BILL ESDAILE PREVIEWS TOMORROW’S RACING
WITH more biblical rain expected to fall on Berkshire today, there is every chance that tomorrow’s Hungerford Stakes (3.45pm) at Newbury will be run on unseasonably soft ground.
When bookmakers priced up the Group Two seven furlong contest earlier in the week the likes of Safety Check, Home Of The Brave and Limato were all prominent in the ante-post list with proven decent ground form.
However, the dramatic change in the weather has seen that original market turned on its head, with plenty of support arriving for the proven mudlarks, while there has to be a doubt that Limato, Richard Pankhurst and potentially others won’t line-up.
There’s plenty to like about last year’s winner Breton Rock who is a completely different animal with soft underfoot conditions.
David Simcock’s five-year-old has shown little promise in two good ground outings so far this campaign, but I expect a definite step up tomorrow.
His form on going with the word ‘soft’ in the description reads 117131211213 and, with his stable in good form, he will go close.
Charlie Hills’ Cable Bay ran well in the Lockinge at this venue earlier in the campaign and is another who warrants plenty of respect. The softer the better for Heavens Guest, but this represents a big step up in class and he may want a bigger field to be seen at his best.
However, HERE COMES WHEN really caught the eye when landing the Group Two Challenge Stakes at Newmarket over this trip on soft ground at the back-end of last season.
He quickened up from an unpromising position in the style of a Group One horse that day and seemed to relish the conditions.
He ran well when sixth here in the Lockinge and went far better at Goodwood last time behind Solow than he had done at the Royal meeting.
All of those three outings have been on a surface plenty quick enough for him and I expect him to take some beating at 6/1 with Betway.
Elsewhere on Newbury’s card, I like the look of WITHERNSEA in the seven furlong handicap (3.10pm) who ran well over six furlongs on softish ground at this meeting 12 months ago.
Richard Fahey continues to fire in the winners and this son of Dark Angel has been given a bit of a chance by the handicapper.
Over at Ripon in the Great St Wilfrid (3.30pm), I’m going to have two against the field, one from each side of the track.
David Barron’s FAST TRACK ran well from a bad draw in the Stewards’ Cup consolation race and if the stands side is the place to be he can go well. The 10/1 with Betway looks fair.
On the far side last year’s sixth ANOTHER WISE KID looks over-priced at 25/1 with Betway. His best performances have all come at this track and he is down to a winnable mark.
WITHERNSEA e/w 3.10pm Newbury (tomorrow)
FAST TRACK e/w 3.30pm Ripon (tomorrow)
ANOTHER WISE KID e/w 3.30pm Ripon (tomorrow)
HERE COMES WHEN e/w 3.45pm Newbury (tomorrow)