Hungerford Stakes Heads UK Weekend Racing

Newbury Racecourse hosts the Gr2 BetVictor Hungerford Stakes, the highest-scoring race in Britain over the weekend, on Saturday afternoon (4:35pm).

The feature will be run over the 1400m straight on the Berkshire course where ground conditions are likely to remain good to firm.

Newbury Racecourse

Newmarket trainer William Haggas saddles three-year-old Tiber Flow, who won the course. The cheek pieces were removed after a disappointing eighth place behind Perfect Power in the Gr1 Commonwealth Cup last time out. He gets an age allowance of 6 pounds, and this progressive strain needs to be in the mix in a competitive race.

Chris Wall’s decision to run Double Or Bubble here instead of York next week is worth noting, and the five-year-old mare ran a fair fifth in the Gr1 July Cup behind Alcohol Free and Naval Crown, beaten by almost four lengths last start.

Going back as far as seven furlongs now seems like the right move after having made some decent efforts over distance in the past, including losing Highfield Princess over distance last year.

However, an opportunity is taken with leading Pogo, trained by Charlie Hills and ridden by Kieran Shoemark.

The Zebedee’s son has been in superb form this season, winning the John Of Gaunt Stakes at Haydock in May, followed in the Criterion Stakes at Newmarket and then finishing just under third behind Sandrine, most recently in the Lennox Stakes at Goodwood where thereafter As he went beyond a furlong, he fought back in his typical style of play.

With an official rating of 115, Pogo looks to be the one to beat when he gets 3lbs from the penalized Chindit, while every other horse in the field has at least 5lbs to find.

Earlier on the card (3.30pm) course winner Away He Goes, coached by the in-form Ismail Mohammed, could be the one to take on the Gr3 BetVictor Geoffrey Freer Stakes.

Only five go to the post over the extended 1 mile and five furlong starts, with 3-year-old Zachariah, coached by Martin Meade, being the favorite.

Tom Marquand, pictured above, is riding Nathaniel’s colt and the £10 age allowance he is receiving is positive. He was narrowly denied in the Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot but was then disappointed when he was the favorite behind Deauville Legend at Newmarket on Saturday.

Six-year-old Away He Goes took a step up after his resurgence when he finished fifth behind Kyprios, Stradivarius and Trueshan in last month’s Goodwood Cup and this form looks to be by far the strongest. He can recover from defeat in trip and class.

All eyes will be on Luxemburg at the Curragh when he returns for the Gr3 Fitzdares Royal Whip Stakes (17:05) after a 105 day hiatus.

The Camelot stallion improved his reputation when he finished third in the 2000 Guineas in May and with this expected rise in ride he’s hard to beat.

This race looks like a good place to start ahead of a Group One fall campaign, including a possible tilt in the Arc in October.

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