Fabulous Friday in store at Newbury
Newbury Racecourse stages an excellent seven-race card on Friday, July 15, featuring the £25,500 Listed TKP Surfacing Rose Bowl (3.40pm, nine runners) over six furlongs for two-year-olds and two £25,000 handicaps.
The TKP Surfacing Rose Bowl Stakes was won by recent Group One July Cup winner Limato in 2014 (pictured below) and this year’s field of nine could deliver another star or two.
Legendary Lunch (Richard Hannon/Ryan Moore) won the Listed Woodcote Stakes at Epsom last month and subsequently finished sixth, beaten four lengths, in the Group Two Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot. His stable companion Sterling Silva (Pat Dobbs) also takes part and has won two of his three starts.
Mokarris (Simon Crisford/Paul Hanagan) and Tibr (Ed Dunlop/James McDonald) both made impressive winning debuts but have disappointed since, while Farleigh Mac (Andrew Balding/David Probert), Kodiline (Clive Cox/Adam Kirby) and Nobly Born (John Gosden/Frankie Dettori) were all successful last time out.
Miss Infinity (Mark Johnston/Franny Norton) is the one filly in the line-up and she has been successful on her latest two starts at Haydock Park and Ayr.
Smokey Lane (David Evans/Shane Kelly) has yet to win but the son of Zebedee has shown good form on both of his starts. After finishing runner-up on his debut in a six-furlong maiden at Ayr on June 18, he stayed on well to go down by two lengths to the The Last Lion in the Listed Dragon Stakes over five furlongs at Sandown Park on July 1.
A field of 12 is set line up in the £25,000 Compton Beauchamp Estates Ltd Silver Bar Handicap (4.15pm) over two and a quarter miles, the longest distance raced over on the Flat at Newbury. Sweet Selection (Hughie Morrison/Ryan Moore) and Medburn Cutler (Paul Henderson/Paul Hanagan) are both chasing hat-tricks while Nicky Henderson saddles Grade Two-winning hurdler Royal Irish Hussar (James McDonald).
Leah Freya (Pat Phelan/Paddy Bradley) is stepping up in trip, having not raced beyond a mile and a half up to now. The five-year-old mare recorded three victories at Epsom last season, twice over a mile and a half and once over 10 furlongs. On her only start of 2016, she was a close fourth in 12-furlong Great Metropolitan Handicap at the same venue on April 20.
Epsom-based Phelan said today: “We had planned to take Leah Freya back to Epsom for the Derby meeting but she got a bit of an injury and Newbury will be her first run back since she ran in April.
“It is a bit of shot in the dark running her over this distance but she is ready to run and the ground is nice so our hand is forced a bit to get an outing into her off her current mark.
“She is going to Newbury in good form, good health and should benefit from the run. We are trying to see if she settle well enough to get the longer trip. If she does, it opens up more options for her.
“She is not a horse you can judge a whole lot about at home – you have got to get her to the track. I thought when I entered her at Newbury she would be 10 pounds off of the top-weight. It hasn’t worked out like that (5lb difference) but Paddy Bradley has won on her before and claims seven pounds, which is useful.”
Seven runners are due to go to post in the £25,000 Upham Brewery Fillies’ Handicap (3.05pm) over a mile and five furlongs. The weights for this contest, restricted to three-year-olds, are headed by Girling (Ralph Beckett/Frankie Dettori), who was beaten eight lengths last time out in the Listed Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot. The main opposition to Girling could come from the Sir Michael Stoute-trained pair of Ruscombe (Ryan Moore) and Engage (Pat Dobbs).
Newbury’s card on Friday gets underway at 2.00pm and runs through to 5.15pm.
Newbury also races on Saturday, July 16, with Simply Red on Weatherbys Super Sprint Day. Tickets for the Premier Enclosure Simply Red on Weatherbys Super Sprint Day have sold out. Grandstand tickets are still available and can be purchased via Newbury Racecourse’s website – www.newburyracecourse.co.uk
Simply Red will be performing after racing at 5.30pm on the Party in the Paddock stage.