is plenty to get your teeth into this weekend if you wish with horse racing at
Newbury, Doncaster, Newmarket, the Curragh and Deauville to name but five
of the meetings.
Newbury on Saturday will be the main meeting. At 1.50 they have the Listed Denford Stakes. Hey Gaman has arguably the best form on offer with two wins to his name, was well beaten in the G.2 July Stakes at HQ. The race though may come down to two with very little experience Learn By Heart and Red Mist. The Frankel colt owned by the Queen (gawd bless her) looked to relish every yard of the seven furlongs at Doncaster when winning last time having been third on debut over six staying-on. That win was on soft so any give in the ground will not be a problem and the Haggas yard are notching up the wins regularly. I have the 3-1 about him winning this before possibly moving on to bigger prizes.
At 2.25 it’s the Group Three Geoffrey Freer Stakes. Roger Varian's progressive colt Defoe puts his William Hill St Leger prospects on the line and is feared as the grey gets only 8-10 to carry. That said Frontiersman is a horse I have backed once this year when beaten ¾Lby stable mate Hawkbill in the G.2 Princess Of Wales's Arqana Racing Club Stakes last time. I wanted to back him for the G.2 Curragh Cup and G.2 Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot after his second in the G.1 Coronation Cup but he did not run I either. He is here for this and I am on at 5-2.
The main event is the Group Two Hungerford Stakes at 3.35. Goodwood winner Breton Rock will have to give weight to all 10 rivals. David Simcock's consistent seven-year-old won the race back in 2014 and came from last to first to win the G.2 Lennox Stakes at 50-1 last time out. Librisa Breeze was hampered just at the wrong time in that heat and was back in ninth. Massaat, second in the 2016 2,000 Guineas, would be odds-on for this on that form but has been off for over a year connections having found ‘a few niggly problems’ with the colt last year. Ground conditions suit and I am prepared to take a chance on his match fitness at the price of 11-1 as that will look huge if at his very best.
According to reports it is "odds-on" that Mark Johnston's smart filly Nyaleti will skip the G.1 Prix Morny at Deauville on Sunday in favour of the Sky Bet Lowther Stakes at York next week. Matthieu Palussiere trained Group Three Albany Stakes winner Different League looks just that to the likely opposition that is left in out in France and is a cheeky ante-post punt for me at 5-2.
The Curragh hosts the Group Three Irish St Leger Trial Stakes Saturday in which Order Of St George will be a very warm order if he runs. Staying out in the emerald Isle on Sunday September could run in the G.2 Debutante Stakes and has been odds-on in ante-post lists without being a definite runner. Stable mates Happily and Clemmie are also on the list.