Elsworth star Sir Dancealot poised for history-making bid in Unibet Hungerford Stakes
Sir Dancealot will attempt to secure himself a place in history at Newbury Racecourse on Saturday when he is set to try to become the first horse in 50 years to win back-to-back runnings of the Group 2 Unibet Hungerford Stakes.
David Elsworth’s stable star completed the Lennox Stakes-Hungerford Stakes double 12 months ago and having returned to form with another win at Goodwood last month he is on schedule to repeat the feat after he was one of 13 acceptors for the £100,000 prize.
Jimmy Reppin, a leading miler of the 1960s, is the only horse to win two runnings of the Hungerford Stakes in 1968 and 1969, the second win achieved following a victory in the Sussex Stakes.
Sir Dancealot’s Goodwood victory was the first winner for the Elsworth stable since Dandhu’s triumph in the Dubai Duty Free Stakes at Newbury in April.
With Lennox runner-up Hey Gaman, plus Flaming Spear (fifth), Space Traveller (sixth) and Donjuan Triumphant (eighth) also engaged, he could meet a familiar set of opponents in the race sponsored for the first time by Unibet.
Elsworth, 79, said: “We plan to go to Newbury. I don’t know what will turn up that didn’t turn up Goodwood. I am not clairvoyant but he is an easy horse to get on with and he is giving us good signals at home. We would obviously expect him to run well.”
Hey Gaman, beaten favourite in the Lennox, is set to renew rivalry with trainer James Tate hopeful of turning the tables on a track where his colt is also a course and distance winner, having captured the Denford Stakes on the corresponding card two year ago.
“Hey Gaman is an intended runner,” said Tate. “He’s come out of his last race well. He’s been to the seven at Newbury twice, won a Listed there and finishing third when needing the run behind James Garfield and Expert Eye in the Greenham Stakes last year.
“He clearly acts over course and distance and there is a lot of rain forecast which would suit him and perhaps not others. Sir Dancealot is a Goodwood specialist and we are not. He ran there and was okay on the track but I wouldn’t say it was one of his favourite tracks.”
Tate has entered Sameem, a rising star of his stable, in the Group 3 Unibet Geoffrey Freer Stakes for which there were 10 entries headed by the 115-rated Salouen.
Like Hey Gaman, he is owned by Sultan Ali and has has won his last two races, the latest in the Listed Glasgow Stakes at Hamilton which he won by three lengths.
“He is a fast improving horse who loves small fields,” Tate said. “He also loves soft ground. We will have a think about it on declarations morning and see what’s happening.”
The Unibet Hungerford Stakes is the feature event on a seven race card on Hungerford Day at Newbury. It will be the second of two days of racing at Newbury. Friday’s meeting features the Listed Byerley Stud Stakes.