Last year’s race
- Winner: Soldier's Call
- Jockey: D Tudhope
- Trainer: Archie Watson
- Owner: Clipper Logistics
- Age: 2 Weight: 9st 1lb
- Starting Price: 4/1
- Season Form Figures: 21131
- Previous Best: 1st - Prix d'Arenberg (Group 3), Chantilly (Sept 2018)
Given that five of the last ten winners of the Flying Childers never even raced as three-year-olds, and the other quintet never won at three, we can be excused for concentrating on what we believe to be out-and-out two-year-olds for this test of raw speed over 5f.
The most recent trend to note is that the last three winners all won over 5f at Royal Ascot as Ardad and Soldier’s Call won the Windsor Castle and the filly, Heartache, completed the Queen Mary-Flying Childers double in between.
Like the equivalent two-year-old race at Glorious Goodwood over 5f, the Molecomb Stakes, the Flying Childers has historically been a good race for fillies with ten wins in the last 27 years which is a decent return given the extent to which they have been outnumbered over that period of time.
With regards to the Molecomb won by another filly in Liberty Beach, three of its last 12 winners went on to add the Flying Childers (Fleeting Spirit, Zebedee and Requinto) and Cotai Glory was certainly going to make that four in 2014 but for unseating his rider with 50 yards to race when clear letting in the Molecomb third, Beacon, to take the spoils. The 1993, 1995 and 2006 Flying Childers winners finished second in the Molecomb and last year Soldier’s Call was third before coming on to win here having won a Group 3 in France in between.
Experience has been key with just four of the last 26 winners not having run at least four times previously so last-time-out flashy maiden winners can be taken on.
The Gimcrack Stakes won by Threat is also a guide worth noting. Ardad was only seventh of eight in the 2017 Gimcrack but appreciated the step back down to 5f to win here and others defeated in the Gimcrack to win the Flying Childers since 1996 were Easycall, Sheer Viking, Saddad, Wi Dud and Beacon, so don’t rule out contenders from York dropping down in trip.
The Norfolk Stakes (which incidentally was the original name for the Flying Childers until Royal Ascot took over the name and was a Group 1 at the St Leger Meeting until 1979) won by A’Ali is another guide to consider as Sheer Viking (2nd in 1998), Superstar Leo (1st in 2000) and Zebedee (5th in 2010) and Green Door (7th in 2013) came on to win here.
The Weatherbys Super Sprint won by Bengali Boys has been another notable guide featuring four winners since 2000 notably Superstar Leo who completed the double.
Experience has been key with just four of the last 26 winners not having run at least four times previously so last-time-out flashy maiden winners can be taken on. In fact, half of those 26 winners had run on a minimum of five occasions beforehand (and four of the last nine winners were having their seventh start of the campaign here no less) which is a highly unusual profile for a winner of a two-year-old Group 2 race.
Since 1994, four trainers have won this event more than once; Kevin Ryan, Richard Hannon Snr, Richard Hannon Jnr and Sir Michael Stoute who has saddled five winners in total including the top class pair of Marwell (1980) and Green Desert (1985) but has only saddled three runners since 1994 yet two of those won (Raah Algaaarb and Saddad) after having both run at the York Ebor Festival.
The Hannon stable have won this race on six occasions (Cayman Kai, Godfrey Street, Zebedee, Sir Prancealot, Beacon and Gutaifan - the last pair for Hannon Jnr as was last season’s runner-up. Michael Bell is another name to consider as he has had three placed juveniles in the last 16 years from four runners.
At a glance summary
- Having at least their sixth start
- First or second in the Molecomb Stakes
- Won at Royal Ascot
- Contested the Weatherbys Super Sprint, Norfolk Stakes or Gimcrack Stakes
- First or second in the Roses Stakes
- Respect contenders from the Hannon, Ryan, Bell and Noseda stables
- Fewer than four runs beforehand