Collet planning Betfred Hungerford Stakes raid with Majestic Mount
Exciting three-year-olds Home Of The Brave and Limato feature among 24 remaining entries in the £150,000 Group Two Betfred Hungerford Stakes (3.45pm) at Newbury on Saturday, August 15.
Home Of The Brave (Hugo Palmer) produced a career best when annexing a Group Three prize at the Curragh on July 19, while Limato (Henry Candy) is set to step up to seven furlongs for the first time after chasing home Muhaarar in the Group One Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot.
Richard Pankhurst (John Gosden) is in line to make his first start for over a year. The three-year-old has not run since storming to an impressive victory in the Listed Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2014.
Champion trainer Richard Hannon has five going forward, including Group Two Lennox Stakes scorer Toormore and Estidhkaar, who has not run since disappointing in the 2000 Guineas.
The Rodolphe Collet-trained Majestic Mount looks set to fly the flag for France. The five-year-old captured a Listed race at Deauville in December and was last seen out when fourth in the Group Three Prix de la Porte Maillot over seven furlongs at Longchamp on July 4.
Collet is no stranger to big race success in Britain, having sent out Sahpresa to a hat-trick of wins in the Group One Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket.
The trainer said: “There is a 95 per cent chance Majestic Mount will run at Newbury, although I am not going to make a final decision until Wednesday.
“The horse is well and ran a good race at Longchamp last time. I gave him a good break after he won at Deauville in December and I brought him back over five furlongs just to get him ready for Longchamp as there weren’t many options for him.
“The two options for him in France around this time are the Maurice de Gheest and Jacques Les Marois, which both would have been too tough in my opinion.
“The Newbury race looks a better option for him. It is still a Group Two but Majestic Mount is a nice horse and always gives his all. The British style of racing should suit him better and I am told Newbury is a real nice track. It will be my first runner there so it will be a good experience for me as well.”
There may also be runners from Ireland courtesy of the Ger Lyons-trained pair of Ainippe and Convergence, who were both Group Three scorers last time out, plus War Envoy (Aidan O’Brien) who landed the Britannia Handicap at Royal Ascot.
Other notable acceptors include last year’s winner Breton Rock (David Simcock, pictured above), dual Group Two victor Safety Check (Charlie Appleby) and the Hamdan Al Maktoum-owned pair of Adaay (William Haggas) and Markaz (Barry Hills).
Newbury’s seven-race card on Saturday also features the £60,000 Betfred Geoffrey Freer Stakes (2.35pm, 14 entries) over an extended mile and five furlongs. Entries include Group One King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes third Romsdal (John Gosden) and unbeaten three-year-old Tashaar (Richard Hannon), who won in facile fashion at Glorious Goodwood last time out.
The £25,500 Listed Denford Stud Stakes (2.00pm) for two-year-olds, which has been won by the likes of Rodrigo de Triano, Lammtarra and Haafhd, has reopened for entries until 11am tomorrow (Tuesday 11 August).
The seven-race thoroughbred programme, which is preceded by an Arab race at 12:55pm, runs from 1.25pm through to 4.50pm on Betfred Ladies Day, which is being held for the first time this year in support of Breast Cancer Care. There will be a chance to win a luxury holiday for two to Florida in the ‘Most Stylish Racegoer’ competition, and a live performance from world famous ABBA show Bjorn Again after racing. Gates open at 11:30am.
Betfred Hungerford Stakes, Betfred bet: 7/2 Toormore; 5/1 Safety Check; 6/1 Estidhkaar; 8/1 Limato; 9/1 Richard Pankhurst; 10/1 Here Comes When, Home Of The Brave, 12/1 Sloane Avenue; Adaay; 14/1 Cable Bay; 16/1 Breton Rock, Heaven´s Guest, Windfast, Markaz, War Envoy, Ainippe; 25/1 Coulsty, Tupi; 33/1 Majestic Mount, That Is The Spirit, Convergence; 50/1 Glory Awaits; 66/1 Emell, Lincoln
EACH-WAY 1/5 ODDS A PLACE 1-2-3. ANTE POST RULES APPLY.