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
Year Going Ran Winner Draw Age Weight OR Form Last run Trainer (Distance) Jockey SP Time
2016 Soft 28 Defrocked 12 3 9 1 95 3-141 12 days J Osborne (28 miles) J P Spencer 13/2 1:40.42
2015 Good to Firm 28 War Envoy 11 3 9 6 104 50-2470 18 days A P O'Brien (399 miles) R L Moore 10/1 1:38.57
2014 Good to Firm 30 Born In Bombay 26 3 8 4 87 312 47 days A Balding (33 miles) David Probert 14/1 1:38.40
2013 Good to Firm 27 Roca Tumu 15 3 8 12 96 01-41 26 days Ms J Morgan (210 miles) W J Lee 20/1 1:37.52
2012 Good to Soft 29 Fast Or Free 6 3 8 10 87 6-11 12 days W Haggas (88 miles) R L Moore 6/1 1:42.08
2011 Good to Soft 29 Sagramor 23 3 8 13 93 5212-21 26 days H Morrison (32 miles) N Mackay 8/1 1:44.55
2010 Good to Firm 27 Ransom Note 27 3 8 10 92 0171-12 19 days B W Hills (27 miles) Michael Hills 9/1 1:37.82
2009 Good to Firm 30 Fareer 15 3 8 10 92 312-315 26 days E Dunlop (88 miles) Richard Hills 20/1 1:40.31
2008 Good to Firm 28 Fifteen Love 4 3 8 10 93 2110-0 62 days R Charlton (57 miles) S Drowne 28/1 1:40.10
2007 Good 30 Eddie Jock 29 3 9 7 104 2122-33 45 days Miss M Bell Johnny Murtagh 33/1 1:39.93