Group One racing returns to Sydney this Saturday in the form of the Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m), running at Warwick Farm.
A high-class field of 15 horses is set to tackle to mile, eight of which are saddled by premier trainer Chris Waller. If all eight horses run, the trainer will break a record for the number of horses in a single Group One race in Australia. Gai Waterhouse and John Hawkes currently share the record with seven each.
That’s not the only record Waller is hoping to break in the Chipping Norton Stakes. The trainer is on the verge of winning an unprecedented five straight editions of the race, which is why he’s enlisted the help of eight of his top stable stars.
Waller himself quotes Boban, He’s Your Man, and Weary as his best chances at winning the race but admits it is well and truly Contributer’s to lose and the betting market agrees.
The John O’Shea-trained horse is the $2.70 firm favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au, which has shortened from his opening price of $3 following support from the punters.
Contributer impressively won the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) first-up on February 14, which is often considered the ideal lead-up race. However he has never won over a mile, his only attempt was an eighth place finish in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes back in November.
Rounding out the single figure odds in the Chipping Norton Stakes betting are Kris Lees’ classy mare Lucia Valentina ($5), in-form Weary ($9), and Apollo Stakes runner-up Ninth Legion ($9.50).
That’s how the bookies see it but will the race’s history, form guide, and betting statistics tell a different story?
2015 Chipping Norton Stakes Form Facts & Betting Stats
- Last year’s Chipping Norton Stakes was the Chris Waller-trained Boban who jumped from barrier 4 (of 8) and was ridden by Glyn Schofield.
- #2 Boban will return to defend his title, partnering once again with Glyn Schofield and jumping from barrier 8 (of 15).
- The most successful trainer in the past 30 years is Gai Waterhouse with 6 wins from 27 starters however she won’t be represented in this year’s race.
- Waller is chasing an unprecedented fifth straight win this year and will saddle a staggering eight horses.
- The 1600m start at Warwick Farm is a tough assignment for horses drawn wide due to the short run to the first turn, as a result the most successful barrier in the past 30 years is #4.
- Race favourite #5 Contributer will enjoy the jump from barrier four this year.
- No horse has won from a gate wider than 10 but there are rarely more this number of horses in the field. This year a near capacity field of 15 horses are set to line-up.
- Race favourites don’t fare particularly well in the Chipping Norton with only three justifying their odds to win in the past 10 years, which means Contributer ($2.70) has a lot to live up to.
- The Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) is considered the best guide for the race in recent years with nine of the past 15 winners contesting the race two weeks earlier. During that period, only three have completed the double – Theseo (2010), Lonhro (2003), and Grand Armee (2005).
- This year there are 11 horses coming via the Apollo Stakes: #1 Foreteller (9th), Boban (7th), #4 He’s Your Man (6th), Contributer (1st), #6 Hawkspur (11th), #7 Junoob (12th), #8 Weary (3rd), #10 Ninth Legion (2nd), #12 Disclaimer (14th), #14 Silent Achiever (5th), and #15 Lucia Valentina (4th).
- Contributer will look to become just the fourth horse to complete the Apollo-Chipping Norton Stakes double.
- The Chipping Norton Stakes is dominated by males with only three mares winning since 1983, the last of which was Tuesday Joy (2009).
- Silent Achiever ($11) and Lucia Valentina ($5) will be doing it for the girls this year and are well-tipped to run well.
- Being a last start winner isn’t necessary for success in the Chipping Norton Stakes. The last horse to complete a double was Tuesday Joy while four of the five subsequent winners didn’t even place in their last prior to winning the race.
- The horses boasting the best Win Rate are Contributer (50%) and #9 Who Shot Thebarman (50%).
- Meanwhile the horse with the best Place Rate is Contributer (75%) followed by #13 Hartnell (69%), Who Shot Thebarman (69%), Weary (61%), and He’s Your Man (60%).
- Horses with the best record over a mile include: Boban (6:3-0-0), Who Shot Thebarman (4:2-1-0), Hartnell (3:2-1-0), and Silent Achiever (4:2-0-1).
- Those with track experience include: Boban (2-0-0), Hawkspur (3:0-1-1), and Ninth Legion (2:1-0-1).
- Heavy weights aren’t an issue in the Chipping Norton with all past five winners carrying 59kg.
If the detailed form guide has given you an inside tip on who to back in the 2015 Chipping Norton Stakes, head over to Ladbrokes.com.au now to place your bet.
New customers will receive up to $250 in a bonus match on their first bet. Simply quote code: BETBONUS.