The G3 Hackwood Stakes will be held on Saturday (16th July), at Newbury Racecourse. Strath Burn won this race last year, for Charlie Hills, but who are this season’s contenders?
The Tin Man
James Fanshawe’s 4-year-old gelding disappointed in the G1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes, at Royal Ascot, but won the Listed Leisure Stakes on his previous outing. The Equiano-sired runner beat Watchable by a couple of lengths and could well start as favourite.
Charlie Hills will hope that Ibn Magik can give him another victory in this race and with Paul Hanagan on-board the Irish 3-year-old, his wish may come true. He beat Scrutineer to win a Listed handicap at Headquarters, before finishing 4th (ahead of Castle Harbour) in a strong renewal of the G3 Jersey Stakes.
Charlie Appleby has never won this race, but he certainly has a dog in the fight this season with the Oasis Dream-sired Charming Thought. The shock winner of the G1 Middle Park Stakes looked rather mediocre in the Listed Cathedral Stakes. On Saturday, we’ll find out which performance we can draw a line through.
Mr Lupton, Divine, Illuminate, Buratino, Aeolus and Raucous will all attract plenty of each-way bets.
Famous Hackwood Stakes Winners, Of Recent Years
The Hackwood Stakes a six-furlong sprint for thoroughbreds aged three years or more. It was originally a listed event and was promoted to Group status in 2006. The race is a key fixture in the annual Newbury Summer Festival.
Three year-olds carry eight stones and thirteen pounds, while older runners face a burden of nine stones and four pounds. Fillies and mares get the usual three pounds allowance.
There are penalties for Group winners and they are as follows. Any Group 1 champion faces a stiff eight pounds penalty. Group 2 winners get a six pounds rise, while Group 3 winners are penalised four pounds.
The 2014 champion was a horse named Music Master. Fergus Sweeney was given the ride. The Henry Candy-trained runner won as a four year-old.
Frankie Dettori’s last Hackwood Stakes victory came aboard the James Fanshawe-trained Deacon Blues. Fanshawe has proven himself as both a trainer of flat and National Hunt horses. He masterminded the career of Soviet Song, winner of the Fillies’ Mile (2002), the Ridgewood Pearl Stakes (2004), the Falmouth Stakes (2004), the Sussex Stakes (2004), the Matron Stakes (2004), the Falmouth Stakes (2005) and the Windsor Forest Stakes (2006). Fanshawe has also won the Champion Hurdle on two occasions.
Deacon Blues won the Hackwood Stakes in 2011, the same year the he also took the spoils in the Wokingham Stakes, the Phoenix Sprint Stakes, the World Trophy and the British Champions Sprint Stakes. Out of a dam called Persario, he was sired by the unheralded Compton Place.
Kevin Darley rode Somnus to victory in 2003. Trained by Tom Easterby and owned by Lady Legard, Somnus was out of a dam named Midnight’s Reward and sired by Pivotal. Pivotal won the King’s Stand Stakes and the Nunthorpe Stakes in 1996 and went on to be a terrific sire. The best of his offspring include Megahertz, Peeress, Halfway To Heaven, African Story, Izzi Top and Farrh.
Somnus also won the Haydock Sprint Cup (2003), the Prix Maurice de Gheest (2004) and the Prix de la Forêt (2004). He was named European Champion Sprinter, following his exploits as a four year-old.
In 2001, the Hackwood Stakes was won by Invincible Spirit, with Pat Eddery in the saddle. This Nawara Stud-bred runner was sired by Green Desert, one of the most successful sires in recent history. Invincible Spirit also won the Ripon Champion 2YO Trophy (1999), the MacDonagh Boland Stakes (2001), the Duke of York Stakes (2002) and the Haydock Sprint Cup (2002).
Invincible Spirit has also performed admirably at stud. His progeny include Lawman, Fleeting Spirit, Vale Of York, Mayson, Moonlight Cloud and the brilliant Kingman.
Steve Cauthen’s second and final Hackwood Stakes win came on top of the John Gosden-trained Keen Hunter, in 1991. The horse won the Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp, in the same season.
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