When Is The Blue Riband Trial 2021?
The Blue Riband Trial 2021 takes place at 14.15 on Tuesday 20 April at Epsom Racecourse. It is the second race on a six-race card that traditionally kicks off Epsom’s seasonal fixtures.
History Of The Blue Riband Trial
The Blue Riband Trial was first run in 1937 and it takes place over 1 mile 2 furlongs and 17 yards. It is one of the trials for the Derby, which also takes place at Epsom over a longer distance of 1 mile and 4 furlongs.
Despite the race taking place at the same course as the Derby, only the 1939 winner Blue Peter has won this race first. But the 2017 winner Cracksman did finish second in the Derby before proving himself ideally suited to 10-furlongs.
Blue Riband Trial Stakes 10-Year-Trends
Nine runners are set to go to post for the Blue Riband Trial 2021, which is the joint-biggest field size in the last decade. There have been editions with as few as four runners, but it could be significant that none of the last four winners have been drawn wider than stall three, in races where there have been seven and eight runners.
None of the last 10 winners carried a penalty to victory, while eight winners were making their seasonal debuts. The experience levels of the winners have varied greatly, with three horses having had just one previous run, while three had also had five or more runs.
Six winners were returned at odds of 4/1 or shorter, including the last five, but four winners have been returned at odds of between 5/1 and 14/1.
John Gosden and Frankie Dettori have teamed up to win four of the last five Blue Riband Trials, while Andrew Balding has saddled two winners and Aidan O’Brien one. Ryan Moore has also ridden two winners.
Blue Riband Trials Stakes Runners 2021
An experienced colt that has won three of his five races, earning a top rating of 98 and a 3lb penalty for this race when winning at Listed level. However, he was beaten in a handicap off a mark of 89 in his previous race and it will be disappointing if one of his rivals doesn’t improve past him. Drawn in stall six.
Rated just 75 after nine races, two of which he won on the all-weather. Already beaten twice over today’s trip and the widest draw in stall-9 looks to have ended what little chance he had of winning this race.
Hector De Maris
Sole runner for Aidan O’Brien, who broke his duck in this race last year when saddling Cape Of Good Horn to victory. Despite a handy-looking draw in stall three, his best form has come on heavy ground, while the poor showings of the O’Brien horses in the Classic trials in England so far tempers enthusiasm.
Comes into the race as one of three unbeaten colts, and his debut win at Goodwood suggested he could easily live up to his name this year for trainer Andrew Balding. He’s certainly bred for the job, being by former Derby winner Golden Horn, and stall four looks handy in a field of nine runners.
Rated 97 and he comes out best at the weights with no penalty to shoulder. But he probably needs the step up in distance to bring about some improvement, having been beaten at Listed level on his last two runs.
Showed promise in two runs as a two-year-old and confirmed that promise by winning his maiden over 10-furlongs on his seasonal debut. That run proved his well-being and gives him a potential fitness edge over his rivals, though only two of the last 10 winners of the Blue Riband Trial followed a similar route.
Easy winner of two all-weather races on his two starts last season and he represents the race’s most successful trainer and jockey combination in John Gosden and Frankie Dettori. The stable is having plenty of winners and, though stall eight isn’t an advantage, Gosden’s 2009 winner won from the outside stall in a 7-runner race.
Won his second of two starts on the all-weather and few stables have started the 2021 flat season as brightly as Charlie Appleby. He’s also drawn nicely in stall one. However, neither he nor any of Godolphin’s other trainers have saddled a winner of this race this century.
The third and final of the three unbeaten runners in the field and he’s another that broke his duck on the all-weather. He wasn’t particularly fancied that day at 10/1, so it will be interesting to see how he fares on this step up in grade.
Who’ll Win The Blue Riband Trial 2021?
Surprise Exhibit and Pythagoras have earned the highest ratings in the field, but both have been beaten at a lower level and should be vulnerable to one of the less exposed horses. Hector De Maris has also hardly set the world alight, and Aidan O’Brien’s English raiders haven’t been troubling the judge much.
All-weather winners Technique and Wirko have potential, while victory for the unbeaten Uncle Bryn would come as no surprise considering his connections have won four of the last five Blue Riband Trials.
But the horse that went into the notebook after winning his race last year was Star Caliber, and he’s proven himself on turf and on a similar layout to Epsom at Goodwood. Trainer Andrew Balding won the 2010 and 2012 editions and it could be that this promising son of Golden Horn has earned his name by what he shows his connections at home.
Blue Riband Trial Best Bet
After our analysis, our free Blue Riband Trial tip is Star Caliber (each-way).