The Group 3 Sovereign Stakes (Thursday 15 August) is the highlight of the Summer Holiday Family Races Meeting at Salisbury Racecourse. The race is run over a mile and is open to colts and geldings aged three or older. It was established in 2000 and notable recent winners include Kodi Bear and Zonderland.
Check out our 10-year-trends, runner-by-runner guide, and free tip for the Sovereign Stakes 2019.
Sovereign Stakes 10-Year-Trends
Age has been no restriction to success in the Sovereign Stakes with horses aged five, six, and eight all successful in the last 10 years. But four 4-year-olds and three 3-year-olds have still been successful.
Four winners had won their previous race, with four others finishing second, third or fourth. However, two winners had finished eighth and ninth last time out. Breaks between races have been as little as 13 days and as big as 118 days.
Andrew Balding has trained two of the last eight winners, and jockeys James Doyle and Oisin Murphy have both ridden a winner in the last five years. There was a 25/1 winner in 2009, but since then no winner has been bigger than 11/2.
Sovereign Stakes Runner-By-Runner Guide 2019
Eve Johnson-Houghton’s 5-year-old brings a touch of class to proceedings after winning last season’s Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes and he no longer must carry a penalty for that success. Admittedly, his form has been nowhere near as good since but his third in this year’s Lockinge Stakes in May suggests he should go well at this level. The big negative is that he barely stays a mile and Salisbury’s finish may leave him vulnerable in the closing stages.
Beaten 18-lengths by Accidental Agent last time they met off level-weights but won four races either side of that performance. He was also disappointing when sixth last time, having been sent-off a well-backed favourite. Steps up into Listed class for the first time but, having been the favourite or joint favourite in nine of his 10 races, he is clearly highly regarded.
The winner of four Listed races and he only has 7lb to find with the top-rated horse. The problem is he’s been beaten in all the group races he’s contested, and he tends to find a few horses too good at this level.
This 3-year-old’s best win so far came last time out at Ascot, where he won a class 2 handicap off a mark of 91. That four-lengths win has earned him a 10lb rise in the weights to a mark of 101 and he likes it here at Salisbury having won his first two races here as a 2-year-old. He’s also trained by Andrew Balding, who has a good record in the race.
Officially the highest-rated of the 3-year-olds in this year’s field and, though he finds winning difficult, he’s been placed in Group 2 and 3 company this season. He was outclassed in the 2,000 Guineas and didn’t stay 10-furlongs last time, but he could run well back at a mile at this level, whilst a recent gelding operation could also bring about some improvement.
Runs in the same colours as Roaring Lion but has failed to match his ex-stablemates exploits as a 3-year-old. His one win this season came over 9-furlongs, so he could appreciate this stiff mile, but he still has something to prove.
Has shown his best form at 10-furlongs this season, but the way he travelled in those races suggests he’s well worth a try back at a mile on a stiff track. He also revels in soft ground and any further rain would be very much in his favour. He does have a bit to find on ratings but, after just five runs, he still has plenty of time to scale the heights.
Comes here in good form after winning his last two races, but neither of those were anywhere near as strong as this contest. He’s also looked vulnerable in this sort of company in his other six runs this season, which suggests he’ll need to find some more improvement to land the hat-trick.
Sovereign Stakes Verdict 2019
Tabarrak has failed numerous times at this level and Mojito has it all to do on his first try in group company. That means, as a former Group 1 winner, Accidental Agent sets the standard amongst the older horses, but his suspect stamina leaves his vulnerable to some interesting 3-year-olds.
Flashcard is the lowest rated of the five horses from this year’s classic generation, but he is a dual course winner running for a trainer that has won the race three times since 2003. Kick On could yet redeem his reputation and looks guaranteed to stay, whilst Marie’s Diamond proved himself over a stiff mile at Pontefract last time.
However, Great Scott looks better than that trio having twice run well in similar-company and he could have improved for being gelded. However, King Ottokar has the potential for even more improvement after just five runs and he gave the impression at Royal Ascot that he could relish running over a mile on rain-softened ground.