The ITV team will be showing racing from three different tracks on Saturday with some good racing at Newbury, Newmarket and Ripon. The listed Denford Stakes kicks off proceedings at Newbury where the Group 2 Hungerford Stakes is the feature race. Richard Hannon and Silvestre De Sousa team up in the opener with the twice-raced and unbeaten Boitron. The French-bred colt’s victories came at some of Britain’s top tracks and with this experience behind him, a big run can be expected.
Ralph Beckett trains the only other unbeaten horse in the field with his once raced Antonia De Vega. The daughter of Lope De Vega came from off the pace to land a Newmarket maiden in July and the filly just could be anything.
In racing, everyone is always looking for a “progressive” horse and that is exactly what Charlie Appleby’s Good Fortune is becoming as he has gone from finishing second last in a Haydock maiden on debut to winning a Lingfield novice event by ten lengths on his third start last month. If he continues to improve then he could turn into a group horse.
Other previous winners to consider are the Ryan Moore ridden The Trader and Dutch Treat.
Selection: Good Fortune
The Group 2 Geoffrey Freer Stakes is the highlight on the undercard at Newbury and the race has been won by big names down through the years chief among them probably being future leading national hunt sire Presenting back in 1995.
Hamada definitely won’t be emulating Presenting as he has already been gelded but since this operation, the son of Cape Cross has won all three of his starts and he will be very difficult to beat here with James Doyle in the saddle.
William Haggas’ Dal Harraild ran very well last time when finishing fourth behind Stradivarius in the Group 1 Goodwood Cup. This represents the best form on offer and Ryan Moore’s mount looks most likely to beat Hamada.
The very promising Raymond Tusk is an intriguing contender here as the son of High Chaparral won well on debut and then ran with credit in the Eclipse as a 50/1 outsider. That run was followed by a victory in a listed race at Hamilton where he raced quite freely and with a step up in trip, the worry would have to be that SDS won’t be able to settle him.
Top weight Algometer has to also be considered in a race of this nature as he was runner-up to Marmelo in a Group 2 at Longchamp when last seen.
The Group 2 Hungerford Stakes is the feature race at Newbury and is may be at the mercy of Gustav Klimt, who has been contesting Group 1 events on his last five starts and with this drop down in class and trip he looks the answer. Aidan O’Brien’s colt has actually won all three of his starts over seven furlongs which is a big positive.
Breton Rock bids for another victory in this race having won it back in 2014 and the perennial eight-year-old seems to be coming here in reasonable form having finished third behind Sir Dancealot in the Lennox Stakes most recently.
Sir Dancealot re-oppose here and David Elsworth’s four-year-old has already had a great season winning a Group 3, Group 2 and he finished fourth behind U S Navy Flag in the Group 1 Darley July Cup. If he can continue this rich vein of form then the son of Prancealot must go close.
Dean Ivory’s Librisa Breeze enjoyed his finest hour last season when winning the Group 1 British Champions Sprint Stakes and he showed a return to form when finishing fourth in the Prix Maurice De Gheest at Deauville earlier this month. If he can come back to the form he showed last season then he’ll be a force to be reckoned with.
Selection: Gustav Klimt
Ripon plays host to their flagship meeting on Saturday with the Great St Wilfrid Stakes being the jewel in their racing calendar. David O’Meara(3 Times) and Richard Fahey(2 Times) have won five of the last seven renewals between them.
Richard Fahey is responsible for the current race favourite with Growl who finished third behind a resurgent Gifted Master in the Stewards’ Cup at Goodwood most recently. He runs off the same mark here and with Paul Hanagan retaining the partnership he’s a worthy favourite.
Last year’s winning trainer Tim Easterby is represented by 1-2 from the Dash at York with Flying Pursuit and Golden Apollo. The latter has a six-pound swing for this neck defeat and must have strong claims of beating his stablemate on this occasion.
Of the outsiders, the jockey booking of Daniel Tudhope catches the eye on Marie Of Lyon who’s saddle slipped inside the final furlong in the Stewards’ Cup and could sneak into the places with a bit of luck.
Others who hold claims include Kimberella, Spring Loaded and Brian The Snail.
Selection: Golden Apollo
The six furlong Randox Health Handicap takes centre stage at Newmarket and Andrew Balding is turning out Rebel Streak quickly following a win at Leicester last Sunday. Promising apprentice Jason Watson take over the reins and claims a valuable three pounds o this improving three year old.
Staxton was a course and distance winner last month but I think he’ll struggle off a mark of 101. Andrea Atzeni rides Buffer Zone for Roger Charlton and the very lightly raced son of Bated Breath holds leading claims. The three year old was a beaten odds on favourite at Windsor on his latest start and could be worth following.
Selection: Rebel Streak