Congratulations to the many championship winners and winning owners. This was a season for the history books for sure with all kinds of records being broken.
In addition we are returning to giving out the seasonal awards for Top Earning Horse and Top Winning Horse.
Season 18 Awards
The Fifth Element who is owned by bigboysteve and really showed just how potent some of our newest stables are on the track already!
Windzilla currently also owned by bigboysteve !
Tell Me Princess from Stardom Stable tops the leaderboard for freshman sires this season with $578 in earnings for his progeny.
by Chaos Rules
Madonna (ILLITERATE BUNCH) has done well winning a qualifier over 1 & 1/2M latest but is passed over primarily for lack of stamina
Lady Shiva (NEMESIS STUD) won a qualifier over 1 3/4M easing home in front of Madonna but despite a maiden win over 2M (run in a slow time) doesn’t truly stay so has to also be passed over. The Kurgen has two wins over shorter but will not stay so is readily dismissed.
Never Passionate (BLACK CAT RACING) has had a good season and it was well worth entering the qualifiers despite not staying even 1 & 3/4M. Cyclonic Alpha took a few runs but eventually won his maiden by 8L. He improved on the bare form of that when running second to Guard Of Honour, looks the stronger stayer and will find the 2LB turnaround useful so plenty of reason for optimism.
Guard Of Honor (NPMJ RACING) has shown high class form culminating in a easy qualifier win over 2m fast beating Cyclonic Alpha and Neodymium. Should go well but the extra burden could be telling over this trip for her. Guilty Pleasure is talented but has a double penalty and the trip is way beyond her scope.
Neodymium (BIGBOYSTEVE) has run well over the trip but not strongly enough to suggest that he can take this.
Duffie (ANFIELD ROAD) dead-heated with Clifford in a early season qualifier over this trip but seemed to despise the extra 2LB next time out finishing tailed off and recent form not overly inspiring.
Clifford (KDS) was well beaten over 1 3/4M following his tie with duffie and would need to improve.
Legendary Racer (CLOSUTTON COGNAC) has won over the trip but couldn’t cope with several of these when stepped up in class so will need to find significant improvement.
Swayzee (OCALA FARMS) despite some good efforts also has stamina limitations to overcome.
ANALYSIS: With stamina at a premium there are very few realistic contenders. CYCLONIC ALPHA is selected to blow away Guard Of Honour and co.
ODDS: CYCLONIC ALPHA 5/2 Fav, Guard Of Honor 11/4, Legendary Racer 7/1, Neodymium 8/1, Lady Shiva 10/1, Duffie 11/1, Madonna 12/1, Clifford 14/1, Swayzee 16/1, The Kurgen 20/1, Never Passionate 25/1, Guilty Pleasure 33/1
by Chaos Rules
Busted (KDS) has had a very good season with two places and a win in qualifiers but does seem better over 1 1/4M and the penalty is problematic. Smooth Operator looks to have won his last qualifier despite trainers instructions to the contrary. Clearly very talented (stays up to 1 1/2M) he may be able to shrug off the penalty and take this.
Grim Reaper (NPMJ) has also had a good season including a qualifier win over 1M and was ridden with restraint next time out so expect a better showing in the final.
Release The Foal On The Nation (STARDOM STABLE) won a big maiden and has a qualifier win over 1M but will struggle in a quick race over this trip.
Rocket Man (TRUE BLUE STABLE) dead-heated with Pope Horatio for a close third behind Smooth Operator and Prince Charming. He has placed in all three qualifier runs and is unpenalized so looks sure to run a big race.
Sent A Gem (RAYLEIGH DOWNS STABLE) won a Juvenile Graded Gold race over 1 1/4M and followed up with a qualifier win over the same trip when easily beating Never Passionate and Busted so may find this a little short with the added burden of a penalty.
Neverland Nation (BLACK CAT RACING) has had plenty racing but remains a maiden and looks sure to struggle.
Prince Charming (ANFIELD ROAD) has had an excellent season having been out of the frame just once in eight starts. He was 1L second to Smooth Operator when last tackling this trip and comes here without a penalty so must go well. Northern Powerhouse is better at 1M and has plenty to find here.
Unleash The Beast (CLOSUTTON COGNAC) beat Grim Reaper an easy 2L very early in the season following her big maiden win and was running over an inadequate trip when the form was comprehensively reversed in her only subsequent qualifier run later in the season. Likely to go well despite the penalty.
Heels For An Explorer (BLACK CAT RACING) despite needing nine runs to break her duck the overall form is not too shabby so couldn’t be easily dismissed.
Sophie Jones (CHARNWOOD STABLES) has no stamina/penalty issues and has run well enough to be considered.
ANALYSIS: SMOOTH OPERATOR is taken to glide past Prince Charming at the finish.
ODDS: SMOOTH OPERATOR 3/1 Fav, Prince Charming 7/2, Unleash The Beast 5/1, Grim Reaper 11/2, Rocket Man 6/1, Sent A Gem 7/1, Busted 8/1, Release The Foal On The Nation 9/1, Heels For An Explorer 10/1, Sophie Jones 11/1, Northern powerhouse 16/1, Neverland Nation 18/1,
by Chaos Rules
The Fifth Element (BIGBOYSTEVE) has shown classy form all season including a big maiden win and three qualifier places. Looks to have a good chance here. Einsteinium has shown only moderate form to date.
Golden Tiger (CLOSUTTON COGNAC) interestingly is out of Bigboysteve’s sire Golden Nugget and has a very similar profile to unrelated The Fifth Element who she beat by a neck over 1 1/2M soft back in may. They reoppose on the same terms but The Fifth Element gets the verdict as he is a stronger stayer. Lightly-raced Queen For A Night has no stamina worries and is closely matched with Gamblers night on early season form so a lot will depend on who has made the greater strides since.
Pepper Potts (NEMESIS STUD) has shown steady improvement but could have done without the penalty for the latest qualifier win over 2M soft.
Gamblers Knight (NPMJ RACING) is of interest having made all over the trip and beating the likes of Queen For A Night, Golden Tiger, The Fifth Element and Pepper Potts in the process early in the season. Lightly raced and open to improvement his last run back in early May can be ignored as it was for qualification purposes only. Certain to be a big player despite a penalty.
Churchill was a scouser (BLACK CAT RACING) was narrowly beaten by Pepper Potts over 2m so no stamina worries but does need to improve again. Ella Estrella Poder has run consistently well all season and should not be too far away. King Of France not disgraced in two qualifier runs but is very lightly -raced and hard to know what to expect.
Give The Ball To Chubb (NPMJ RACING) is unexposed and form includes a good fifth to Gamblers Knight but could have done without the penalty for winning a Juvenile Overnight Stakes.
Medium Brigade (ANFIELD ROAD) chances compromised as he carries a double penalty for two stakes race wins.
ANALYSIS: Both The Fifth Element and Queen For A Night look troublesome but GAMBLERS KNIGHT holds all the aces.
ODDS: GAMBLERS KNIGHT 4/1 Fav, The Fifth Element 9/2, Queen For A Night 5/1, Ella Estrella Poder 6/1, Golden Tiger 13/2, Give The Ball To Chubb 7/1, Pepper Potts 8/1, Churchill Was A Scouser 9/1, King Of France 12/1, Einsteinium 25/1, Medium Brigade 33/1
by Chaos Rules
Having bypassed the maiden option and jumped straight into qualifiers Worldeater (BOB BAFFERT) is unbeaten in three and considering the manner of his latest victory looks impossible to oppose despite the triple penalty. Standing Tall adopted the same policy and finished third to Worldeater over 1 1/8M firm before winning his own qualifier over 1M firm.
Smart At Best (CLOSUTTON COGNAC) had a 2LB penalty when beaten 3L by Worldeater on that ones debut and is now 6LB better so will hope to be able to overturn the form but stablemate Kiss From Above was only 3/4L behind Worldeater in the same race and may be the better option.
Courageous epic (BLACK CAT RACING) has run very well over shorter but struggled at this trip. Kitten From The North has struggled in all four qualifier runs so has plenty to do. Shankleys Gift finished fourth on her first qualifier run but has not improved on that since.
Arju (KINGS OF THRONES) ran well in her last qualifier 3L behind Worldeater but needs to improve significantly again to figure.
Super Kitten (LANES END FARM) wasn’t beaten far when seventh to Worldeater. He is now 4LB better in and will appreciate the extra furlong so looks dangerous despite still being a maiden.
To Be Continued (KDS) ran well last time but not much hope to overturn the form with Worldeater.
Miss Joyrider (JONJOS YARD) has run well overall but recent qualifier running leaves this one with plenty to do.
Cindys Joy Abounds (SUMNER FARMS) has found it tough going and is set to struggle again.
ANALYSIS: Chances of a stable 1-2 look bright with WORLDEATER set to swallow them up.
ODDS: WORLDEATER 6/4 Fav, Standing Tall 3/1, Super Kitten 7/2, Kiss From Above 4/1, Smart At Best 5/1, Arju 8/1, To Be Continued 9/1, Miss Joyrider 10/1, Shankleys gift 12/1, Courageous Epic 14/1, Kitten From The North 16/1, Cindys Joy Abounds 25/1
by Chaos Rules
Gold Candy (RUBI ROCKS) tops the ratings after two qualifying wins but a double penalty leaves a mountain to climb.
Eight Ball (KDS) was narrowly beaten by Gold Candy and is now 2Lb better so clearly can reverse that form.
Thousand Words (AMERICAN PHARAOH STABLE) won a big early season maiden and followed up in a qualifier over 6F good. No impact under the penalty in two efforts since but is lightly raced and open to improvement.
Indian Mototo (TRUE BLUE STABLE) has only managed one place in four qualifier runs so needs to step up on what we have seen so far.
El Pastille De Oro (CLOSUTTON COGNAC) won a big maiden and has been carefully campaigned since to have every chance in this final.
Valient (ANFIELD ROAD) has placed in two qualifiers and though down the field not disgraced in two subsequent starts. Marchington has also run respectably without posting compelling claims.
Liverpools Present (GREEN AS GRASS)is one of the two horses generously donated by Anfield Road. HIs third to Gold Candy and Eight Ball was the first real sign of any worthwhile form. Would not need to improve much to be really competitive in this.
Zippy Val (BLACK CAT RACING) has struggled badly under the penalty since his qualifier win so hard to fancy.
Elsa Bloodstone (NEMESIS STUD) has generally had a good season but overall does not look a likely winner of this final.
Passionate Bimbo (BLACK CAT RACING) is still a maiden and hard to put forward.
ANALYSIS: Eight Ball looks to snooker them but EL PASTILLE DE ORO set to chew up the opposition.
ODDS: EL PASTILLE DE ORO 9/2 fAV, Eight Ball 5/1, Liverpools Present 6/1, Thousand Words 7/1, Elsa Bloodstone 8/1, Gold Candy 9/1, Valient 10/1, Indian Mototo 12/1, Marchingon 14/1, Zippy Val 16/1, Passionate Bimbo 20/1
by Chaos Rules
As expected a healthy division with 29 horses taking part and the final twelve are headed by Snakes In A Game (RAYLEIGH DOWN STABLES) winner of a big early season maiden he has since done well placing in three qualifiers and holds every chance here. Scarlet Monastery has very solid form but does shoulder a penalty.
Bold Lightning (BOB BAFFERT) won a qualifier first time up which means she has carried a penalty in her next two runs. She has not been disgraced and with likely improvement must be a lively contender.
Robin Hood (ANFIELD ROAD) changed hands for a pretty penny. He has placed in three qualifiers and has chances.
Scarlet Witch (NEMESIS STUD) is out of top sire Englands Dreaming. She is very lightly raced and while a qualifier win over 7f does give her a penalty to overcome its probably not insurmountable.
Volstagg (SUMNER FARMS) seems to have gone off the boil since early season and recent form, whilst by no means disgraced, not inspiring.
Voyager I (ILLITERATE BUNCH) won a qualifier last time out over 5f soft so has a penalty to overcome but a bigger issue is that he is not seeing out the trip over 6f and this is inexplicable unless he has been wrongly tacked his entire career. We wait to see how he is tacked on the day of the final.
Allez Allez (BLACK CAT RACING) despite some promise remains a maiden after 10 attempts and will need significant improvement to figure. Saharran Guest has had an excellent season but also has a penalty and prefers further. Simple Crown won a early season qualifier over 5F soft and its to be expected that there is plenty more to come but it hasn’t been shown yet and may not come in time.
Classic England (ANFIELD ROAD) set a new 2yo track record when winning her maiden but that and her qualifier win were over 7F so may be tapped for toe here.
Sandy Beach (JONJOS YARD) has run respectably but needs to improve again to figure.
ANALYSIS: Given the trainers record Bold Lightning has to be feared but SNAKES IN A GAME is taken to strike and show the benefit of reaching the final unpenalsied.
ODDS: SNAKES IN A GAME 4/1Fav, Robin Hood 5/1, Bold lightning 11/2, Scarlet Witch 6/1, Classic England 7/1, Voyagerl 8/1, Scarlet monastery 9/1, Simple Crown 10/1, Saharran Guest 12/1, Volstagg 14/1, Sandy Beach 16/1, Allez Allez 18/1
by Chaos Rules
Incredible (OCALA FARMS) only had time for one juvenile run, a maiden which he duly won by 7L. Has had a busy three year old campaign notching up four wins and a track record over 2m fast. However chances have been compromised as he carries a double penalty in the final.
Zirconium (BIGBOYSTEVE) has been admirably consistent and the fact that he will be 4LB better in for a head beating by Incredible is a clear indicator of his chances here.
Kings Empire (NEMESIS STUD) has only had the minimum two runs so hard to see where he is at in the pecking order but cost a fair bit and has clearly been laid out to take this final.
Xmas Holidays (KDS) has been a bit hit and miss but did run 2L second to Zirconium 2M good.
Ten Ten (ANFIELD ROAD) has run okay but certainly better over shorter.
Chelsie Demand (Sumner Farms) has never tackled a trip this far and does need to improve. Emmas Halo looks sure to be outclassed.
Manzie (BLACK CAT RACING) is relatively lightly raced for a 3yo so there may be some improvement to come and will not need a lot to be thereabouts.
ANALYSIS: Zirconium looks a big threat but KINGS EMPIRE is taken to rule the land.
ODDS: KINGS EMPIRE 3/1 Fav, Zirconium 4/1, Incredible 5/1, Manzie 7/1, Xmas Holiday 8/1, Ten Ten 10/1, Chelsie Demand 20/1, Emmas Halo 33/1
by Chaos Rules
Krystal (ANFIELD ROAD) won her only juvenile race, a lucrative graded Gold maiden, in fine style and has changed hands twice since although she never ran for Kings Of Thrones. She has managed a win and two places in three qualifier runs but was a well beaten fifth behind Sharp Shooter under finals conditions in the latest qualifier. Bonario spent his juvenile career in claimers and does not look to have improved enough to take these on.
Global Shattered (STARDOM STABLE) also won a maiden on his only juvenile run and was then turned over in the claimer which saw him arrive at current connections. His record cannot be faulted as he has never been out the frame in his seven starts. He won his last qualifier over 1 1/2M firm and is also proven at this trip so chances are clear.
Sharp Shooter (NEMESIS STUD) was previously trained by Anfield Road. Three year old form hadn’t looked anything out of the ordinary until taking the last qualifier in a good time. Form which probably sets the standard here. Barbarella has no recent form on either trip or ground to go on but has solid form at 2M and should not be underestimated.
Famous Boxer (BLACK CAT RACING) hadn’t shown much this season but her latest 2L second to Sharp Shooter was a good effort. Dalmunzie House took time to come to hand as a juvenile but did so with a bang when taking the final over 1 3/4M good. Apparently equally adept on turf he seems to have excellent prospects of completing a unique double. He beat Global Shattered, Sharp shooter and Krystal by 3L plus back in April but all three have clearly improved since and if there is a chink in the armor it would be that a fast pace at this trip would stretch his stamina.
Man With A Plan (AMERICAN PHARAOH STABLE) was 1L behind Global Shattered over 1 1/2M firm following a qualifier win on soft but has never tackled this trip so stamina has to be taken on trust.
Pafko (KDS) has run well but perhaps on balance would prefer a longer trip.
Notthewinner (SUSQUEHANNA STABLES) can’t be faulted for effort but has a fair bit to find to get involved.
Protactinium (BIGBOYSTEVE) has a 50% strike rate and last seasons juvenile champion has the accolade of season 17 top earner. Is passed over however due to stamina limitations.
Fourth Dimension (NPMJ RACING) has notched up four wins this season, three in minor races which will effectively put paid to his chances with all the extra weight.
ANALYSIS: Dalmunzie House aims for a historic double but SHARP SHOOTER is taken to gun him down.
ODDS: SHARP SHOOTER 4/1 Fav, Dalmunzie House 9/2, Global Shattered 5/1, Famous Boxer 6/1, Krystal 7/1, Barbarella 8/1, Pafko 9/1, Man With A Plan 10/1, Protactinium 12/1, Fourth Dimension 14/1, Notthewinner 20/1, Bonario 25/1
by Chaos Rules
Fatal Distraction (AMERICAN PHARAOH STABLE) is a prolific winner of five from seven but though not discounted will likely be a victim of his own success trying to carry a double penalty here.
Hurricane Alexander (KDS) has run every qualifier this season and placed in three. Should run his race and not without hope.
Blue Jean (LANES END FARM) goes for the double having lifted the juvenile classic crown last season. She was a close-up fifth to dead-heaters Fatal Distraction and Battle Czarina when last tackling this trip and may have improved since then having posted an exceptional front-running performance to blitz the field in a ridiculously fast time over 1 1/4M.
Rockpool (CHAOS RULES) took a qualifier over 1 1/4M but has been readily brushed aside twice since.
Freewill (NPMJ RACING) has acquitted himself well this season with two places in qualifiers including a very close third over the finals conditions behind Fatal Distraction and Battle Czarina and can be expected to be thereabouts.
Battle Czarina (BLACK CAT RACING) is weighted to get the better of Fatal Distraction this time and expected to go close over what is probably her best trip.
Rumours (NEMESIS STUD) won the first qualifier of the season over the finals trip and although only tenth was not beaten far when tackling it again recently. Will need to improve a little and hard to judge if that’s possible. Classy Diana got closest to Blue Jean last time and that puts him firmly in the picture. He should be comfortable at this shorter trip.
Merseyside Tale (BLACK CAT RACING) has put in some respectable efforts but this may be a little too tough for him. Story Of Zag has decent form (proven on trip and going) but would not be expected to trouble the principles.
Wrath Of The Titans (ANFIELD ROAD) won a qualifier over 1m fast last time out but will struggle to see out this trip.
Cherokee Warrior (ILLITERATE BUNCH) has run well enough including over the trip but others look more likely candidates for the win.
ANALYSIS: Battle Czarina expected to put up a fight but BLUE JEAN looks dressed to kill.
ODDS: BLUE JEAN 2/1 Fav, Battle czarina 4/1, Classy Diana 9/2, Freewill 5/1, Hurricane Alexander 13/2, Story Of Zag 7/1, Cherokee Warrior 15/2, Rumours 8/1, Merseyside Tale 9/1, Fatal Distarction 10/1, Wrath Of The Titans 12/1, Rockpool 16/1