Geoffrey Freer Stakes Betting Tips
There is Group 3 action at Newbury this weekend with the Geoffrey Freer Stakes.
The ante post betting includes plenty of high-quality horses to excite those who head to the course and those following along on TV.
Frontiersman tops the early betting but Charlie Appleby’s four-year-old will have to be at his very best if Roger Varian’s Defoe takes part ahead of his likely appearance at the St Leger.
Top Betting Tips
Frontiersman is a worthy favourite for the Geoffrey Freer Stakes. He’s won over 12 furlongs before, he claimed his first win in a maiden at Newbury and he’s finished no worse than second in his last three starts.
However, you’ve got to raise an eyebrow at his price of 5/2 when a horse of Defoe’s calibre is available at 11/4 with BetVictor.
Varian’s three-year-old colt has won his last three races in a row including at Hamilton Park last time out over 11 furlongs. That win took his official rating to 104 with the BHA but there is still room for improvement for, especially as he goes up on a trip.
Defoe is rated a general 14/1 shot for the St Leger but that price could come in considerably if he lives up to the hype and wins the Geoffrey Freer at what looks to be a decent price.
The 2015 winner of this race, Agent Murphy, is making his long-awaited return to the track following almost two years away.
He followed up that triumph two years ago with second place finishes at the Irish St Leger and the British Champions Long Distance Cup but an injury sustained on the gallops has kept him out for too long.
But, he’s been impressive enough at home to warrant an entry in this big test and could just remind everybody how good a horse he is so back Agent Murphy each-way at 12/1 with William Hill.
The Geoffrey Freer Stakes was first to run in 1949. Originally called the Oxfordshire Stakes, the race was renamed in 1969 after the man who founded it (Freer was a Jockey Club handicapper and one-time manager of Newbury Racecourse).
As it is run over the relatively long distance of 1 mile, 5 furlongs and 61 yards, the Geoffrey Freer Stakes is often used by trainers of top class three-year-olds to get them ready for the following month’s St Leger.
Past Five Winners
2016 – Kings Fete, ridden by Pat Smullen, trained by Sir Michael Stoute
2015 – Agent Murphy, ridden by Jimmy Fortune, trained by Brian Meehan
2014 – Seismos, ridden by Martin Harley, trained by Marco Botti
2013 – Royal Empire, ridden by Kieren Fallon, trained by Saeed bin Suroor
2012 – Mount Athos, ridden by Ryan Moore, trained by Luca Cumani
Key Trends to Consider
The Geoffrey Freer Stakes is an important race for those flat racing horses which do better over longer distances. It is, therefore, rare to find a winner of the Group 3 who has not won over at least 1 mile 4 furlongs before.
In fact, 13 of the last 15 winners had won over that distance or longer previously while the calibre of the race means it is no surprise that all of the last 15 winners had at least two prior wins to their name.
Generally speaking, you’d want to be favouring horses drawn above stall three but the varying number of competitors year on year means the draw is not as important as in other races.
Kings Fete won last year when the favourite with the bookies and Agent Murphy was well backed at 11/4. In fact, 11 of the last 15 winners had starting prices of 4/1 or lower but Seismos and Royal Empire went off at 14/1 and 8/1 respectively so longer odds horses shouldn’t be necessarily written off.