Joy for favourite followers in Newbury Group races?

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Favourite backers will be on cloud nine if the market leaders win in the three Group races at Newbury on Saturday. The treble pays over 30/1 with bet365. 

Over the last five years favourites have won 104 non-handicap races at the track from 292 runs (36%). The strike rate for juvenile races is 33% which rises to 39% for other all-aged races.  Backing these horse blindly with a level stake of £10 produced a loss £325.50.

The fate of the favourites in the three corresponding races in 2019 does not augur well. Two of these runners did not win and a joint favourite won the other race which means split stakes. 

However, 14 favourite have done the business since 2010 (46.67%)and the winner has come from the top two in the betting 23 times. However, these races generally attract small fields and the number of declarations this Saturday across the three races is 21 in total.     

If the five year average is replicated at this fixture one favourite will win a Group race.  If that horse is returned at 2/1 you break even. You win or lose money if the SP is bigger or smaller respectively. 

The three current favourites can all be backed at about 2/1. They could be a market move or drift on race day but those prices should not vary significantly. That means a 33% strike rate will do no damage nor make a decent profit. 

A closer analysis of the three qualifying races and horses reveals favourites to back or avoid if you are selective and not back these runners across the board. 

Equilateral can be backed at 5/2 with Ladbrokes to win the Dubai International Airport World Trophy Stakes (13.40). The Group 3 contest is run over five furlongs and horses aged three and older are eligible. The favourite has the highest Official Rating in the 9-runner field. 

The Charlie Hills-trained runner will be ridden by Hollie Doyle who is the jockey of the moment. She is riding with great confidence thanks to 11 wins from 68 rides over the last 14 days. Equilateral has the form and rating and partner on board to justify favouritism by winning this race.  

Extra Elusive is around the 2/1 mark to win the race formerly known as the Arc Trial at 14.50. Run over one mile and three furlongs, the Group 3 race is also confined to horses aged three and older. Desert Encounter won the race last year and is one of the three horses that oppose the favourite this time.

The ratings show that Desert Encounter is behind Extra Elusive and Elarqam who run off the same figure.  The favourite has the better recent form but Elarqam has run to a higher level in the past. That horse is fancied to scupper the Group 3 favourites’ multiple. 

The Group 2 Mill Reef Stakes (15.25) brings together eight two-year-olds racing over six furlongs. The race often identifies a contender for the 2,000 Guineas the following May but offers a decent prize in its own right. Coral go the biggest price at 9/4 for the favourite, Fivethousandtoone.   

Each of the eight horses declared to run have won at least one race and they have contested 22 races in total. The market leader has something to find on the ratings but form can be unreliable for such inexperienced juveniles. Fivethousandtoone looks vulnerable and Devilwala is a viable alternative.  However, at the latest odds Bahrain Pride looks an each way bet to nothing. 

Followers of the stats will conclude that two Group race favourites will not win at Newbury this weekend. The form analysis points to Equilateral rewarding favourite backers while Extra Elusive and Fivethousandtoone are the most fancied runners to avoid in the Group races at this fixture.  

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