The third of four statistical articles focuses on the race records of Owners at Royal Ascot over the last ten years. Do the usual suspects really sweep the board, or are there some lesser known contenders than have turned a profit over the past decade?
With so many owners, common sense suggests this list is narrowed down to the better known, starting with “The boys in blue”, also known as Godolphin, Sheik Mohammed’s world-wide racing empire. With their multi-million pound bloodstock empire they have proved popular with the punters over the years and have had a huge 257 runners in the last ten years – an average of close to 26 per meeting! Sadly for them they have only managed 15 winners in all that time for a strike rate of a miserly 6%, and are showing a level stakes loss of £129.25 to £1 stakes at Industry Starting Price. A 28/1 winner in Invisible Man (Royal Hunt Cup 2010) as well as 10/1 chances Portage (Royal Hunt Cup 2016) and 9/1 shot Space Age (King George V Stakes 2015) were still not enough to tip the balance in the punters’ favour, and they need to do better to encourage blind support.
Hamdan Al Maktoum has to be next on the list and is as well-known as the Godolphin empire with his blue and while silks and with jockeys in recent years of the calibre of Richard Hills, Paul Hanagan, and now Jim Crowley, surely they provide rich pickings for the punter? Well he has done slightly better than his compatriots with 12 winners from 173 runners (7%), and “only” shows a level stakes loss of £74.67, but a loss is a loss regardless. Fareer took the Britannia Stakes at 20/1 in 2009, Habaayib the Albany Stakes in 2009 at 16/1, Ouqba the Jersey Stakes at 12/1 in 2009 and Muhaarar (10/1) the Commonwealth Cup in 2015, but the other winners were too short to tip the balance, and the loss still stands.
Qatar Racing Limited are new kids on the block in comparison to some but have done remarkably well in a very short time with 2 winners form 52 runners for a 4% success rate but yet again, they have failed to turf a profit thanks to the wins of Exortionist 16/1, Windsor Castle Stakes 2013) and Kiyoshi (8/1 Albany Stakes, also 2013) but that has still left a hole of £26.00 and yet again, they have proved expensive to follow. They are still in learning mode and will surely do better and better year on year but for the moment, the stats don’t lie and they have shown a loss to their many followers.
Next on the list come the Cheveley Park Stud (David and Patricia Thompson) have had a long list of decent horses over the years with the likes of Pivotal, Medicean, and Confidential Lady to name but three, though even they, with their top class breeding operation, have failed to make their followers a profit. 57 runners have seen just the four winners at Royal Ascot headed by 10/1 shot Spacious in the 2009 Windsor Forest Stakes, but still leading to a level stakes loss of £35, and they are the fourth of the five who have failed to reward financial support.
With The Queen in attendance at Royal Ascot each year (and a major attraction to the American runners and their owners), her Majesty rounds off our owners list even if she has a lot less runners than the others. 36 runners have seen 4 very popular winners such as Dartmouth in last season’s Hardwicke Stakes at 10/1, but a level stakes loss of £12 to £1 units over the years leaving our five owners of choice without a profit between them.
Not as easy to list as you may think. Top of the actual pile is Mr D Gorton who has had one winner rom five runners for a profit of £96 thanks to the win of 100/1 shot Flashmans Papers in the Windsor Castle Stakes of 2008. Common sense suggest we look for owners with a few more runners if we want to hope for more winners in the years ahead. Using a filter of a minimum of ten runners gives us Sir Robert Ogden, with 4 winners from 22 runners and a strike rate of 18%. Those winners were headed by Amazing Maria at 25/1 taking the Duke Of Cambridge Stakes in 2015, and have given his supports a profit of £28.50 which may not be a fortune, but is better than a loss.
Mr Jaber Abdullah comes next with 24 runners for a solitary winner in 50/1 chance Nijoom Dubai (4%) and a profit of £27.00, closely followed by Mr Malih L Al Basti with 1 winner from 12 making him £22.00 to the good thanks to Dandy Boy’s success in the Wokingham Handicap of 2012.
HRH Sultan Ahmad Shah is another with 12 runners over the years but he has struck twice with Berkshire (16/1) and Eton Forever (14/1))for +£20.00 leaving relative newcomers Al Shaqab racing to take the fifth and final spot among the profitable owners with 6 wins from just the 23 runners for an amazing 26% strike rate at the World’s best meeting and a decent enough £15.30 for their followers as well.
Not the easiest set of statistics to work with and missing the powerhouse of Coolmore whose horses race under so many different owners that they are impossible to gauge. Add owner combinations and the re naming of certain owners over the years and the facts may well tell white lies occasionally. Generally speaking Al Shaqab look worth following with their strike rate second to none, but the real lesson learned here is not to follow blindly the bigger owners who are all showing a loss – up to 2017, at least.