How to Bet the Commonwealth Cup

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

June 20th, 2018

With only three previous renewals, Friday’s Commonwealth Cup (Eng-I) is one of the newest stakes races held at each summer, but the six-furlong event has already earned a reputation as an exciting race that provides a stage on which future star sprinters can shine.

An impressive 22 horses have been entered in this year’s Commonwealth Cup, so bettors will have plenty of promising horses to choose from. Trainer won this race last year with Caravaggio and will be represented this time around by a trio of contenders: #15 Sioux Nation, #8 Fleet Review, and #19 Actress. The first two, both colts, ran 1-2 in the Lacken Stakes (Ire-III) at Naas last month, with Sioux Nation—winner of the Phoenix Stakes (Ire-I) going six furlongs last summer—the winner by 1 ¼ lengths. Actress, one of several fillies entered in the Commonwealth Cup, was beaten just two lengths by Sioux Nation in the Phoenix Stakes and recently ended a lengthy losing streak with a win in the six-furlong Ballyogan Stakes (Ire-III) at the Curragh last month.

Of the O’Brien trio, Sioux Nation is the clear choice among British bookmakers, but I’m also very intrigued by Fleet Review, who missed by just a half-length in the six-furlong Middle Park Stakes (Eng-I) at Newmarket last fall, one of the most prestigious Group 1 sprints for two-year-olds. Fleet Review will be a significantly larger price in the wagering despite the fact that he doesn’t appear overmatched here by any means.

But the Commonwealth Cup isn’t all about Aidan O’Brien’s runners—#14 Sands of Mali and #11 Invincible Army were separated by just a nose in the six-furlong Sandy Lane Stakes (Eng-II) at Haydock last month and fit very well against this field on Racing Post Ratings, while the up-and-coming #6 Equilateral won his 2018 debut by eight lengths going six furlongs at Doncaster, a performance that has made him the co-favorite or second choice among the various British bookmakers. And what do we do with the very fast American sprinter #9 Gidu, shipping in for trainer Todd Pletcher off a sharp win in the seven-furlong Paradise Creek Stakes at Belmont Park?

Are you confused yet? I know I am, but the huge field makes this an appealing betting, and the reward for finding the winner (and hitting the exacta or trifecta) should be ample. Therefore, let’s key Sioux Nation and Sands of Mali on top of a trifecta while spreading deep underneath:

$1 trifecta: 14,15 with 6,8,11,14,15 with 6,8,9,11,14,15,19 ($40)

Good luck!