Friday 18 January 2013

Coventry Stakes Stars

The Coventry Stakes Group 2 is the first juvenile contest at Royal Ascot. This race for colts & fillies is run over 6f & noted as a source of many champions. Named after the 9th Earl of Coventry, it has a long history. It was first run in 1890 won by a horse called The Deemster. Historically, Sir Gordon Richards is the leading jockey with 9 wins (Manitoba 1933 - King's Bench 1951). While the leading trainers are Frank Butters (Fairway 1927 - Palestine 1949) & Fred Darling (Lemnarchus 1930 - The Cobbler 1947) respectively. Both trained 7 winners. Since 1980, Aidan O'Brien has proven the most successful trainer winning 6 races, a number being outstanding thoroughbreds. Other notable trainers in this modern era include Richard Hannon.
The Coventry Stakes Group 2 is run on Tuesday, 17th June, 2014. 

Whether past or present, the Coventry Stakes Group 2 has seen an number of incredibly talented horses.  In truth, the Coventry Stakes is often a tip for future stardom. 

High Class Equine details our Top 10 Coventry Stakes Group 2 Winners.

High Estate 

This American bred son of Shirley Heights was trained by Henry Cecil (pre knighthood), owned by Robert Sangster and bred by H J Joel. 

High Estate was an early January foal and a precious, talented two-year-old. In fact, he was unbeaten in his juvenile career, winning five consecutive starts. This precocious brown colt made a early start to racing when competing in a Doncaster maiden on May, 1988. He was a hot 4/9f. Steve Cauthen rode this youngster to an impressive 6 length victory.  

Just over two weeks later he would be raised substantially in class to contend the Coventry Stakes Group 3 (Group 2 status in 2004) over 6f. Surprisingly, by today's standards, this saw a small field of just 9 runners. The betting suggested this was a two-horse race and High Estate was made odds-on favourite. Sir Michael Stoute's Dancing Dissident (who won in similarly impressive style on debut) was fancied to go well. It was a close match but High Estate led well over one furlong out to hold a constant threat of the runner-up ridden by ''choir boy'' Walter Swinburn.

It was no surprise to see Cecil's leading juvenile hope step up in distance when heading for Goodwood's Lanson Champagne Vintage Stakes Group 3. This time the 6/5f was ridden off the pace by Cauthen. Although winning by just half a length, it was a comfortable performance. Spitfire I, Stone Flake & Sharp N' Early filled the places in a blanket finish.

In mid August Cecil's charge won the Imry Solario Stakes Group 3 at Sandown over 7f. Polar Run, trained by Guy Harwood, finished 2nd, two lengths behind. 

High Estate completed an unbeaten two-year-old campaign with a comfortable win at Ascot taking the Royal Lodge Stakes Group 2 by 4 lengths. Racing over 1m for the first time, he was ridden by Michael Roberts. The stable fielded the runner-up, Samoan. 

His three-year-old career looked full of promise but with connections clearly feeling the 2,000 Guineas trip insufficient he had a rather indifferent if not disappointing season.

Returning for a Listed class event at Goodwood - over 1m 2f on firm ground - this even money favourite held every chance at the two pole only to tire in the final furlong, not disgraced, but finishing 5th. 

A victory came his way when dropping to Stakes class at Newcastle in a three-runner race. 

In less than a month's time he would make a return to pattern class. The William Hill Class Group 3 over 1m 2f. A saw small field of just three runners so him finish third.

High Estate concluded his career at the highest level when competing at Newmarket in the Group 1 Dubai Champion Stakes. He was well held in 9th place.