A nine-race feast of action at Newbury this afternoon includes the Group 2 Hungerford Stakes (3.35pm) and the Group 3 Geoffrey Freer Stakes (3.00pm) as well as a very exciting Listed two-year-old race earlier on the card.
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1.15 – Unibet Fillies’ Novice Stakes Division 1 (7f)
Only two of these have run and it’s not hard to imagine them being the pair to focus on. The well-bred Al Saariyah made a good forward stride on second start when runner-up at Haydock and has leading claims but JACINTH left a good impression on debut over C&D four weeks ago. That was won by the sadly-departed Fly Miss Helen and it looked a decent one, with the runner-up a fair yardstick. The William Haggas team remain in super form and can taste more success. Impressions Dream and First Verse are two of the more likely looking newcomers.
Tip: Jacinth @
1.50 – Denford Stakes (Listed, Straight 7f)
A field of seven entered this Listed contest and four are once-raced-winners. Of those, Guru and DHAHABI appealed most. The Godolphin runner was more comfortable than the margin suggested when scoring at Newmarket on debut and has more to come; while his path is clearer following the early morning defection of John Gosden’s Kingman colt. Francesco Guardi and Jumby are also unbeaten while the experienced Saint Lawrence isn’t written off.
Tip: Dhahabi @
2.25 – Unibet You’re On Handicap (Straight 1m)
Afaak shaped with plenty of promise in the Golden Mile at Goodwood last time and now lurks on the mark from which he tasted Hunt Cup glory last summer. Tempus has been off a while but remains with scope for better while Jahbath and King Carney are also on the shortlist.
Tip: Afaak @
3.00 – Geoffrey Freer Stakes (Group 3, 1m 5f)
Morando was second in this last year and is a key player – more so if any rain falls – but he’s seven now and may be vulnerable. Sextant was twice well beaten by Andrew Balding’s charge last term but might improve to be competitive. Three-year-olds have won two of the last three and HUKUM fits the bill after his impressive Royal Ascot win on handicap bow. That form is strong and he’s worth his place in this grade. Alignak is also shortlisted and looks just the type to do better for Sir Michael Stoute going up in distance.
Tip: Hukum @
3.35 – Hungerford Stakes (Group 2, Straight 7f)
Glorious Journey won this last year but doesn’t boast the form coming in to suggest a repeat. Dream Of Dreams has been dining at Group 1 tables for a long while, and doing so with real credit, ensuring he gets maximum respect eased in grade but THREAT is preferred. Twice a top-level winner last season, Richard Hannon’s charge reappeared in red-hot St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot and has since found Group 1 sprinting too fast. This trip and track might be ideal. Breathtaking Look and German raider Namos are amongst the place players.
Tip: Threat @
4.10 – Unibet Fillies’ Novice Stakes Division 2 (7f)
DEISE BLUE was fourth in a strong-looking C&D Maiden Fillies’ Stakes last month and should be wiser for it; the third home Jacinth could boost the form earlier on this card and that will instil further confidence in the claims of the Clive Cox-trained daughter of Dark Angel. Tick Tock has a solid profile on paper, as do Mezna and Illies Memories.
Tip: Deise Blue @
4.45 – Unibet 3 Uniboosts A Day Handicap (1m2f)
The form of WINTER THORN’s recent Windsor second was boosted when the winner followed up at Sandown and the 375,000 gns Muhaaraar colt can oblige again; with Hms President and Bright Eyed Eagle capable of getting in the money.
Tip: Winter Thorn @
5.20 – Unibet British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Stakes (1m 4f)
BRIGHT START made a good opening impression at Windsor last month and that form has been boosted since (and may be earlier on this card). The Godolphin colt can make it second time lucky. Coconut is improving with each run and the Australia filly is greatly feared while Solar Queen is third best.
Tip: Bright Start @
5.55 – Unibet New Instant Roulette Amateur Jockeys’ Handicap (1m4f)
Songkran is on quite a roll and the five-timer would come as no shock but the top-weight might get collared by SULA ISLAND. Alan King’s mare won well at Chepstow after a layoff and has had plenty of time to avoid the dreaded bounce, while Georgia King’s claim offsets his rise in the ratings. One To Go represents a yard in superb form and is shortlisted alongside recent Sandown runner-up Gas Monkey.
Tip: Sula Island @
*All odds correct at time of writing