Challenge Stakes Preview, Tips, Runners & Trends (Future Champions Festival)

Updated: 448 Horse Racing

See which trainers and jockeys have performed well in this fact-packed blog for the Challenge Stakes. This is a race that is hosted at Newmarket during the Future Champions Festival with the race being run over a distance of 7f, see which trends the past winners of the Challenge Stakes have set for this year.

Challenge Stakes Preview, Tips, Runners & Trends (Future Champions Festival)
Andy Powell Content Editor

Horse Racing stats man, Andy has contributed to OLBG for 18 years - An Ipswich fan and F1 fanatic, he also contributes EFL football and Motor Sport opinion.

2024 Challenge Stakes Preview

The Challenge Stakes is run at Newmarket racecourse and is scheduled to take place in October of each year, this Group Two race is open to runners who are aged three or older and is contested over a distance of seven furlongs. Established in 1878, the race was originally run over six furlongs and two-year-old runners were permitted entry, it was extended to the now seven furlongs in 1977 and two-year-olds restricted in 1985.

Challenge Stakes Information:

Why not use the trends shortlist below to help you narrow down the field and then head over to the dedicated Newmarket tips page to see which runners are being supported by the OLBG expert racing tipsters to find yourself a bet? You may also be interested in other preview blogs that we have packed full of information, head down to the Other Principal Races at Newmarket Racecourse section for links to these.

How competitive is the Challenge Stakes market? When looking at the over-rounds for the last 20 renewals, the most competitive market was in 2023 when the race had an over-round of 109%. The race in 2007 was a race that was most in the bookie's favour with an over-round of 126%, whilst on average over the last 20 renewals of the Challenge Stakes, the over-round has been 116%, which means the bookie expects to pay out £100 for every £116 which is bet.

Challenge Stakes Trends:

Looking at the future form, is the winner worth following next time out? From the past 20 if you had followed the winner of the Challenge Stakes next time out then you would have backed a total of 1 winner. Backing all 17 runners who have been out since to win at SP next time out, would have returned an LSP of -6.00. Whilst we wait for the 2024 Challenge Stakes remember you can get daily racing predictions from the expert tipsters on the racing predictions page.

The runner that holds the record over the past 20 renewals for the slowest time in the race was set in the 2004 renewal when Firebreak from Saeed bin Suroor under the guidance of Frankie Dettori, won in a time of 1:27.22, whilst at the other end of the spectrum, Limato, trained by Henry Candy and ridden by Harry Bentley set the quickest time of 1:22.24 in the 2017 renewal.

These are the top three quickest-run Challenge Stakes over the last 20 renewals:

  • 2017 - Limato (1:22.24)
  • 2008 - Stimulation (1:22.48)
  • 2011 - Strong Suit (1:22.74)

Challenge Stakes Past Winners

Here are the Challenge Stakes past winners for the last 10 renewals. Each row details the year of the race, the horse which won along with the age & weight of the horse. Also detailed is the stall where the horse came from and the total number of runners in the race. The trainer of the horse at the time of winning the Challenge Stakes as well as the jockey is also displayed along with the starting price the horse was sent off.

YearHorse (Drawn)Info
2023
1:25.28
Matilda Picotte (IRE)
3yo 9-0 (6 of 4) 2/1
Oisin Murphy
Kieran P Cotter (IRE)
2022
1:23.83
Pogo (IRE)
6yo 9-5 (1 of 8) 7/4
William Buick
Charles Hills (GB)
2021
1:24.29
Al Suhail (GB)
4yo 9-3 (2 of 9) 3/1F
William Buick
Charlie Appleby (GB)
2020
1:25.11
Happy Power (IRE)
4yo 9-3 (7 of 9) 7/2
Silvestre De Sousa
Andrew Balding (GB)
2019
1:24.91
Mustashry (GB)
6yo 9-8 (5 of 5) 2/1
Jim Crowley
Sir Michael Stoute (GB)
2018
1:24.87
Limato (IRE)
6yo 9-3 (3 of 8) 7/4F
Harry Bentley
Henry Candy (GB)
2017
1:22.24
Limato (IRE)
5yo 9-3 (9 of 11) 6/4F
Harry Bentley
Henry Candy (GB)
2016
1:23.92
Aclaim (IRE)
3yo 9-1 (8 of 12) 6/1
Frankie Dettori
Martyn Meade (GB)
2015
1:24.45
Cable Bay (IRE)
4yo 9-3 (7 of 10) 8/1
Frankie Dettori
Charles Hills (GB)
2014
1:26.53
Here Comes When (IRE)
4yo 9-7 (13 of 13) 8/1
Jim Crowley
Andrew Balding (GB)

Where have the winning runners come from?

Here are the countries where the winning trainers of the Challenge Stakes have been based:

  • GB: 18 winners with an additional 33 placings from 184 runners
  • IRE: 2 winners with an additional 1 placing from 22 runners
  • GER: 0 winners with an additional 2 placings from 6 runners
  • FR: 0 winners with an additional 1 placing from 1 runner

Challenge Stakes Trainer Statistics

There are multiple leading trainers in the Challenge Stakes over the last 20 renewals with Andrew Balding, Charles Hills and Henry Candy having all won the race two times. Andrew Balding's winners have been Here Comes When (2014) and Happy Power (2020). Charles Hills winners have been with Cable Bay (2015) and Pogo (2022). Henry Candy winners have been with Limato (2017 & 2018). There is one trainer who has not had the best of times in the Challenge Stakes, William Haggas has sent a total of 10 runners to the race without recording any wins.

Here are some of the top Challenge Stakes trainer statistics over the last 20 renewals (R = Runners, W = Winners, P = Places including winners, Win LSP is based on 1pt Win and EW LSP is based on 0.5pt Win & 0.5pt Place):

TrainerR-W-PWinEW
Andrew Balding11-2-2+2.50-2.10
Charles Hills8-2-6+3.75+6.45
Henry Candy4-2-3+1.25+0.95
Saeed bin Suroor14-1-3-7.50-7.80
John Gosden8-1-3-2.50-2.93
Sir Michael Stoute7-1-3-4.00-1.75
Charlie Appleby5-1-3-1.00-0.35
Martyn Meade1-1-1+6.00+3.60
Hughie Morrison1-1-1+4.50+2.70
W McCreery1-1-1+3.00+1.80

Challenge Stakes Jockey Statistics

The leading jockey in the Challenge Stakes over the last 20 renewals is Frankie Dettori who has won the race three times with those three winners coming from Firebreak (2004), Cable Bay (2015) and Aclaim (2016). Other jockeys who have recorded multiple wins in the Challenge Stakes are William Buick (2 wins), Jim Crowley (2 wins) and Harry Bentley (2 wins). There is one jockey who has not had the best of times in the Challenge Stakes, Ryan Moore has ridden a total of 15 runners to the race without recording any wins.

Here are some of the top Challenge Stakes jockey statistics over the last 20 renewals (R = Runners, W = Winners, P = Places including winners, Win LSP is based on 1pt Win and EW LSP is based on 0.5pt Win & 0.5pt Place):

JockeyR-W-PWinEW
Frankie Dettori14-3-3+8.50+0.70
William Buick11-2-5-4.25-2.15
Jim Crowley8-2-3+4.00+1.10
Harry Bentley3-2-2+2.25+0.95
Oisin Murphy6-1-1-3.00-5.00
Silvestre De Sousa4-1-1+0.50-0.90
Gerald Mosse1-1-1+20.00+12.00
Joe Fanning1-1-1+7.50+4.50
W J Lee1-1-1+3.00+1.80
Ryan Moore15-0-3-15.00-10.00

Favourites finishing positions (oldest to latest): 3, 2, 1, 15, 1, 5, 4, 1, (4, 5), 1, (3, 5), 5, 5, 1, 1, 5, 9, 1, 2, 4

The percentage shown is the percentage of the total number of runners who fell under that factor. High percentages are less appealing than lower ones as you would expect them to do well.

  • 20 / 20 (73%) - Had 1 - 4 wins (Trip)
  • 20 / 20 (75%) - Break of 21 - 175 days (Last Place)
  • 20 / 20 (78%) - Beaten no more -4½l (Debut)
  • 20 / 20 (79%) - No bigger than 20/1
  • 20 / 20 (80%) - Break of 21 - 399 days (Last Win)
  • 20 / 20 (83%) - Made 8 - 36 starts (Career)
  • 20 / 20 (84%) - In a field of 5 - 14 (Debut)
  • 20 / 20 (84%) - Achieved a TS of 82+ (Trip)
  • 20 / 20 (84%) - No bigger than 9/1 (Last Win)
  • 20 / 20 (85%) - Had 1 - 9 placings (Trip)
  • 20 / 20 (85%) - Had 4 - 18 placings (Career)
  • 20 / 20 (86%) - Achieved an RPR of 81+ Going)
  • 20 / 20 (87%) - Highest Won is not Cl2-5
  • 20 / 20 (87%) - Not in a Cl2/Cl4-5 (Last Win)
  • 20 / 20 (88%) - Made 1 - 10 starts (Going)

Remember to use the trends listed above along with the Newmarket racing predictions to see if you can find the winner of the Challenge Stakes. If there is anything that you do not understand in this blog, please do leave a comment or alternatively, head over to the Horse Racing Terms and Abbreviations article which is available in the OLBG Betting School section.

Are you already a member? If not, then why not? With over £6,000 given away each month in the tipster competition, why not get involved? Remember, It is completely FREE! So, head over to the registration page to sign up today! If you are already a member, then share your thoughts on the Challenge Stakes by adding a tip on the race here.

Challenge Stakes Trend Analysis

The trend factor which had produced 10+ winners and shows the best LSP, an LSP of +20.50 is when runners had 1 career win over the trip. The worst performing factor that has failed to produce a single winner is when runners had 0 career wins over the trip, when backing these the trend shows a record of 0-40.

Here are the most recent winning draws along with the further placings in brackets:

  • 2023: Winner in 6 [4 Runners]
  • 2022: Winner in 1 (7,2) [8 Runners]
  • 2021: Winner in 2 (3,5) [9 Runners]
  • 2020: Winner in 7 (5,3) [9 Runners]
  • 2019: Winner in 5 (1) [5 Runners]

The course which has produced the most winners of the Challenge Stakes is Goodwood, there has been a total number of 4 winners of this race who ran at Goodwood last time out. The next best courses which have produced the second most winners are Doncaster and Ascot, there has been a total number of 3 winners from each of those courses.

The race is open to both sexes with the Male runners having produced a total of 17 winners from a total of 173 runners whilst the Female runners have produced 3 winners from a total of 40 runners.

Looking over the past renewals, there is only one stallion whose offspring have produced multiple winners of the Challenge Stakes, that stallion Tagula has produced 2 winners (2018,2017).

These are the stallions whose offspring have not produced a winner of the Challenge Stakes despite multiple attempts:

  • Dansili (0 Wins from 6 runners)
  • Oasis Dream (0 Wins from 6 runners)
  • Pivotal (0 Wins from 6 runners)
  • Bahamian Bounty (0 Wins from 5 runners)
  • Kodiac (0 Wins from 5 runners)

Looking at the winning odds over the last 20 renewals, the biggest-priced winner was Le Vie Dei Colori in 2005, winning for Luca Cumani at odds of 20/1 under the guidance of Gerald Mosse. Looking at the runners at the head of the market over the last 20 renewals there has been a total of 7 winning favourites in the race. Remember to bookmark the best racing tipsters page so you can get easy access to the best OLBG racing tipsters.

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