Summer Stakes Betting

Covering a distance of six furlongs, the Summer Stakes is a Group 3 flat horse race open to Thoroughbred fillies and mares aged three years and upwards. It takes place on the straight turf of the York Racecourse, with a prize purse of £50,000 up for grabs.

The Summer Stakes serves as the main event of the first day of July’s two-day John Smith’s Cup Meeting at York, a festival that has been part of the local cultural scene since 1960. It is joined on the racecard by six other races, including two exciting handicaps—the £17,000 Caravan Chairman’s Charity Cup and the £11,500 Whixley Stakes.

Three-year-old runners in the Summer Stakes carry eight stone ten pounds, while those aged four years or older must bear nine-stone-two. Penalties are applied to those who have finished first in meetings since 1st November of the previous year, amounting to six pounds for Group 1 winners, four pounds for Group 2 winners and two pounds for Group 3 winners. However, a penalty exemption is made for any two-year-old wins.

Inaugurated in 1996 at the Listed level, the race was first backed by Manchester-Singapore and then Singapore alone. From 1998 to 2002, Stanley Racing claimed the title role. When Cuisine De France assumed primary sponsorship in 2003, the event was reclassified at the Group 3 level and the prize pool rose gradually to a high of £65,000. For the 2011 running, took over as the Summer Stakes’ newest sponsor.

In 2001-02, Palace Affair became the first and only filly to succeed twice in the Summer Stakes. She was ridden by Stephen Carson and trained by Toby Balding in both cases. Although no other jockey has more than one triumph here, Richard Hannon became the second trainer to claim two victories in the Summer Stakes in 2005. That’s when Lucky Spin reached the finish post first amid a field of eleven sprinters. Hannon’s first win had come with Nanoushka in 1998.

In the past decade, favourites have succeeded in the Summer Stakes on three occasions. Palace Affair was touted at 5/4 when gaining her second win. In 2004, Tante Rose proved the bookmakers right and made Ireland proud, delivering at 11/4. Then, in 2006 the U.S.-bred La Chunga paid 11/4 and showed her love of the York Racecourse, having won the Group 3 Albany Stakes and finished second in the Group 2 Lowther Stakes here the previous year.

The most recent filly to win at long odds in the Summer Stakes was Our Faye in 2008. She paid 12/1, winning by a head with ten chasers behind her. The five-year-old retired after that victory, which was her seventh in a career of 21 starts. The only other five-year-old to win here was Torosay Spring in 2003, although Carranita was a ripe six when she triumphed as the race’s inaugural champion.

All of the other winners here have been three or four, with the younger fillies holding the lead by a good margin, 8-4. Of the past five winners, four have been three-year-olds and no four-year-old has been successful since Lucky Spin.

The Summer Stakes is televised throughout the U.K. on Channel 4—the only race on Day One of the John Smith’s Cup Meeting to warrant such attention. Those who are fortunate enough to attend the event in person can look forward to one of the informal party highlights of the year, including a fly-past over the Knavesmire by the RAF Linton-on-Ouse using its Tucano aircraft and an evening of music and celebration after the racing.

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