Aljamaaheer tops 47 entries for the Betfred Hungerford Stakes
Roger Varian’s Aljamaaheer is the headline name in a 47-strong entry for the £100,000 Betfred Hungerford Stakes at Newbury Racecourse on Saturday 17 August.
The seven furlong contest was won 12 months ago by the subsequent Diamond Jubilee and Darley July Cup winner Lethal Force, and prior to that, the 2011 renewal went to Excelebration, who finished his career as a three-time Group One winner.
Second in the Group One Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot, the four-year-old colt Aljamaaheer has since won the Group Two Summer Mile and is one of five entries for owner Sheikh Hamdan al Maktoum.
Varian’s colt was forced to miss a recent engagement at Glorious Goodwood because of unsuitable ground however he could head to Berkshire for the Group Two race.
Angus Gold, racing manager to Sheikh Hamdan al Maktoum, said: “He is scheduled to run in the Prix Jacques le Marois this weekend but if for any reason he doesn’t head there then the Hungerford is certainly an option.”
The Newmarket handler could also be represented by Eton Forever and Poole Harbour, whilst Mike de Kock’s Soft Falling Rain is also one of the Shadwell entries.
Champion two-year-old in South Africa, the son of National Assembly won three times in Dubai over the winter, including the UAE 2000 Guineas.
Gold said: “He’s an intended runner and it will be his UK debut.
“We gave him a bit of a break to freshen him up and we’re looking forward to running him.”
David Simcock has QIPCO Sussex Stakes fourth Trade Storm among the entries however he is more likely to rely on recent Goodwood runner-up Caspar Netscher.
Having his first start for Simcock, the four-year-old was an excellent second behind Garswood in the Group Two Lennox Stakes and has a trip to Newbury on the agenda.
Simcock said: “If he comes out of Goodwood ok then he’s more likely than Trade Storm to run at Newbury.
“We’ll just have to wait and see whether two and a half weeks between his races is long enough given he was coming back from a long time off the track.
“We were delighted with that first run back.”
Richard Fahey’s Garswood is also amongst the entries, whilst other notable possibles include the John Gosden-trained pair of Fencing and Gregorian.
Fencing, winner of the Washington Singer Stakes at the course as a juvenile, was sixth behind Garswood on his most recent start, whilst Gregorian also won at the track in his first season and was third in the Queen Anne Stakes earlier this year.
A strong Godolphin entry includes Tawhid, runner-up behind Montiridge on his latest start, Australian import Soul and recent Thirsk winner Lockwood, while Ballydoyle could be represented by up to six runners, most notably QIPCO 2000 Guineas fifth Cristoforo Columbo.
Tickets for Saturday 17 August, which also features a concert by Meatloaf as part of the Party in the Paddock series, are on sale from £35.