The Shadwell Joel Stakes (Newmarket, Friday 3.40) was first run in 1987, but wasn’t granted group-2 status until 2011. It is run over one-mile, and is open to horse aged three or older.
Four-year-olds have won 6 of the last 10 renewals, whilst three-year-olds have won 2, and 1 five-year-old and 1 six-year-old have also been successful.
Michael Stoute is the all-time winning most trainer with three wins, though David O’Meara is the form trainer having won 2 of the last 4 renewals. Danny Tudhope rode both of those winners, whilst Ryan Moore has won 2 of the last 7.
6 runners are set to line-up for the 2016 Shadwell Joel Stakes.
Trainer Aidan O’Brien has won just the 2001 renewal, and Cougar Mountain has only troubled the judge twice this season, when runner-up twice at Leopardstown. His form has been pretty dismal elsewhere, though he did finish fifth in the 2014 July Cup on his only run at Newmarket.
Represents the team of O’Meara and Tudhope, and was actually one of their previous winners in 2014. He was also second in the 2015 renewal behind the high-class Time Test, and there doesn’t appear to be anything of that calibre here. Will be the oldest winner ever, but did run his best race of the season last time when second to the Irish 2,000 Guineas winner Awtaad.
Looked a superstar last year when the group-1 Falmouth Stakes, run over course and distance, was the middle-leg of a summer hat-trick. Hopeless so far this year, but does represent David O’Meara.
Got his head in front in a Conditions Stakes last time, but had previously been beaten in three consecutive group-3s. Could have more improvement to come, but Michael Stoute isn’t exactly banging in the winners.
Group-3 winner over course and distance, and Newmarket record reads 1/2/1/1/1. However, the suspicion is he’s better at 6-furlongs or 7-furlongs, and he may get outstayed.
Second to Minding in the Fillies Mile last year, and confirmed that promise by winning the group-3 Nell Gwyn here. Only fifth in the 1,000 Guineas, but was then second to the unbeaten La Cressonniere in the French equivalent. Only ninth in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot and, having shown a preference for soft ground, it’s no surprise she’s been rested since then with an Autumn campaign in mind.
Shadwell Joel Stakes Summary
With no four-year-olds in the field to uphold their recent dominance, it will be interesting to see if one of the three 3-year-olds can step-up to the plate. However, with Forge maybe not good enough, Gifted Master lacking the stamina, and Nathra preferring softer ground, it may well be worth chancing the 2014 winner Custom Cut for whom conditions looks ideal. Amazing Maria would be interesting if the money comes for her.