at double-digit odds have delivered some delightful paydays over the past decade. Milk It Mick was one of them, beating the 9/4 favourite Bayeux by a neck to pay 12/1. In 2008, Ashram zoomed ahead of six competitors to take the lead in the last furlong and win by 4½ lengths—a victory worth 14/1 to lucky bettors. And in 2009, the best gift of all was presented by Sir Parky, taking the lead from the start and holding on to win by a neck over the nearest chaser. That triumph was worth a lovely 33/1, as the bookmakers had the Irish bay picked for dead last in a field of nine.

Other races on the opening day card preceding the Somerville Tattersall Stakes include the EBF Oasis Dream Maiden Stakes and the Nursery Stakes. Following the Group 3 event are the Richard Hambro EBF Princess Royal Stakes, the Jockey Club Challenge Bowl Stakes, the EBF Zamindar Fillies Handicap Stakes and the Handicap Stakes. Grandstand and paddock tickets purchased on race day cost £16 per person.

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