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25th June 2024

Craven Stakes Free Tips and Trends

The Craven Stakes is the feature contest on the three-day Newmarket April Meeting and is a Group Three race run over 1 mile.

Being for 3 year-old colts and geldings the race is often seen as an early season trial for the 2,000 Guineas, run the following month – the last horse to win both races was Haafhd in 2004, while the 2018 hero - Masar - went onto win that season's Epsom Derby!

Here at TQ we look back at recent winners and give you the key stats ahead of the 2021 renewal – this year staged on Wednesday 14th April 2021.

Recent Craven Stakes Winners

2020 – No Race (Covid)
2019 – SKARDU (3/1)
2018 – MASAR (7/2)
2017 – EMINENT (8/1)
2015 – KOOL COMPANY (14/1)
2014 – TOORMORE (Evs fav)
2013 – TORONADO (8/11 fav)
2012 –TRUMPET MAJOR (9/2)
2011 – NATIVE KHAN (8/11 fav)
2010 – ELUSIVE PIMPERNEL (10/11 fav)
2009 – DELEGATOR (4/6 fav)
2008 - TWICE OVER (9/4)
2007 – ADAGIO (5/4 fav)
2006 – KILLYBEGS (9/2)
2004 – HAAFHD (10/3)
2003 – HURRICANE ALAN (9/1)

Key Craven Stakes Betting Trends

16/17 – Having their first run of the season
14/17 – Rated 110 or higher
13/17 – Yet to win over a mile
13/17 – Came from the top three in the betting
13/17 – Returned 9/2 or shorter in the betting
13/17 – Winning distance – 1 ½ lengths or more
12/17 – Had won over 7f before
12/17 – Had won no more than twice before
10/17 – Had won a Listed or Group race before
10/17 – Placed favourites
10/17 – Ran at Newmarket last time out
9/17 – Had raced at Newmarket (Rowley) before (4 won)
7/17 – Finished unplaced last time out
6/17 – Winning favourites
5/17 – Trained by Richard Hannon (4 of the last 10)
5/17 – Won last time out
2/17 – Ridden by Ryan Moore
1/17 – Irish-trained winners
1/17 – Went onto win the 2,000 Guineas
9 of the last 10 winners came from stalls 5 or less
4 of the last 10 winners came from stalls 1
Trainer Aidan O’Brien has never won this race
The average winning SP in the last 17 renewals is 9/2

TQ VERDICT: This could be a bit of a shootout between the heavyweight yards of Charlie Appleby and Aidan O’Brien, who both have two runners in the race. O’Brien has Sandhurst and Khartoum entered – and both hold Epsom Derby entries too. Sandhurst was a winner in heavy ground at Gowan Park back in October (7f), but breeding suggests this step up in trip is a plus and the market should be noted ahead of his chance. Khartoum was also a winner over 7f last time and is another that should be fine up to a mile here – the betting should hopefully tell us who is the more fancied of the pair come the day. But I still feel the Godolphin team hold the better chance here – mainly because both their runners – La Barrosa and MASTER OF THE SEAS – have won at the track in the past. The heavy ground went against La Barrosa in the Group One Criterium International last time (Oct), but prior to that had caught the eye with two nice wins at Ascot and here at HQ. Their other runner – Master Of The Seas – was turned over as an odds-on favourite last time at Meydan, but that was his first run for 5 ½ months and just ran a bit free, meaning he didn’t last out. With that run under his belt and the hood on today, then there is every chance he can settle better, while the return to HQ – a track he’s won at before (7f) will help. Of the rest, Akmaam, Devilwala and Mystery Smiles have all shown a decent level of form to warrant respect, but a chance is also taken on the Oisin Murphy-ridden ROYAL AIR FORCE (e/w). This 3 year-old won on debut at Yarmouth by an easy 7 lengths, so could be anything. He’s got some fancy entries this season too, so is clearly well regraded and even though it’s hard to assess that opening win, the step up in trip could bring out more improvement and Murphy catches the eye in the saddle for this Simon Crisford-trained runner.