When Is The Craven Stakes 2021?
The 2021 Craven Stakes takes place at 15.35 on April 15 at Newmarket. It is the fifth race on the card on the third day of the Bet365 Craven Meeting.
History Of The Craven Stakes
The Craven Stakes is one of the most important Classic Trials of the flat season and it is a Group 3 run over a mile. The race derives its name from William Craven, who was an important member of the Jockey Club during the 1700s. The Craven Stakes is considered such an important race, that the whole three-day meeting April meeting at Newmarket is called the Craven Meeting.
Many winners of the Craven Stakes go on to run in the 2,000 Guineas, the first colts’ Classic of the season. But no Craven Stakes winner has won the 2,000 Guineas since Haafhd in 2004. However, the 2018 winner Masar went on to win The Derby.
Craven Stakes 10-Year-Trends
There was no Craven Stakes in 2020, due to Covid, but the race has produced some interesting statistics in the preceding decade.
Eight of the last ten winners of the Craven Stakes were returned at odds of between 8/11 (1.72) and 9/2 (5.50), with the other two priced at 8/1 (9.00) and 14/1 (15.00).
Stall one has been a popular draw, with four of the last nine winners berthed there. However, in the only edition with more than 10-runners, the winner was drawn 12 of 12.
Two of the last three winners had won their only previous race, while four had run three times, winning at least twice. But four winners had run at least five times, also winning twice. Nine of the last ten winners were also making their seasonal debut.
Interestingly, Charlie Appleby is the only trainer to have saddled a winner of the race with a runner this year. Ryan Moore has ridden three of the last ten Craven Stakes winners, while Jim Crowley, James Doyle, and William Buick have all ridden one.
Craven Stakes Runners 2021
Twice-raced colt that impressed when winning on his racecourse debut, but he didn’t look anywhere near as good next time. The soft ground that day is a possible excuse, and he could appreciate a faster surface here.
Won on good-to-firm ground on debut but put up his best performance when fourth on soft ground on his penultimate start. Subsequently, found everything in the Breeders’ Cup happening too fast, and might be vulnerable to speedier horses, despite his draw in stall one.
Finished first and second on his two starts on the all-weather and he has a bit to find on ratings on his first start on turf. Those two runs also came this season and, while race-fitness proved an advantage for Tuesday’s Fielden Stakes winner, the winner of this race is making their seasonal debut more often than not.
Ryan Moore takes the ride, but none of his three winners in the last decade have been for Aidan O’Brien, who doesn’t have a good record in the Craven Stakes. Rated just 93, he also needs to improve.
Charlie Appleby-trained colt that looked sure to appreciate a mile when winning his first two starts over seven furlongs. However, he flopped over that trip on his final start. Heavy ground may not have helped his cause that day, and he could bounce back on this faster surface. The booking of James Doyle suggests he’s the stable’s second-string, but he bagged the Fielden Stakes on Tuesday on a similar type.
Master Of The Seas
William Buick rides what looks the stable’s first string, but he’s been beaten in a Listed race in Meydan already this season. Connections for a first-time hood, which suggests they think he has more to offer.
Won his first two starts over six furlongs but beaten twice afterward in Group Races. Connections look to be testing the water to see if he stays a mile, but he might prove better over sprint trips later in the season.
The only unbeaten runner in this year’s Craven Stakes and, like two of the last three winners, he’s had just one run. He won easily on good-to-firm ground that day, but the runner-up was beaten further on his next two starts.
A second runner for Aidan O’Brien but, despite him being rated 5lb higher than his stablemate, Ryan Moore prefers the chances of Khartoum. But the booking of Frankie Dettori suggests he’s not without a chance.
Shown decent form on his two starts over a mile so far, winning on good-to-soft ground before finishing third on soft ground. His sire likes the ground rattling fast, so not discounted on account of the faster surface, despite having a bit to find on ratings.
Craven Stakes 2021 Free Tip
The 2021 Craven Stakes doesn’t look a vintage renewal of this important Classic Trial, with only Royal Air Force hoping to defend an unbeaten record.
Aidan O’Brien has a terrible record in the Craven Stakes, so it may be wise to swerve his two runners, despite the positive jockey bookings of Ryan Moore and Frankie Dettori.
Devilwala is the highest-rated runner but looks more exposed than a typical winner, and the twice-raced Akmaam is the most interesting outsider.
But Charlie Appleby has already flexed his stable’s muscles at this meeting and Master Of The Seas looks a worthy favourite on the balance of his form. But with nine of the last 10 winners having been making their seasonal debut, La Barossa is fancied to improve past his stablemate.
Tip: La Barossa (Each-Way)