A quiet couple of days at Triple G Towers but it’s another busy Saturday with seven meetings taking place so I am going up nice and early with the bets.
The planned Bath meeting has been transferred to Chepstow Racecourse the ongoing problems at the south-west track due to the hot weather forcing the fixture to be moved; the track does not have a watering system in place and the ground is too hard to race on. They really have had a year of it having to abandon the round course races earlier this year because of unsafe ground at that time following heavy rain!
Newbury takes centre stage with a couple of patent races and a Listed heat. The going is good-good to soft in places with a cloudy day forecast.
They get underway at 1.50 with the Listed Denford Stakes over 7f at Newbury – the Washington Singer Stakes to you and me. There are some potentially decent 2yo’s here but the choice is Boitron. Fox Coach gave the form of his win on debut here over six a timely boost winning in style at Chelmsford on Tuesday (tipped on here) and the fifth Grenadier has also won since. He has an entry for the G.2 Champagne Stakes at Doncaster later in the season and may be out of the top drawer. Silvestre De Sousa was booked nice and early for the ride. “He is a gorgeous horse and is a proper two-year-old,” said Hannon this week. “I was very pleased with his run at Doncaster the other day as he was giving a lot of weight away. His maiden was very impressive and if we get rain-softened ground, that would suit him. He should have an excellent chance.” I have the 7-4. Good Fortune has improved with each of his three runs winning at Lingfield last time in some style and is considered the biggest danger.
The Group Three Geoffrey Freer Stakes at 2.25 over 1m5½f is another decent heat and may go the way of Raymond Tusk who gets the weight-for-age advantage and has to enter calculations off the back of his Listed 1m3f win last month at Hamilton. He looked to love the extra distance that days and this trip should suit; was pitched in to G.1 company prior to that for the Coral-Eclipse which proved to big an ask. It’s hoped it is a quick double for Hannon and De Sousa as I am on at 3-1. The improving Hamada for Godolphin and Charlie Appleby is possibly the big danger following his seven-length triumph in a Newmarket handicap at the July meeting but he has to give the selection 9lb so will need to have improved lumps. It is also noted that William Buick is in France to ride stablemate Beyond Reason on a G.2 at Deauville.
They go over the straight seven furlongs at 3.35 for the Group Two Hungerford Stakes. Gustav Klimt has his sights lowered a little having been consistent without winning on Group One company for most of the season. At 11-4 the 3yo is fancied to gain a much deserved second success of what has been a very busy season; his fourth to Lightning Spear in the G.1 Sussex Stakes last time was his fifth successive appearance at the top level. I know the yard has been struggling this year – well compared to the level they normally work at – but the colt looks a very nice bet to me. Yafta, another from the Hannon yard, has to be considered with 5lb weight-for-age taken into account having improved with every run this season. Jim Crowley will naturally ride the Hamdan Al Maktoum owned Colt. Sir Dancealot and Librisa Breeze are flying the flag for the older generations.
Winx is long odds-on for Saturday's $500,000 Winx Stakes in the land down under. The race at Randwick is due off at 05.00 our time and victory would take her winning run to a record 26 victories – something to watch if you have a touch of insomnia.
Don’t forget they race at Deauville on Sunday with two big races to enjoy after your Sunday lunch. The ground there is good with light cloud forecast for the afternoon of racing. At 2.45 it’s the 6f Group One Darley Prix Morny for 2yo Colts & Fillies. Pretty Pollyanna could run looking to further enhance her reputation having trotted up in the G.2 Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes last time. 7-4 was available on Friday. Land Force, winner of the G.2 Richmond Stakes at Goodwood, may travel but he would need to step up again on that form.
They also have the 1m2f Group One Darley Prix Jean Romanet for 4yo+ Fillies & Mares at 3.20. Triple G favourite Rhododendron goes for the lads from Ballydoyle and on one of her good days, she wins. She crosses the Channel rather than going to York next week and I am on at 11-2 with Hills. The one to beat looks to be the Francis-Henri Graffard trained Bateel.