When Is The Nell Gwyn Stakes 2021?
The Nell Gwyn Stakes is the first of the Classic Trials for fillies run in England each year and the 2021 edition takes place at 15.35 on Wednesday 14 April. It is the fifth race on the card on the second day of Newmarket’s Bet365 Craven Meeting.
History Of The Nell Gwyn Stakes
The Nell Gwyn Stakes is named after the notorious mistress of King Charles II. It is a Group 3 race run over 7 furlongs and is one of the major steppingstones used to prepare fillies for the 1,000 Guineas.
The Nell Gwyn Stakes enjoyed a purple patch in the mid-1980s, when it was won by star fillies such as Pebbles, Oh So Sharp, and Sonic Lady. Other top-class fillies to have claimed the prize include Niche in 1993 and Speciosa in 2006, the last winner to complete the Nell Gwyn/1,000 Guineas double.
However, Billesdon Brook is the last horse to have run in the Nell Gwyn (finished fourth) to win the first fillies’ Classic of the season.
Nell Gwyn Stakes 10-Year-Trends
The last 10 winners of the Nell Gwyn Stakes have been returned at odds of 10/3, 4/1, 12/1, 5/4, 4/1, 7/2, 10/1, 28/1, 14/1, and 6/1, highlighting that there have been numerous shock winners.
Despite that, the list of winning trainers is full of familiar names. The Hannon, Fahey, and Gosden stables have all won two renewals, while Roger Varian, Mick Channon, Charlie Appleby are other big-time trainers. The late Henry Cecil also bagged one of those winners. Frankie Dettori has been the best jockey to follow in the race, recording four consecutive wins between 2014 and 2017.
Nine of the last 10 winners have made their seasonal debut in the race. Winners had run between one and six times, with the last three winners having run no more than twice. Field sizes have varied from eight runners to 15 runners, and the winners have been birthed in double-figure stalls on five occasions. The other winners came from stalls 2, 4, 2, 5, and 7.
Nell Gwyn Runners 2021
Her seven runs have produced two wins, but she has placed just once from three runs on turf. Has a bit to find with some of her rivals on ratings, but less likely to find the required improvement with so many runs under her belt. Stall-9 looks a decent draw in a field of 10 runners.
Beautifully bred daughter of Kingman that won easily on her racecourse debut over course and distance in October. The form of that race is quite weak, but she looks the type to have improved over the winter for trainer Charlie Appleby, who won the race in 2018. Stall-10 also looks to be a bonus.
Love Is You
Another daughter of Kingman that comes into the race as the second highest-rated horse, and she’s unbeaten in two starts. Trainer Roger Charlton opted not to give last year’s 1,000 Guineas fancy a prep run, so it’s interesting that he does this time, but stall-1 is not the best draw according to the trends.
By last year’s excellent stallion Mehmas but she’s won just one of her starts and has yet to post a performance worthy of a rating of more than 96. Needs to have improved from two to three to be winning a race like this.
She quickly made up into a useful filly after winning her maiden last season, though she failed to win any of her four runs in Group races. Flopped on her final start here at Newmarket and connections reach for a first-time tongue-tie. Comes into the race as the top-rated filly but is more exposed than many.
Earned a rating of 101 on just her second start, when she looked useful when winning a Group 3 over course and distance. Jane Chapple-Hyam may not be the biggest trainer in Newmarket, but the bookies have been impressed enough to make Saffron Beach one of the market leaders.
Raced five-times as a 2-year-old but managed only a rating of 93 when finishing no better than third. Another that needs to have improved from two to three to take a hand in the finish.
Star Of Emaraaty
Ran seven-times for Kevin Ryan last season and she was a shock winner of a Group 3 at odds of 66/1. Didn’t match that performance in two runs afterwards and it will be interesting to see if new trainers John and Thady Gosden can eke out some more improvement from this exposed type. Frankie Dettori takes the ride.
A second-string for the Gosdens and she’s another daughter of Kingman who broke her duck in the Autumn. But that win came on the all-weather and she needs to improve on turf to win.
Interesting runner for Northern trainer Richard Fahey, who won both the 2011 and 2014 editions of the race. But she’s already had seven runs and, though she’s won on good-to-firm ground, her best form came on heavy ground in the Autumn.
Nell Gwyn Stakes 2021 Free Tip
Saffron Beach and Love Is You are competing for favouritism in the early markets and victory for either of these unbeaten fillies wouldn’t be a surprise. Love Is You is rated 2lb higher, but that slight advantage could be offset by her draw in stall one.
John Gosden sets punters a poser by saddling two runners, but Star of Emaraaty looks exposed, while Tawahub needs to improve. Sacred needs to prove she wants this extra distance with a tongue-tie fitted, while Venture Diamond may prefer softer ground.
With doubts surrounding most of the runners, a chance is taken on Divine Light, who looks well-drawn and hails from the in-form stable of Charlie Appleby.
Tip – Divine Light