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This week’s article takes a brief look at the Shergar Cup, there’s also a horse that’s worth following if it runs this week.

I have a trend’s preview of next Saturday’s Hungerford Stakes, plus some stats for a trainer whose Class 2 handicap runners are always worth more than a second look.

Shergar Cup Thoughts

You either love the Shergar Cup, it’s probably your favourite days racing of the year, or it’s not something that interests you.

It’s a unique event in British horse racing that's for sure. You can bet on who will be top jockey, the top team or the races themselves. 

All good then or it should be. Yet, I still don’t get, the majority of, the racing media’s love for it. Especially as this year’s event didn’t even attract the best jockeys from around the world.  

Maybe the best way to approach the meeting is to just forget all the media hype on the teams and the competition and just concentrate on the six good quality handicaps with decent sized fields.  Then pray that your jockey is up to the task.

Entertainment pure and simple

I get why Ascot host the event. Apart from the Royal meeting more people come through the gates at the Berkshire track than for any other meeting and that includes King George Day and Champions Day.   

It can’t be beaten as a family day at the races and it's clearly successful at pulling in a new audience to the sport.

It’s not something I will ever be interested in from a betting perspective. However, there’s no doubt the event has found its place in the racing calendar in the ‘dead zone' between Goodwood and York.

Shergar Cup Eyecatcher

Despite my negative opinions of this novelty event, I did watch it and from an entertainment perspective it was fine. Mind you as a child I used to watch It’s A Knockout, so maybe I’m easily pleased.

Form from the Shergar Cup can be treated with pinch of salt but, there’s one horse who did catch my eye.

Recon Mission, trained by Tony Carroll, an all the way winner of a valuable 6f York handicap back in June, off 7lb lower. The colt bounced back to form, after a poor run at Newbury, when finishing 4th, beaten, just a ½ length in the 5f sprint.

The going officially described as good which would have been a shade too quick for him so in the circumstances it was a really good effort.

He likes some ease

The 3-year-old’s career record is a healthy 3 wins from 12 runs +26.5 6 placed 50%.

Breaking that down further he’s 0 wins from 5 runs 0 places on good or quicker ground. But with ease in the ground he’s 3 wins from 7 runs 43% + 31.5 6 placed 86%, taking out his Newbury run, his form figures on good to soft or worse are 112321.

He remains on a winnable mark when getting his optimum ground conditions and there’s another decent pot to be won.

Given he goes well at York. I would think we'll see him run in one of the sprint handicaps at the Ebor Festival. Connections will certainly be hoping the unsettled weather continues in the run up to the meeting.

The Secret’s Out

It’s worth keeping Somewhere Secret onside should he take up one of his four engagements this week.

The 5-year-old once again showed how effective he is in the mud with a decisive success on Saturday. Now he did win a good ground, 6f handicap at Chepstow in June but the son of Sakhee’s Secret just handles testing ground better than most horses at this modest level.

He also goes really well when racing within 7-days of his last run with his form figures reading 19311.

Unibet Hungerford Stakes (Group 2) – 7f

I don’t often get a chance to look ahead to upcoming big races, over the summer months but given there’s not much to look back on from last week, an opportunity has arisen.

Saturday’s feature race is the Group 2 Hungerford Stakes at Newbury. The results below contain 11 winners from 87 runners 29 placed.

Three and four-year-olds have won ten of the last 11 renewals of the race.

Age: 3 yo’s – 5 winners from 19 runners +23.95

Distance Wins: 0 – 4 winners from 17 runners +30.75 9 placed

Stall: 2 to 6 – 11 winners from 44 runners 25% +47.95 20 placed

Class Move: Drop 1 – 4 winners from 12 runners +14.75 7 placed

Official Rating: 106 or less – 0 winners from 18 runners 1 placed

Trainers: Clive Cox 2 winners from 5 runners 40% +32 3 placed 60% & John Gosden 2 winners from 4 runners 50% +12 4 placed 100%

Trainer Focus:

I have been doing plenty of research over the last week with most of it being trainer related.

Roger Charlton – Class 2 Handicaps

There are few better trainers when it comes to placing their horses in Class 2 Handicaps than Roger Charlton. Since the start of 2015 he’s had 21 winners from 106 bets 20% +26.33 A/E 1.39 44 placed 42% with his runners in such races.

All his winners shared one trait they were 10/1 and under in the betting forecast – 21 winners from 83 runners 25% +49.33 A/E 1.54 39 placed 47%

The betting forecast odds I used are from but any qualifiers can be found on the attheraces website.

Red Hot Ryan

Kevin Ryan hasn’t had the best of seasons, but his runners need keeping onside this week as in the past five days he’s had – 7 winners from 17 runners 41% +40.29 A/E 2.36 12 placed 71%.

Monday Selection:


7:00 – Rotherwick – The 7-year-old slowly away at Goodwood 9-days ago but still managed to run on into third. In the circumstances, he did well to finish as close as he did to the well handicapped winner Gifts Of Gold.

Granted you must go back to June 2018, for the 7-year-old's last win which came over C&D but he’s shaping like another win isn’t too far away.


Until next week.

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