The Earl of Sefton Stakes (Thursday 18 April @ 16:10) is the highlight of the third and final day of Newmarket’s Craven Meeting in April. It is a Group 3 Race that takes place over nine-furlongs and it is open to horses aged four and older.
It was first-run in 1971, and popular winners have included Ela-Mana-Mou, Terimon, Ezzoud, and Notnowcato.
Check out our stats, runner-by-runner guide, and free tip for the 2019 Earl of Sefton Stakes.
Earl Of Sefton Stakes 10-Year-Trends
Only one of the last 10 winners of the Earl of Sefton Stakes carried any form of penalty, with all ten winners having achieved a rating of between 106 and 115.
Seven of the winners were aged four or five, but two seven-year-olds and one eight-year-old have also been successful.
Only one favourite has won in the last decade, but no winner has been returned at odds bigger than 10/1.
Earl Of Sefton 2019 Runner-By-Runner Guide
The highest-rated runner in the field on a mark of 115, but he’s also the only penalised runner, with a 5lb penalty for winning a Group 2 at Newmarket last season. He still has to be of interest as he’s shown the speed to win over a mile and the stamina to win over 10-furlongs, but it has to be a negative that regular jockey Jim Crowley has deserted him. Dane O’Neill isn’t a bad stand-in, as he’s two wins from four rides on him.
His seasonal debut could be the time to catch him as he won a Group 3 first time out last season. However, he looked completely out of sorts for the rest of the season and he’s now rated just 101.
Looking to become the third winning seven-year-old and the third winner to be trained by Jane Chapple-Hyam in the last seven years. However, this 100-rated horse has struggled at this level before and disappointed on his only previous try over this course and distance.
This Mark Johnston-trained four-year-old is the horse that Jim Crowley has opted to ride and it’s easy to see why. He was a highly-regarded unbeaten two-year-old that went on to finish fourth in the 2,000 Guineas, splitting The Derby winner Masar and another top-class colt Roaring Lion. He wasn’t at his best after that, but he comes out the joint second-best horse at the weights on a mark of 111. He could also be revitalised by a recent wind operation.
Last year’s German 2,000 Guineas runner-up but he didn’t do much after that. He also finished four-lengths behind Elarqam as a two-year-old. Has been gelded over the winter and that probably needs to have brought about some improvement. The booking of Frankie Dettori suggests it might have done.
Won a class 2 handicap off a mark of 100 at Newmarket last July and has been keeping similar company to today’s since without winning. Rated 108 and could go close considering he’s race fit having had three runs at Meydan in 2019.
Rated one pound higher than stablemate First Contact but, despite winning during his winter campaign in Dubai, stable jockey William Buick has deserted him.
Comes out best marginally the best horse on his official rating of 112 and he’s bidding to become just the third horse to win back-to-back renewals. He also beat a 119-rated horse into second last year. Has had a slightly different preparation this year, having had one unsuccessful race at Meydan, but expected to go well, with a couple of stablemates already outrunning their odds at this meeting this week.
Robin Of Navan
Sent-off at half the odds of Forest Ranger when fourth in last year’s edition, but never really got competitive all season after that, and it was a similar story 19 days ago.
Won a Newmarket handicap off a mark of 102 two starts ago and the handicapper raised him to a mark of 112. However, he ran no sort of race last time at Meydan for new trainer Charlie Appleby and he looks the stable’s third-string on jockey bookings.
Just beaten over a mile by Mustashry on his final start last year and a 2lb swing in the weights gives him every chance. Slight concern that he’s at his very best on softer ground but his stable has been in excellent form this week.
Earl Of Sefton Stakes 2019 Verdict
Eight of the 11 runners have already achieved a mark as high an average winner of the Earl of Sefton Stakes. The Charlie Appleby trio are the least fancied of that octet, with ratings and jockey bookings confusing the issue. The penalised Mustashry is also benched with Jim Crowley preferring Elarqam, but Mark Johnston’s four-year-old also has something to prove, as does Fajjaj.
That means it could be a shootout between Zabeel Prince and Forest Ranger, with preference for the latter as last year’s winner has won both his previous starts in April and scored on his English seasonal debut for the last three seasons.