The Group 2 Hungerford Stakes is the feature contest on a seven-race card on ITV this Saturday which also includes the Denford Stakes and the Geoffrey Freer Stakes.
It’s a relatively low-key afternoon as we continue to build up to York’s Ebor Festival, but we’re still on hand to preview the day’s main action in our ITV Racing Tips.
RACE OF THE DAY – HUNGERFORD STAKES – NEWBURY 15:35
A number of horses with something to prove will go to post in the Hungerford Stakes, and our traders are giving a decent enough chance to at least eight of the ten-strong field.
Dream Of Dreams is the highest rated in the contest, and while Sir Michael Stoute’s charge has been knocking around for some time at the top-level, he’s still winless above Listed class.
That leads us on to Threat, who could be the one to side with. Richard Hannon’s colt was mightily impressive as a two-year-old, winning twice in Group 2 company, including over 7f at Doncaster.
He hasn’t quite shown that same level of form as a three-year-old, although his two outings so far this term came over 6f and 1m against the likes of Palace Pier and Oxted in hot Group 1s.
This represents an easier assignment and a return to his favoured distance, and he should take all the beating ahead of Surf Dancer.
NEXT BEST – GEOFFREY FREER STAKES – NEWBURY, 15:00
There are plenty of familiar faces on show for this Group 3 contest, although it could be worth siding with new kid on the block Hukum, who steps up to this level for the first time.
The Sea The Stars colt won a shade cosily on his seasonal reappearance in the King George V Stakes at Royal Ascot and looks as though the extra 1½f on offer here should suit.
Trainer Owen Burrows is operating at an incredible 50% strike-rate over the last 14 days, which jumps to 66% with Jim Crowley in the saddle, as will be the case on Saturday.
The pair look to have a game chance against some more exposed types, although Alignak is another who should appreciate further after being touched off in a Listed race a Haydock last time.
ONE TO WATCH – DENFORD STAKES – NEWBURY, 13:50
11 of the last 12 winners of the Denford Stakes have gone off at 3/1 or shorter, so it’s usually wise to pay attention to the top of the market for this 7f contest.
Unfortunately for punters, our traders are finding it difficult to split Guru, Jumby and Dhahabi, which makes this renewal extremely difficult to call.
The latter of the trio looked the greenest on debut but still hung on to win and looks capable of producing the improvement required to win this.
He cost over 3 million guineas as a yearling, and with multiple Group race entries, there’s every expectation that he’ll run a strong race here for powerful connections.
SATURDAY 15th AUGUST, ITV RACING SCHEDULE
13:50 Newbury – Denford Stakes (Listed)
14:05 Newmarket – Heed Your Hunch Handicap
14:25 Newbury – You’re On Handicap
14:40 Newmarket – Betway Handicap
15:00 Newbury – Geoffrey Freer Stakes (Group 3)
15:15 Newmarket – Grey Horse Handicap
15:35 Newbury – Hungerford Stakes (Group 2)
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication