Tuite and Hannon targeting the £250,000 Weatherbys Super Sprint on Saturday
Newbury Racecourse stages a tremendous seven-race card on Weatherbys Super Sprint Day, Saturday, July 22, with Jess Glynne performing after racing.
Run over five furlongs and inaugurated in 1991, the feature £250,000 Weatherbys Super Sprint is an innovative race for two-year-olds who were sold or bought in as yearlings by public auction at ‘specified sales’, or as two-year-olds up to and including March 6, 2017, for £60,000 or less before July 1, 2016, or for £63,000 or less after June 30, 2016.
For each £5,000 paid under £63,000, horses are given a 1lb allowance (the last sale to govern the price if sold more than once). Colts and geldings are set 9st 3lb before any allowance and fillies 8st 12lb. The following penalties apply: a winner of a Class 2 race 3lb, of a Listed race 5lb and of a Pattern race 8lb.
Lambourn trainer Joe Tuite is excited by the prospects of the topically-named Mother Of Dragons (8st) at the foot of the weights. The Qatar Racing-owned filly, who realised just €2,000 when sold to Tuite at Tattersalls Ireland in 2016, was narrowly denied on her first two starts at Windsor and Goodwood before coming home 15th of the 23 runners in the G2 Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Tuite said about the Society Rock filly today: “I am very happy with Mother Of Dragons. The filly is in good shape and we are looking forward to Saturday.
“I thought she ran well at Ascot. We were not disappointed and ever since then we have been aiming at the Weatherbys Super Sprint.
“We get in the race off a very raceable weight that’s for sure, and there doesn’t appear to be a Tiggy Wiggy or the likes turning up this time. It doesn’t look that way at the moment anyway!
“I am very happy with mine and, off eight stone with Jimmy Quinn on board, I wouldn’t swap her.”
Tuite has saddled one runner so far in the Weatherbys Super Sprint, with Field Of Vision taking third in 2015.
Richard Hannon senior has been the most successful trainer of all-time in the Weatherbys Super Sprint, having landed the valuable prize on seven occasions. On taking over the licence from his father in 2014, Richard Hannon junior immediately carried on the family tradition with subsequent G1 winner Tiggy Wiggy landing that year’s renewal of the Weatherbys Super Sprint.
Hannon junior has a total of six entries for 2017 honours, headed by top-weight and current ante-post favourie De Bruyne Horse, who is owned by Middleham Park Racing.
The son of Showcasing, who sold for £50,000 at the Goffs UK Premier Sale in 2016, has been successful on two of his five starts, taking a novice race over six furlongs at Ripon on May 21 and the Woodcote Stakes over the same distance at Epsom Downs on June 2.
For his latest two outings, De Bruyne Horse has stepped up to G2 level over six furlongs, finishing eighth in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot on June 20 and fourth in the Railway Stakes at the Curragh on July 1.
Hannon said: “De Bruyne Horse will go for the Weatherbys Super Sprint. I have spoken to Tim Palin at Middleham Park and we have decided to race at Newbury.
“He is also in the Prix Robert Papin at Maisons-Laffitte on Sunday but he would be up against Clive Cox’s filly (Heartache) there. She looks very good and I don’t think he can beat her.
“He has run in a few good races this season including in the Coventry Stakes and the Railway Stakes. He has performed with credit and not let anyone down.
“I just think that in the Super Sprint, there will be horses that haven’t got the ability that he has. Although it is dropping back to five furlongs, he has got the speed. He might enjoy passing a few and it gives us a chance to get back to winning ways with him.”
There are 53 two-year-olds still going forward for the Weatherbys Super Sprint and a maximum of 25 can take part at 3.35pm on Saturday.
Newbury’s seven-race programme on Saturday also features the £60,000 G3 bet365 Hackwood Stakes (3.00pm, 21 entries) over six furlongs. The 2016 winner The Tin Man enjoyed the biggest success of his career so far in the G1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot last month and Magical Memory, who finished behind The Tin Man at Ascot, is the likely favourite for Saturday’s G3 contest.
Jess Glynne will be performing a 90-minute set after racing for which a large crowd is expected, but tickets will be available on the day for all enclosures.
Newbury also races on Friday, July 21, when the feature is the £25,500 Listed Bathwick Tyres Rose Bowl Stakes (3.50pm, 17 entries) over six furlongs for two-year-olds. Previous winners of the race include top-class sprinters Limato (2014) and Tasleet (2015).