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Draw bias a big factor in Ascot Shergar Cup betting strategy

| 06.08.2016

Ascot’s Shergar Cup day has been described as horse racing’s ‘most populist event’, attracting around 30,000 spectators a year since the infamously-abducted nag’s owner the Aga Khan kicked it off just before the end of the last century.

We’ve cast a glance over the card to bring you a fancied runner, a horse expected to be there or thereabouts, and a rank outsider. Stick them in a patent.

NAP – 14:55 – Shergar Cup Mile – George Cinq @ 3/1

Draw does seem to have had an impact in this race of late, with Stalls 5-8 failing to grab even a top-four placing since 2011, Stall 1 winning two of the past four, and the two widest runners (12/11) taking first and third 12 months ago.

With that in mind, George Cinq in Stall 10 looks to have the right profile, off a mark within 2lbs of four Shergar Cup Mile winners in the past eight years.

Like last year’s winner Halation and 2013’s Nine Realms, George Scott’s six-year-old has also bagged a win and at least one second in his previous four runs.

Next Best – 15:30 – Shergar Cup Classic – Full Court Press @ 8/1

For the past three seasons, the winner of this has been sired by horses whose best work came over a mile, with Hard Spun, Rock of Gibraltar and Dubawi the stallions in question, after Derby-distance experts Galileo’s and Monsun’s progeny took the laurels between 2011-12.

Therefore, Johnny Murtagh’s Full Court Press, sired by former German 2,000 Guineas winner Frozen Power, looks worth taking a chance on among the sons and daughters of Teofilo, New Approach, Pour Moi, Sea the Stars, Sinndar and Yeats, none of whom were true milers.

Lively Longshot – 14:20 – Shergar Cup Challenge – Leah Freya @ 25/1

There are a few likely sorts halfway down the handicap and lower, where this usually goes, with the past three winners finishing between sixth and eighth in their previous run.

Sweet Pea and Leah Freya fit that trend, with the latter’s campaign so close to 2015 winner’s Missed Call’s going into the race, fourth and sixth in two prior runs, compared to third and sixth, that she gets the call.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.



Iain Houten

Iain has been contributing pieces to various websites on an array of subjects, including sports, politics and art, for over four years. Despite blue being his favourite colour, the teams he supports all wear red.