By Darryn Nufer.
IT has been well documented that last year’s Capricornia Yearling Sale has produced 11 individual two-year-old winners heading into the big Classic race next Saturday.
Needless to say it’s going to be some sort of race in terms of quality and depth, even despite the news yesterday that one of those winners, the Chris Munce trained Tiger Love, had been ruled out due to injury.
During the week I looked a bit further into what is now Rockhampton’s richest race, the Capricornia Yearling Sale 2YO Classic (1200m), and what I found might not necessarily pin-point the victor of this year’s renewal but it may help you narrow down the chances.
I looked at the history of the race over the last 20 years.
In that time, the market has been a very reliable indicator as the longest-priced winner of the Classic was Quick Assault in 2014 whose starting price was $13.
In fact, no other Classic winner in the past two decades has started above $8 in the market – Stylish Criminal went around at those odds when successful in 2017.
Here are the starting prices of the Classic winners over the data period, starting from 2018 and working backwards – $3.20; $8; $3; $4; $13; $2.25; $6; $3; $3.20; $3.50; $6; $2.60; $5; $1.90; $2.50; $1.50; 4-1 (pre-decimal odds); 4-6; 6-1; 7-1.
The above is proof that the market usually gets it right for this race.
I wondered whether the young male athletes had the wood on their female counterparts in the 2YO Classic and the answer was “no”.
In the last 20 years it’s “Even Stevens” in the Battle of the Sexes with 10 colts and geldings and 10 fillies having won the feature.
The “boys” have however, won four of the past six.
History says you don’t want to be a maiden heading into the 2YO Classic and that’s probably going to be further emphasised this year given the strong lead-up form lines.
Only four maiden gallopers have won the race in the last 20 years – Wicked Ways (2018); Stylish Criminal (2017); Mister Advantage (2000) and Semi Fine (1999).
When it comes to the 1200m journey of the Classic which tends to find many juveniles wanting, it doesn’t appear a pre-requisite to have won over that trip prior.
Only three 2YO Classic winners in the past 20 years had won at 1200m beforehand – Quick Assault (2014); Degenda (2007) and Laurinel Impulse (2001).
History and statistics don’t provide any guarantees (in horse racing there are none) but they do offer punters some guide.
In the ownership stakes, if you’re lucky enough to be involved in a 2YO Classic winner it’s unlikely you’ve found the next Winx.
River Lad is the only 2YO Classic winner and Capricornia Yearling Sale graduate to go on to win a Group 1 race, that being the Stradbroke Handicap of 2014 – a feat that is unlikely to be repeated again.
On the flipside to that, history tells us that your heart will be pumping overtime if you are one of the successful connections next Saturday because traditionally it’s a contest that throws up a close finish.
In the last 20 years the average winning margin in the Classic has been 1.34 lengths and the biggest was in 2004 when Kai Cibo defeated Belle Jangles by four lengths.
If the walk down memory lane hasn’t evoked feelings of nostalgia hopefully it’s got you excited for next Saturday.
PHOTO: The Lad’s My Dad and Rhiannan Payne after winning the 2015 2YO Classic. Photo Matt Harris.
Catalogues will also be available for collection from the Rockhampton Jockey Club office at Callaghan Park Racecourse.
Or you can contact the RJC office on (07) 4937 4000 to request a sale catalogue.