Inside today’s main column I preview Saturday’s big race the Group 2 Hungerford Stakes at Newbury. Plus, I look at today’s action at Salisbury and Beverley.
Looking Ahead To The Weekend – Part 2
Hungerford Stakes – Newbury
Twelve were left in the Hungerford Stakes at Monday’s final confirmation stage. Run over 7f it’s a good opportunity for horses who are specialists at this intermediate trip to win Group 2 contest.
Looking the ten-year trends:
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Nine of the last 10 winners of the race were 3 or 4-year-olds. Those 5-year-old and older are 1 winner from 31 runners -28.37.
There’s been just one winning favourite in the past ten years and runners returned 11/4 and are 1 winner from 13 runners -10.37.
I’m not going to get to hung up over the draw but for those interested; runners in stalls 7 & higher are 1 winner from 27 runners -20. Albeit last year’s winner Sacred won from stall 11.
The trend that has produced the best LSP is horses dropping back from Group 1 company last time – 6 winners from 14 runners +24.46 9 placed. There are three entries in this year’s renewal who ran in Group 1 last time out: Tiber Flow Chindit and Double Or Bubble.
Last year’s winning trainer William Haggas could run Tiber Flow. The 3-year-oldwon the Listed Carnarvon Stakes here over 6f two starts back. But ran below that form when a 4 ¼ length 8th of 20 in the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot last time. He’s 2-2 over 7f, both wins on the all-weather, so no problem with the extra furlong.
The consistent Pogo has won two Group 3’s over 7f this season and was a close 3rd of 11 in the Group 2 Lennox Stakes at Goodwood last time. He looks sure to run his race, but the age trend suggests the 6-year-old could be vulnerable.
Chindit won the Group 2 Summer Mile at Ascot two starts back. He then finished a respectable 4 ¾ lengths 6th of 7 to Baaeed in Group 1 Sussex Stakes last time. He’s 4-6 over 7f, including the Greenham Stakes over C&D last April. He's a 3lb penalty to carry for his Ascot success he could be up to defying back in calmer waters.
The 5-year-old Double Or Bubble won a Group 3 (6f) at Newmarket on her seasonal return. Not disgraced and did best of those who raced stands side when a 3 ½ lengths 5th of 13 to Alcohol Free in the July Cup last time. The mare stays 7f but she has to prove she’s up to winning in Group 2 company. The likely quick ground is a big positive and she’s 5 from 7 when racing 30+ days since her last start.
Verdict: I’m happy to go with Tiber Flow, Chindit and Double Or Bubble who are all dropping down in class.
The Group 3 Tattersalls Sovereign Stakes (4.15) is the feature race of seven race card at Salisbury. Sadly, quick ground means just four have been declared for the race which has £70,000 in guaranteed prize money. Despite the small field. Just 3lb separates the four runners on Official Ratings so it should be a competitive contest.
All four have a chance
Modern News trained by Charlie Appleby needs to bounce back from a lesser effort at Pontefract last time. However, he looks the one to beat on his nose 2nd of 4 to My Oberon in a Windsor Listed race two starts back.
Berkshire Shadow would have to be respected if reproducing his 1 ½ length 6th of 11 to Coroebus in the St James's Palace Stakes. The 3-year-old put in a flat effort at Goodwood last time but is surely better than that performance.
Both Tempus and Sinjaari step out of handicap company but don’t have much to find on ratings. Tempus put in a career best on RPR’s when winning an Ascot handicap last time. Mind you he does have 4 ¼ lengths to find with Modern News when runner-up to that one at Windsor in May. Sinjaari won a Sandown handicap two starts back. He then ran better than his 10 ½ length 17th of 18 in Golden Mile Handicap at Goodwood suggests. He got no sort of run in the straight that day and wasn’t subjected to hard race after.
Verdict: Tempus was held up last time, but he has made the running in the past. He seems the most likely of the four to make the pace. Modern News will likely track the leader. He looks the most likely winner but If Hollie gets the fractions right, then she might be hard to pass. I’m not sure a tactical race over a mile will suit Sinjaari but he will the ground and isn’t short on pace. He’s the one I like although he’s going to be the outsider of the four.
Salisbury Trainer Stat:
William Haggas has a 30%-win strike rate at Salisbury and if you focus on his runners in handicaps, he’s 7 winners from 15 runners 47% +11.13 11 placed 73% since the start of 2016. He has two handicap runners today: Sea On Time (4:45) and Enshrine (5:15). Mind you both will be short odds in two small field handicaps.
There’s also Group 3 action at Leopardstown where Boundless Ocean bids for back-to-back Group 3 successes in the Bahrain Turf Club Desmond Stakes (7:30).
Boundless Ocean took advantage of a drop-in class and distance when winning here over 1m 1f last time. Has a 3lb penalty to carry for that success and quicker ground to contend but the 3-year-old will take the beating.
I’m off up to Beverley for today’s selection.
2:45 – Arnold won this 5f handicap in 2018 and last year from 1lb lower. He’s a quirky sort who must be delivered as late as possible so today’s forecast strong pace is a positive . Quick ground suits, and he’s got a handy low draw. A solid second at Newcastle last time out. If all the cards fall right the 8-year-old won’t be far away.
Arnold – 7/1 @ Bet365
Good luck with your Thursday bets.