As you come to expect Saturday was full of intriguing and competitive races across a number of tracks, with the highlight – in terms of class – in the shape of the Group 2 Hungerford Stakes at Newbury. Godolphin came home in first and second, although the apple cart was upset by John Gosden’s outsider, in the tricky customer of Richard Pankhurst who very much blows hot and cold. Newmarket, Doncaster and Ripon all held top cards as well and drew in some serious crowds to take in the racing.
4 50 FIDAAWY (M Stoute) 5/4, C4, 1M2.5F, Good to Firm
Despite only a field of five going to post, with a couple of significant N/Rs altering the market somewhat, Sir Michael Stoute’s progressive 3YO thrashed his opponents by over 7L. He was rated only 82 after a maiden win and an okay run on handicap debut, and took advantage of this generous mark with a reassessment in the 90s looking on the cards. He made all in confident fashion and was never threatened for the entirety. When pushed out a couple from the finish, the race was put to bed in a couple of strides. The gelding finished the race strongly, suggesting a couple of extra furlongs shouldn’t be an issue.
2 30 ESCOBAR (H Palmer) EVS, C1 Listed 2YO, 7F, Good to Firm
Our next run comes from another small field, however the class of juvenile was high and the market was reflective of the competitive nature of the race with the biggest price being only 6/1. Hugo Palmer’s brilliantly named 2YO was given a peach of a ride from Dettori and re-affirmed to everyone that Palmer has yet another top horse to go to war with in the hot upcoming juvenile races and heading into 2017. He is entered in the Derby, and although its very early days he looks a very classy and professional horse already after two runs.
2 15 CLEF (R Fahey) 5/1, C2 Nursery 2YO, 7F, Good to Firm
Another strong 2YO race was won by an improving filly, this time for the evergreen Richard Fahey. We felt Clef was well over-priced in the morning and our selection ran in a very cosy winner, by over 3L. She didn’t get the nicest of runs here last time out at HQ, but still ran respectably into fourth and certainly caught the eye in her previous run when winning bravely at Doncaster. She is a determined type with a tidy turn of foot, that could prove very effective over a longer trip. Although not entered in any of the big end of season races, there is plenty of racing still to be had and Fahey will definitely be targeting some black type before the campaign is up.