Royal Ascot - At The Races

17:00 Ascot 22 Jun 2017

Britannia Stakes (Heritage Handicap) (Str) (Class 2) (3YO only)

Winner £74,700 - 29 ran



Good to Firm (Watered)

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Weighed In

Last year’s race

  • Winner: Defrocked
  • Jockey: J P Spencer
  • Trainer: J A Osborne
  • Owner: Michael Buckley & Michael Watt
  • Age: 3 Weight: 9st 1lb
  • Starting Price: 13/2
  • Season Form Figures: 141
  • Previous Best: 1st - Handicap race, Doncaster (June 2016)

Featuring approximately 30 three-year-olds, the majority of which are unexposed and from top yards, for my money the Britannia Stakes is the most competitive (though not impossible) three-year-old handicap of the season. That said, despite its highly-competitive edge, it has actually been a very good race for favourites with five of the last 18 obliging. In fact, 19 of the last 26 winners could be found in the first half-dozen in the betting, Defrocked being the 13/2 second-favourite last year, so this isn’t punter’s nightmare that many believe to be the case.

An emerging pattern is that the five of the last six winners won a handicap on their previous start which is in stark contrast to the previous nine runnings when beaten horses on their previous start came out on top. Some punters fall into the trap of backing a flashy, last-time-out maiden winner from a big yard but no horse with such a profile has won since John Gosden's North Song 20 years ago.

An emerging pattern is that the five of the last six winners won a handicap on their previous start.

The 2015 winner, War Envoy, had previously finished last in the French Derby so he had a most unusual profile for a Britannia winner. Aidan O’Brien’s charge was certainly not a trends horse therefore and that included on the weight front too as he carried 9st 6lb. Just four of the last 27 winners had carried over 9st, though that now includes the last two. War Envoy also became just the third winner since 1991 to finish not to finish in the first four places last time out.

It’s been a while since he last saddled the winner but still worth noting that going back to and including 1994, with four winners, a second and two thirds from 32 runners, John Gosden knows what it takes to prepare a horse for this race. Significantly, all four of his winners ended their juvenile season without a victory and also failed to break their maiden tag at first time of asking as a three-year-old. James Fanshawe is another name to strongly consider with a winner and three placed horses from his last four runners.

As far as the draw is concerned, like with many major straight-course handicaps, it often pays to look very low or very high as nine of the last 18 winners were drawn no more than five positions off either rail.

At a glance summary

Won a handicap last time out
First six in the market (the favourite also has a strong record)
Trained by John Gosden or James Fanshawe
Drawn in the lowest or highest five stalls
Unplaced last time out
Last-time-out maiden winner

Previous Winners - BRITANNIA STAKES

2016DefrockedJ A OsborneJ P Spencer3 9-113/228
2015War EnvoyA P O'BrienR L Moore3 9-610/128
2014Born In BombayA M BaldingDavid Probert3 8-414/130
2013Roca TumuMs J MorganW J Lee3 8-1220/127
2012Fast Or FreeW J HaggasR L Moore3 8-106/1f29
2011SagramorH MorrisonN Mackay3 8-138/129
2010Ransom NoteB W HillsM Hills3 8-109/127
2009FareerE A L DunlopR Hills3 8-1020/130
2008Fifteen LoveR CharltonS Drowne3 8-1028/128
2007Eddie JockMichael Bell Johnny Murtagh 3 9-7 33/130
2006Sir Gerard J R Fanshawe J P Spencer3 8-12 9/2f30
2005MostashaarSir M StouteR Hills3 9-110/3f21
2004MandobiA StewartK Fallon3 8-128/127
2003New SeekerC CoxJ Spencer3 8-816/129
2002PentecostI BaldingL Keniry (5)3 8-525/131
2001AnalyserJ GosdenF Norton3 8-314/129
2000El Gran PapaJ GosdenF Norton3 8-44/1f32
1999PythiosH CecilK Fallon3 9-010/1jf32
1998Plan-BJ GosdenL Dettori3 8-78/131
1997Fly To The StarsM JohnstonO Peslier3 9-320/128
1996North SongJ GosdenG Hind3 8-114/131
1995Medaille MilitaireJ DunlopT Quinn3 8-34/1f32
1994Wizard KingSir M PrescottJ Lowe3 7-79/127
1993Show FaithR HannonPat Eddery3 8-56/1f25
1992EfharistoC BrittainM Roberts3 8-014/123
1991AjaadSir M StouteB Raymond3 9-012/126