The 2019 Gala Stakes (15:25, 5th July) is being sponsored by Davies Insurance Services. It is a Listed Race run over 1 mile 1 furlong and 209 yards at Sandown Racecourse. The Gala Stakes was established in 2002 and horses that have used it as a stepping-stone to bigger things include David Junior and Mustashry.
Check out our 10-year-trends, runner-by-runner guide and free tip for the Gala Stakes 2019.
Gala Stakes 10-Year-Trends
Five-year-olds have won six of the last 10 editions of the Gala Stakes, with two four-year-olds, one six-year-old, and one seven-year-old winning the others. Winners have been drawn as low as stall-one and as high as stall-10, with seven winners drawn in stall-five or lower. Only two of the last 10 winners have carried a penalty.
Only one horse had won its previous race, whilst nine of the 10 winners had run at least once that season. Roger Charlton is the only trainer to have saddled a winner in the Gala Stakes in the last decade to have a runner this year, whilst Andrea Atzeni and Ryan Moore are the only jockeys with rides that have ridden a winner in that period.
The last 10 winners of the Gala Stakes have all been towards the head of the market, with SPs ranging from 5/4 to 5/1.
Gala Stakes Runner-By-Runner Guide 2019
The only penalised runner in this year’s field and he needs to concede 3lb to all of rivals aged four and older, whilst he must concede 13lb to the only three-year-old. However, unlike most of rivals, he’s proved he’s at the top of his game already this season. The form of his seasonal debut over a mile worked out very well with the first three all winning next time, and he finished well in front of the re-opposing Extra Elusive at Goodwood. He also finished in front of the Godolphin pair First Nation and Oasis Charm. Goes on any ground and is beautifully bred.
4lb worse off with the top-rated horse than he would be in a handicap and, whilst he has some decent form in the book, he hasn’t been at his best this season and his stable is struggling for winners.
Has won at eight, ten, and 12-furlongs, but his best form has come on the all-weather at Kempton. He also has eight-lengths to make up with Elarqam from their running at Goodwood earlier this season. However, he was slowly away there, and his trainer has won the race before.
Inconsistent five-year-old whose last win came in a handicap off a mark of 101. Race-fit when just behind Elarqam earlier this season but, whilst he’s 3lb better off, he was much further behind that rival at Royal Ascot.
Second Godolphin runner trained by Charlie Appleby, but he’s another whose latest wins have been in handicaps off lower marks. Not looked up to Listed or Group class on his last two runs and probably needs a few rivals to underperform to come out on top.
Won his last two handicaps off marks of 95 and 105, with the last of those being a meritorious win in the November Handicap after six-months off the track. He’s now on a mark of 111 but gets 3lb from the equally rated Elarqam. The big negative is his best form has come on soft ground over a longer trip.
Roger Varian’s Dark Angel colt is the only three-year-old in this year’s field, but the classic generation hasn’t provided a winner of this race since 2007. The form of his three runs is decent though and he could go close, even if his last run suggested he may want further.
Gala Stakes 2019 Summary
Chief Ironside looks the easiest to exclude from calculations on his current form, especially with his stable struggling for winners. However, the other runners all hail from stables who are in excellent form.
The Godolphin Pair have something to find on form, as does Extra Elusive, whilst Fifth Position will need to improve again if he’s to become the first three-year-old winner for 12-years.
Royal Line could prove Listed class on his first run in this company, but his best form is over a longer trip, and he may not be at his best on his seasonal debut.
That means, despite being penalised, Elarqam looks the obvious selection. He has his optimum conditions, has already beaten several of his rivals, and is proven at this level. Trainer Mark Johnston has also been hammering in the winners this week.