The feature race of the day is the group two Hungerford Stakes from Newbury and it is part of a seven race programme on ITV, accompanied by three from Newbury, two from Ripon and one from Newmarket.
13:50 Newbury – Denford Stakes
This is a nice little race to kick things off. There are two Frankel offspring in the field—Juan Elcano and Frankel’s Storm. The former was a neck winner on heavy ground on debut and connections must think a lot of him as he ran in the Superlative Stakes next time out, coming second. Frankel’s Storm has ran three and got off the mark just four days ago at Carlisle by eight lengths in a three runner affair. This is a big step up in grade but she gets weight from the boys. Her stablemate is Thunderous. The Night Of Thunder colt has won both of his two starts by two lengths each time and the 70,000gns purchase has an entry in the Derby. Last year’s winning trainer Richard Hannon has two in the race. The team won it with a Middleham Park horse last year and they have the Gregorian filly Sesame Birah. A two times winner, she won over course and distance last time after being beaten about three lengths in a group three at Deauville.
Her stable mate SUN POWER looks distinctly above these as he’s rated 102 in comparison to Thunderous and Sesame Birah’s 91 rating. The former has only won once but did it nicely on his second start. Subsequently, he was fourth in the Chesham behind Pinatubo and a neck second in a Listed race. This looks up to his capabilities. Lastly is Pyledriver. The form of this horses first run (which was a win) has worked out well. He was 50/1 on that day. His dam ended up going hurdling and handled soft so today may not be his day but he’s a nice long-term prospect.
14:05 Ripon – William Hill Silver Trophy Handicap
This is the Great St Wilfrid consolation race. Ruth Carr has a good chance with course specialists Pipers Note and Marks Choice. They’re on opposite ends of the spectrum as far as age is concerned as Pipers Note is nine and Marks Choice is only four. Eight of PIPERS NOTE’s twelve victories have come at this track. He hasn’t won for over a year but is running of an 11lbs lower mark than then. Looks chucked in based on that. Marks Choice has won twice at this track and hasn’t been beaten far on all four starts since winning over course and distance in June. Bossipop is a three times course and distance winnerand won here in July but he’s been last of 8 on his past 2 starts.
Julie Camacho’s pair – Dalton and Royal Prospect – are in decent form, especially the latter. He’s only four and relatively unexposed. He’s either hit or miss but is four from nine. Dalton wasn’t beaten far last time and is dropping to an appealing mark. Goes on any ground. Alaadel is one of the favourites. The joint top weight hasn’t been seen for sixty five days and he was very pate to racing having made his debut at 4. The fact he’s will related is on his side but needs cut in the ground. Growl runs off 9st9 as well and he’s running off his lowest mark since winning at Windsor in June 2016. A listed winner, it would be incredible for him to win this as a victory is well due.
14:25 Newbury – Unibet Geoffrey Freer Stakes
MORANDO is the oldest horse in the field and is looking to recapture his sparkle from the start of the season when he won a group three at Chester by eight lengths, beating St Leger winner Kew Gardens. That was over this trip and his other starts this year were over shorter and in group ones and twos. This is easier. He is penalised but rated 8lbs higher that his nearest rival. With the ground likely to come up soft, he is my selection. Technician also ran at that Chester meeting and flopped after good runs in a Leicester novice and the Classic Trial at Sandown. He won a listed race at Paris Longchamp on his penultimate start and he looked to be getting better but was sixth of nine last time at Glorious Goodwood. He’s a tough horse to work out. Sameem and Durston are also three. The former has won his last two, one of them was a listed race, beating a smart Mark Johnston horse. Durston is quite unexposed and won over one mile six in June and won at Chester next time. He was second over a shorter trip at Goodwood last time and both of them are progressive handicappers. The four year old Sextant is four from seven and three of those wins came this year. He’s stepping up in trip and that shouldn’t be an issue as he won his maiden over this trip. If the ground firms up, he will run well.
14:45 Unibet Grey Horse Handicap
This race is exclusively for grey horses and sixteen runners will stampede their way down the Newmarket straight in a sea of silver. One of the darker greys will be Global Tango. He’s absolutely gorgeous and was one of the horses I met at Charlie Hills’ yard. Since then he’s been sold and is making his debut for a new yard. He has won three times but still looks a bit high in the handicap. Cieran Fallon takes odd 5lbs. CASE KEY won this is 2017 and he has won since. That was off a mark of 69 and he runs off 66 today and carries the second lowest weight. He could be well treated. At the opposite end of the handicap, Glen Coco was third last year and this gelding completed a four timer in January through to May. He’s gone up 17lbs since and it looks tough for him off top weight.
Revolutionise won three starts ago but has been beaten since, including over course and distance last time. Headgear is on to try and eek out some improvement. Lethal Angel is extremely consistent and placed at the other course at Newmarket before. She’s been either second or third in her past six outings and will have become frustrating for connections as no type of headgear has given her the last push to victory. Chatham House finally broke his maiden over seven furlongs last time and has been third over this trip twice. Harbour Vision had a visor on for the first time and ran well last time. My Style has scope to improve.
15:00 Newbury – Unibet Handicap
Ripp Orf is a really good horse and has given lots of fun to connections. His last win came in September 2018 and he is 1lbs lower than then. He ran well in a handicap at Ascot last time out. You can never say he won’t win. George William showed a welcome return to form when second, albeit beaten four lengths. Love Dreams won well round Beverley in June but he’s been well beaten in all runs since. Despite carrying top weight, he goes off a winnable mark and will probably make the running. Piece of History won his first two, at Leicester and Chelmsford, but hasn’t won since. His effort last time doesn’t give much hope.
The fillies Pattie and Toy Theatre are big prices and their form ties in together. They raced against each other at Kempton in February when Toy Theatre won and Pattie was one and a quarter lengths behind in third. Both fillies have a lot to find with the boys. GRAPHITE STORM took advantage of a nice opportunity to win at Newmarket last time after a good second at Leicester. A course and distance winner, this is a higher graded task but has a good shout. Sanaadh won at Kempton in March, beating Love Dreams, in this grade but his last runs haven’t been great.
15:15 Ripon – William Hill Great St Wilfrid
I keep fancying Summerghand for races like this but he keeps on coming up short. He was a really good fourth at Glorious Goodwood in the Stewards Cup and he’s been consistently on 100 all season. He needs to drop a few lbs though. Vintage Brut was a good second and would have top weight if not for his three year old age allowance. Top weight is last year’s winner Gunmetal. He’s a bit high in the weights and was well beaten last time. I mentioned Ruth Carr’s runners at Ripon earlier and she has a good chance here with Reputationis and Poyle Vinnie. The former is a dual winner here including by three lengths in April but I prefer the other representative. Poyle Vinnie was a fast finishing second at Glorious Goodwood in a handicap but tasted victory later in the week in the Stewards Sprint. He’s an old boy and should run well.
However, my idea of the winner is RICHENZA. She’s four and in training with Hugo Palmer. Lightly raced, she should cope and will appreciate cut in the ground. Belated Breath has been third on his last two starts and not beaten far at all. Citron Major is a course and distance winner but his mark is a bit high. David O’meara’s Muscika followed in Dakota Gold at York on his penultimate start and was second to Lahore, who’d be a big winner for young trainer Philip Makin, last time out. O’meara’s gelding gets 7lbs from the former and 1lbs from the latter so a reverse could be on the cards.
15:35 Unibet Hungerford Stakes
SIR DANCEALOT won the Qatar Lennox Stakes at Glorious Goodwood last year and then came and won this. He’s followed the same path as last year and comes here of the back of a nice victory eighteen days ago but he has a penalty for that. On that occasion, he had Hey Gaman in second, Flaming Spear in fifth, Space Traveller in sixth and Donjuan Triumphant in eighth. Hey Gaman was a well fancied favourite that day after easily winning a listed at Leicester and a group three at Paris Longchamp at the beginning of the season. He was second at the Curragh, beating Safe Voyage ten days before the Goodwood race and has a bit to find with Sir Dancealot based on that.
Flaming Spear was having his seasonal debut at Goodwood and won a listed race at Kempton in November the seven year old is rated 109 so has 6lbs to make up with the top horse. Labrisa Breeze is Flaming Spear’s stable companion and hasn’t been seen for 280 days. His last win was the Champion Sprint in 2017 when he was rated 112. He’s down to 105 now and his best run since was fourth in a French group one but he’s not the horse of two years ago. Space Traveller won the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot, against his own age group, but couldn’t put up with this level of horses last time. Donjuan Triumphant raced like a nutter last time. He fully ran off with Silvestre De Sousa and got hampered badly in the final furlong. He set the race up but couldn’t figure in the finish. Andrew Balding’s six year old is a listed and group two winner so he’s up to this standard. Has each way claims but was beaten six lengths by Hey Gaman at Leicester.
Collateral form gives Safe Voyage a couple of lengths to find with Sir Dancealot and, when he was behind Hey Gaman at the Curragh, it ended a winning run of three. He’s a credit to connections and has been climbing the ratings encouragingly. Glorious Journey was eighth in the July Cup last time and, previous to that, had been beaten in group three and listed company by good horses. Bit to find on ratings.