International Handicap 2013 - Shamaal Nibras - Betting TipsAscot’s Betfair sponsored International Handicap features on the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes undercard, on Saturday 27th July 2013. Contested over 7f, the race may not be quite as valuable as it once was, but it retains its prestige as a Heritage Handicap and the 2013 renewal looks a competitive as it always is. We’ve picked out a couple of betting tips that look to have the right sort of profile required of a winner, including a 25/1 (26.00) shot (pictured) with Paddy Power.

We’ve analysed recent winners of Ascot’s International Handicap and have picked out the important trends that emerge from the profiles of these horses. We can use these patterns to thin out the current 81 strong field a little. Here’s what we discovered:

Key International Handicap Trends

Recent Form

  • All of the last 12 International Handicap winners had run in the past 40 days
  • All of the last 12 winners had run in 3 to 5 turf races that year
  • All of the last 12 winners had contested a Class 2 handicap worth at least £30,000 that season
  • 11 of the last 12 winners had contested a Royal Ascot handicap that season
  • 10 of the last 12 winners ran at either the July meeting or Royal Ascot last time out

Quite a lot of our International Handicap trends relate to recent form. In short, they tell us to look for a horse that’s race fit but not too heavily campaigned, as well possessing a certain amount of class.

Of those horses that took part in a Royal Ascot handicap, five ran in the Royal Hunt Cup and four ran in the Buckingham Palace Stakes. A horse taking a similar path would be preferred.

Past Form

  • 11 of the last 12 International Handicap winners had won a race worth at least £9,000
  • 10 of the last 12 winners had won a race with at least 12 runners

In a big field race like the International Handicap, horses with experience against many other runners is clearly a positive. We can also safely discount horses that are only capable of winning races against ordinary opposition.


  • None of the last 12 International Handicap winners were aged older than five
  • 8 of the last 12 winners were aged four

These trends suggest that we should be focusing on the three to five age range, as no horse aged six or older has won Ascot’s International Handicap in the past 12 renewals (these horses represent 23.15% of the total entrants).

Furthermore, eight of those 12 (66.67%) were aged four despite four year olds making up just 31.75% of the total runners in that time, suggesting a preference for four year olds.


  • 11 of the last 12 International Handicap winners had posted their best RPR in the past 3 starts
  • 10 of the last 12 winners were officially rated 93 or better

As with several of the other International Handicap trends, these suggest that we look for a horse that’s close to its best ever form, whilst discounting the more ordinary horses amongst the field.


After applying these trends to the 2013 International Handicap field, we are left with the following options: Bertiewhittle, Emilio Largo, Lightning Cloud, Mezzotint, Redvers and Shamaal Nibras.

Of this group, my two favourites are Lightning Cloud and Shamaal Nibras. The former won the 27 runner, £46,000 Buckingham Palace Stakes over course and distance last time out, which is a really nice piece of form. As we can see from the trends, the grey has the right sort of profile to win Ascot’s International Handicap and it’s just a shame that he’s not four years old. At 12/1 (13.00) with Paddy Power, he looks a great bet.

Bearing in mind the large field sizes normally seen for Ascot’s International Handicap, I like to pick a second selection, and considering the record of four year olds in the race, I’ve plumped for Ismail Mohammed’s Shamaal Nibras. The colt ran well for his new trainer last time out, finishing third to our other selection in the Buckingham Palace and given that Mohammed has been training him for less than two months, he’s entitled to improve for that effort. Based on that form, the 25/1 (26.00) currently on offer with Paddy Power seems like cracking Each-Way value.


The 2013 Betfair International Handicap
Saturday July 27th, 15:15

Lightning Cloud (Each-Way) @ 12/1 (13.00) with Paddy Power
Shamaal Nibras (Each-Way) @ 25/1 (26.00) with Paddy Power

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