Saturday 17th August 2019
Author: Jordan Yates
Image: Jordan Yates
It’s Hungerford Stakes Day at Newbury this Saturday and it’s Newbury where my sole focus comes from on the punting front. Starting off with the 1.50 which is the Denford Stakes the race is a listed event that’s contested over seven-furlongs and I think this particular event revolves around the Kevin Ryan trained JUAN ELCANO who I believe to be the most likely winner of the race. He was mightily impressive on debut when making up a lot of late ground at Haydock to win and then went on to run a great race when second in a Group 2 at Newmarket. That’s the best form on offer here by some way and if turning up in the same form as we’ve seen him in so far I think he’ll be mightily tough to beat. Out of the rest of them, Sun Power makes obvious appeal for Richard Hannon and King Power. He has Royal Ascot form behind Pinatubo and with SDS in the saddle, he’ll likely prove a big player at the business end of things. A mention also has to be given the Mark Johnston trained Thunderous who comes here unbeaten having won a couple of novice events. I was impressed with the way he won under a penalty the last day at Redcar and despite this demanding considerably more he’s certainly not without a chance.
WIN: JUAN ELCARNO (10/11)
Up next on the card at Newbury we have Group 3 action and that comes in the form of the Geoffrey Freer Stakes which takes place at 2.25. This is a race that’s ridden over a distance of just over a mile and five furlongs and similar to the previous contest the race for me seems to revolve around one horse and on this occasion, it’s Andrew Balding’s MORANDO who’s the mount of Silvestre De Sousa in the King Power Racing colours. He started off his campaign with a fine victory in a Group 3 at Chester when he brushed aside St Leger winner Kew Gardens in assertive style. Things haven’t gone quite right for him since as he’s found higher graded races too hot to handle but back down to this sort of level and on soft ground, he’s got to be a huge player. Sextant is a horse I’m a fan of and he actually featured in my ‘Flat Horses To Follow’ edition for this season. He’s a typically progressive sort for Sir Michael Stoute winning three of his four starts this season and once again has Ryan Moore on board here. Durston is another to note in the line-up, he brings solid form to the table here having finished a neck second to Sir Ron Priestly the last day at Goodwood. He’ll need to step up from handicap company though if he is to feature here.
WIN: MORANDO (11/10)
Onto the 3.00 and we take a step into handicap company here with the Class 3 Unibet Handicap over seven furlongs. This race is headed by Ripp Orf who’s somewhat a regular feature in big heritage handicaps that you typically see at the likes of Ascot. This is a slight drop in grade for him and he what’s he’s usually used to so it would be no surprise should he put in a bold showing here for David Elsworth and Jason Watson. I’m actually taking him on though on this occasion and I’ve done that with the Ed Walker trained GEORGE WILLIAM who’s the mount of Andrea Atzeni. He was a smart performer at his peak when with Richard Hannon and bounced back to form with a solid second-place effort over course and distance last month. If building on that effort here in July it would make him a big player and I can see him going well in conditions that he will handle better than some. An interesting runner here looks to be Godolphin’s Piece Of History who’s the mount of Tom Marquand. Saeed bin Suroor’s charge still looks unexposed compared to most here and he could well be one to keep a very close eye on.
WIN: GEORGE WILLIAM (3/1)
The feature contest of the day is the Group 2 Hungerford Stakes which takes place at 3.35 and is a race that’s ridden over a straight seven furlongs. The race was won last year by David Elsworth’s Sir Dancealot and he’s back this year in an attempt to retain his crown. He comes into the race in the same style as he did last year on the back of a win in the Group 2 Lennox Stakes at Goodwood and he’ll like prove a popular selection with punters. A horse I’m a big fan of currently heads the market though and that’s the John Quinn trained Safe Voyage. He will relish the soft going after becoming somewhat of a Haydock specialist progressing through the handicap ranks to go on to win a listed race and then a Group 3 there. His winning run came to an end the last day at the Curragh in Group 2 company but he still finished a solid third behind Romanised. It goes without saying he’s a big player. I’ve actually sided with the horse that separates them both in the betting here and that’s James Tate’s HEY GAMAN who is the mount of PJ McDonald here. He was behind Sir Dancealot the last day at Goodwood but has generally been in solid form this season with form placings of ‘1122’. He also won on soft going on the card a couple of years ago when he won the Denford Stakes which is also over seven furlongs. I’d argue a case for him being the classiest in this line-up and I think there’s every chance of him reversing the placings with David Elsworth’s five year old.
WIN: HEY GAMAN (11/4)