Cheveley Park Stakes

The Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket is one of the top races of the season for two-year-old fillies. The winner of this race often tops the official ratings and can go into the winter as favourite for the 1000 Guineas. The most recent to do so was Special Duty (2009) while other notable winners include Ma Biche (1982), Ravinella (1987), Sayyedati (1992) and Alcohol Free (2020).

The Race

The Cheveley Park Stakes is a Group 1 race for two-year-old fillies over six furlongs. It takes place on the third and final day of Newmarket’s Cambridgeshire meeting in late September. The going can be quite changeable at this time of year so the form from Royal Ascot and Goodwood in the summer is not guaranteed to be upheld. It often provides an interesting mixture of established Group 1 fillies and inexperienced but talented juveniles.

Famous Cheveley Park Stakes Winners & History

The Cheveley Park Stakes is named after the local estate in Newmarket and was first run in 1899 with victory going to Lutetia. The first filly to win this race and go on to win the 1000 Guineas was Pretty Polly (1903-04). She went on to become only the fifth filly in history to win the British Fillies’ Triple Crown of 1000 Guineas, Epsom Oaks and Doncaster St Leger.

The first fillies’ Classic was also won by Cheveley Park winners Night Off (1964), Fleet (1966) and Humble Duty (1969), helping to establish the race as a classic trial in its own right. 1971 winner Waterloo continued the trend when going on to a rare Classic success for Yorkshire. She was trained by Bill Watts and ridden by “Cock o’ the North” Eddie Hide.

1976 winner Durtal is best remembered for a frightening incident before the Epsom Oaks the following season. She bolted on the way to the start, unseating Lester Piggott and crashing through a rail. Although she did eventually return to racing, she was soon retired to the paddocks where she produced dual Ascot Gold Cup winner Gildoran.

Ma Biche (1982) and Ravinella (1987) were two exceptional fillies trained in France by Criquette Head. Ma Biche defeated a high class 1000 Guineas field that included subsequent Breeders’ Cup winner Royal Heroine and Horse of the Year Habibti. Ravinella won the English and French Guineas as a three-year-old. Head would later win the Cheveley Park with Pas de Response (1996) and Special Duty (2009). The latter needed the help of the stewards to be handed the 1000 Guineas after being beaten a nose by disqualified 66-1 outsider Jacqueline Quest.

Clive Brittain trained 1992 winner Sayyedati who went on to win the 1000 Guineas and defeated the colts in the Prix Jacques le Marois. She also won the Sussex Stakes in 1995, a feat also achieved by 2020 Cheveley Park Stakes winner Alcohol Free.

Key Cheveley Park Stakes Trials

The Lowther Stakes at York has proved to be the best guide to the Cheveley Park in recent seasons. Ten of the last twelve Lowther wins have run here and three fillies won both races; Rosdhu Queen (2012), Tiggy Wiggy (2014) and Fairyland (2018). Two recent Cheveley Park winners had been placed in the Dick Poole Stakes at Salisbury.

Cheveley Park Stakes Betting Trends

Favourites have won seven of the last twenty renewals, the most recent being Clemmie in 2017. Vorda (2013) and Tiggy Wiggy (2014) were also well-backed favourites with 9 of the last 12 winners coming from the first three in the betting.

Brave Anna (2016) provided a 25-1 shock for Aidan O’Brien in 2016 while 2021 winner Tenebrism started at 14-1 for the same stable. Another relatively unfancied Irish-trained winner of the Cheveley Park was Jessica Harrington’s Millisle at 16-1 in 2019.

Cheveley Park Stakes Stats

Nine of the last twelve Cheveley Park winners had at least two previous victories, including at least one over six furlongs. Eleven of the twelve had finished either first or second in their most recent race. An official rating of 100 or higher is usually required to win this race. The highest rated filly to win the Cheveley Park in recent years was Tiggy Wiggy (117) in 2014. Almost all of the last twenty winners had raced within the previous six weeks, although Tenebrism bucked that trend in 2021 having not raced since March.

Top Trainers and Jockeys

Aidan O’Brien has joined Criquette Head and Alec Taylor (four winners between 1908 and 1924) in sharing the all-time record for the Cheveley Park. O’Brien’s winners have all come in the past six seasons; Brave Anna (2016), Clemmie (2017), Fairyland (2018) and Tenebrism (2021).

Nobody has come close to matching Sir Gordon Richards who rode a record nine Cheveley Park winners between 1928 and 1953. Ryan Moore has ridden the winner twice in recent years with Clemmie (2017) and Tenebrism (2021).

Betting on the Cheveley Park Stakes

There is a strong ante-post market on the Cheveley Park Stakes but it does not really take shape until Newmarket week. Aidan O’Brien has a good recent record and usually has several options, leaving his final selection until a couple of days before the race. History suggests that the Lowther Stakes form at York is always worth a second look for this race.

Surprisingly, Alcohol Free is the only filly between 2010 and 2020 to win their next race after the Cheveley Park. She won the Fred Darling Stakes at Newbury on her first run as a three-year-old. Rosdhu Queen (2012) and Tiggy Wiggy (2014) were both beaten in the Fred Darling. The last four fillies to go straight to the 1000 Guineas after winning the Cheveley Park were all beaten.

Summary

The Cheveley Park Stakes is regarded as one of the key trials in establishing the favourite for the following year’s 1000 Guineas. The recent record is modest as far as the first Classic is confirmed but there are still some useful clues for future big races.

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