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Bath is a flat racing track located just two north east of the city centre on Lansdown Hill in Somerset. It is easily reached by road, six miles south of junction 18 of the M4. Bath Spa Railway Station is on the main London Paddington and South Wales lines. There are frequent connections from Cardiff and Birmingham and it is just 11 minutes by train from Bristol Temple Meads. A shuttle bus service runs from the station to the racecourse on race days.
Bath is a left handed oval track of a mile and a half with a long uphill run in of almost four furlongs. It is the highest flat racing track in the UK at 238m above sea level. The layout of the track means that horses are always on the turn. Caution is advised regarding the draw when considering your Bath racing tips for today. Surprisingly for a left handed track, statistics show that high numbers are favoured in all races up to a mile.
The first recorded horse racing in Bath was in 1728 with the first official meeting in 1811. There was only a single two-day meeting, organised and run by the local Blathwayts family. The racecourse was used as a landing strip by the RAF during World War II and was known as RAF North Stoke.
The course was the scene of an attempted betting coup in 1953, not unlike the infamous 1982 Flockton Grey case at Leicester. A “ringer” was used in the Spa Selling Plate and power was cut to the racecourse, preventing the bookmakers from changing the odds. The horse was heavily backed at 10-1 and won the race but the volume of bets aroused suspicion and Scotland Yard were called in to investigate. The devious plot was exposed and the perpetrators were brought to justice.
Bath benefitted from a multi-million pound redevelopment by new owners Arena Racing in 2015-16. The new Langridge Grandstand was opened along with the Beckford Bar and the parade ring was upgraded. The course is now used as a venue for weddings and corporate events.
Bath currently hosts 23 days of flat racing per year between March and October. The Listed Lansdown Fillies’ Stakes takes place in April. The biggest meeting of the season is the newly-created Bath Cup Festival over a weekend in mid-September. The Bath Cup had originally been titled the Somerset Stakes. It used to be the most prestigious race at the venue in the early years and is now enjoying a revival. The festival is a celebration of the city of Bath and the successes of the local people.
The Somerset Stakes was first run in 1832 and was once regarded as serious Classic trial. Sir Gordon Richards rode the brilliant Tudor Minstrel to win the race in 1947 before winning the 2000 Guineas by eight lengths. The Somerset Stakes was lost from the meeting after Lochangel won in 1998 for Ian Balding. She won the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes later that season but is best remembered as one of Frankie Dettori’s Magnificent Seven at Ascot on 28th September 1996. The Balding family continued their association with the race when it was revived in 2011. Ian’s son, Andrew, won with Desert Law (2011) and Night Carnation (2012).
The Lansdown Fillies’ Stakes is over the minimum trip of five furlongs. Indian Maiden won the race as a five and six-year-old for Malcolm Saunders and Ted Durcan in 2005 and 2006. Some very high class fillies have been popular Bath betting tips for this race. Notable previous winners include Cassandra Go (2000), Enticing (2007), Gilt Edge Girl (2010) and Priceless (2017).
Cassandra Go won the Group 2 Temple Stakes and the King’s Stand Stakes for Geoff Wragg and Michael Roberts. Enticing was trained by William Haggas and won the Group 3 King George Stakes at Goodwood in 2008. Gilt Edge Girl was trained by Clive Cox and won the Group 1 Prix de l’Abbaye at Longchamp. Cox struck again with Priceless, a well backed filly who won impressively by five lengths from Futoon. She went on to win the Temple Stakes at Haydock Park in 2017 when ridden by Adam Kirby.
One filly who ran in the Lansdown Stakes without winning is also worth a mention. Kind finished third to Indian Maiden in 2005 for Roger Charlton. She was later placed in a Group 3 race but made her name as a broodmare. She is the dam of none other than champion racehorse Frankel!
The Beckford Stakes is confined to fillies and mares aged three years and upwards and is over a mile and three-quarters. It was created in 2016 and was won by Hugo Palmer’s Twitch, ridden by James Doyle. The following year it was transferred to Yarmouth because of the effects of chafer grubs on parts of the racecourse. Luca Cumani and Frankie Dettori teamed up in 2017 to win the race with Aljezeera, a daughter of Frankel.
Bath staged the Dick Hern Fillies’ Stakes from 1999 until 2011 when it was moved to Haydock Park. Barry Hills trained the winner on two occasions with Full Flow (2000) and Brindisi (2004). The most popular winner was Duck Row in 2001, trained by James Toller and ridden by Simon Whitworth. The daughter of Diesis featured strongly in Bath betting tips and was backed down from 2-1 to 11-10 favourite before winning by two and a half lengths. She ran the race of her life when third in the Cambridgeshire under 9st 10lbs. A Listed race win at the Curragh and a Group 3 victory in the Park Stakes at Doncaster followed in 2002.
In March 2018, jockey Franny Norton won all four races on a card that was cut short due to safety concerns. Norton won on Dan’s Dream, Izzer, Under The Covers and The Daley Express to complete a 189-1 four-timer. Dan’s Dream won the Fred Darling Stakes next time to earn a supplementary entry for the 1000 Guineas. She finished tenth in the Newmarket Classic behind 66-1 winner Billesdon Brook.
Trainer Mick Channon features regularly among Bath horse racing tips. He enjoyed a red letter day in April 2018 when saddling four winners. Diamond Dougal, Kinks, Marietta Robusti and Charming Guest all obliged for the West Ilsley stable.
The leading trainers at Bath over the past three seasons have been Malcolm Saunders and Mick Channon. They have returned a strike rate of 24% and 22% respectively and a level stake profit. One of the best horse racing tips for Bath today is to note anything that Roger Charlton runs here. His strike rate is 35% over the same period.
Silvestre de Sousa tops the jockey’s statistics numerically and in prize money won. In terms of value, Adam Kirby provides a good return with a better strike rate and level stakes profit. George Baker also rides Bath particularly well.
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