Group Two Jockey Club Stakes Guide 2022

Jake Russell | @JakeRuss1000

Newmarket - April 28 2022
Newmarket 14:35
Marco Ghiani

Red Verdon

J: Marco Ghiani
T: Ed Dunlop
Age: 9
Weight: 9-1
OR: 104
Days: 13

The oldest runner of the field who is currently a 9yo, he is by far the most experienced horse in the field with 54 runs to his name, 10 of them getting his head in front past the post.

He does look slightly more exposed compared to these so although he is a talented and a thoroughly game horse, the other runners will have improved past him over the winter months.

A 9yo now, who is more exposed than the rest of the runners, but is a likeable horse who could run well but really needs to step up and put the age difference behind him, but would need others to not be fit to land a blow in this which is unlikely.

Newmarket - April 28 2022
Newmarket 14:35
Martin Harley

Raymond Tusk

J: Martin Harley
T: Alan King
Age: 7
Weight: 9-1
OR: 106
Days: 13

One of the main runners in this contest who has already had a few runs this season, the Alan King horse was a winner at Doncaster in a Class 2 contest over this trip and was a very good second in the Group 3 Surprise Stakes at Newbury last time out, only beaten by just under 2 lengths.

He wasn’t particularly fancied to win at Doncaster or Newbury, but he put the break behind him to win going away by 4 lengths at Doncaster, which could have been more should he not have been eased down at the finish.

He might not have the speed or quality that some of these have in this race and has a fair bit to find on ratings, but one thing for sure is he will stay for days and keep on running to the line.

His form previously is a bit patchy, but it’s clear to see last time out he is thriving at present and Alan King has had a phenomenal National Hunt season, so they will look to see that form pass over to the new flat season.

A winner on seasonal reappearance at Doncaster and a decent 2nd place at Newbury last time out, has a few runs to his name and is a thorough stayer who was rated at 113 at his peak a few seasons ago, needs to put the age difference and lower rating behind him.

Newmarket - April 28 2022
Newmarket 14:35
Ryan Moore

West End Charmer

J: Ryan Moore
T: Charlie & Mark Johnston
Age: 6
Weight: 9-1
OR: 109
Days: 219

Charlie and Mark Johnston must think a lot of these, to put him in a Group 2 race for his first start of the season could suggest there will be bigger and better things in the pipeline for this horse.He runs in a 1m4f race for the second time in his career and is certainly bred for this sort of trip.

He has won on 4 occasions out of 9 runs in his career, so a similar strike rate to the favourite but he hasn’t been contesting the calibre of race that the favourite has ran in, so he will need to step up on that front to upset the odds-on favourite in this.

West End Charmer won a Class 3 and Class 2 contest last season, winning both in some style suggesting the step up to patterned company isn’t above him, and he does get a very valuable 3lb’s off the favourite.

He is lacking the run this season however, but should he get an easy lead and be at the front end come crunch time in the race, he could be hard to pass, a typical Johnston type.

Won four races in his career and does get a very valuable 3lb’s from the favourite, creditable 3rd in a Listed contest at the back end of last season but does need to step up to another level ratings wise to upset the favourite in this, looks as if second place will be best for this horse.

Newmarket - April 28 2022
Newmarket 14:35
Hollie Doyle


J: Hollie Doyle
T: Archie Watson
Age: 7
Weight: 9-1
OR: 108
Days: 69

Hollie Doyle has such a good relationship with this horse who does look to be fairly overpriced in this given his previous form, slightly more exposed than some of the other runs, but he has the career record of 7 wins in 25 races with a Listed success to his name.

He hasn’t won anything near to this quality of race but has been contesting in some fairly hot races previously, including a victory over St Leger heroine Logician, so has what it takes to compete at this sort of level.

He is race fit after a half a length success in Doha in February, so that being fit is no issue with this horse, who will appreciate the trip and conditions. Judging on ratings he has to step up to another level to land a blow in this, but it is not impossible.

Has some good form to his name previously but is slightly more exposed than some of these and needs to step up form to another level to win this, even with weights and race fitness on his side.

Newmarket - April 28 2022
Newmarket 14:35
Joe Fanning

Living Legend

J: Joe Fanning
T: Charlie & Mark Johnston
Age: 6
Weight: 9-1
OR: 106
Days: 14

When the Charlie and Mark Johnston combination have two runners in a race, notes need to be taken.

Living Legend who arguably looks like the second string for the Johnston team, who is quite far below the favourite in ratings but has the fitness on his side, which is something that is very valuable early on in the new season.

He is a 6-time winner in 14 races, including two wins on the bounce recently with nose success in the Magnolia Stakes on the all-weather at Kempton, and he followed that up with a half a length success on all-weather finals day at Newcastle at the start of the month.

He is clearly a talented horse who needs to show that on the turf, which he has won on plenty of times in the past, but nothing at this sort of calibre.

Currently in fine form with two wins in a row, a Listed success at Kempton last month and on all-weather finals day last time out, takes the step up into this class for the first time and has something to find on figures, but has full race fitness and gets 3lb’s off the favourite, very interesting runner.

Newmarket - April 28 2022
Newmarket 14:35
William Buick


J: William Buick
T: Charlie Appleby
Age: 4
Weight: 9-4
OR: 120
Days: 34

Just the six runners head to post in the feature race for Friday at Newmarket, and the field are spearheaded by a classy sort for the formidable Appleby, Godolphin and Buick combination that are already lighting up this season.

This horse has the career record of 6 wins in just 13 runs, including the Grade 1 Breeders Cup Turf, beating Broome by half a length, a career best run to date.

He has had the cobwebs blown away already this season with a run in the Sheema Classic at Dubai in March, where he finished a neck second behind Shahryar for Japan who mopped up that meeting. He will love the trip and unlike most of these, he has already had the run in a top race this season.

With the best form on paper, this Group 1 winning horse should be winning this nicely before going on to bigger and better things this season.

Winner at the Breeders Cup last season, was sent off favourite in the Sheema Classic at Dubai last Month where he finished just a neck second, has by far the best form on paper but has to give weight all around, that shouldn’t be enough to step him in this.

Very much the one to beat.