Unbeaten Mrs Danvers steps up to Newbury’s Weatherbys Super Sprint on Saturday
Newbury Racecourse stages Simply Red live on Weatherbys Super Sprint Day this Saturday, July 16, with a fabulous seven-race card, headed by the £250,000 Weatherbys Super Sprint (4.10pm) over five furlongs.
First run in 1991, this unique contest for two-year-olds offers fantastic prize money down to 10th place and is restricted to horses sold or bought in at public auction for £50,500 or less.
A maximum field of 25 was revealed today with Yorkshire-based trainer Richard Fahey, who has won two of the last three renewals, represented by seven runners. The Fahey septet are Six Strings (Tony Hamilton), Carson City (Patrick Mathers), In First Place (Graham Lee), Good Time Ahead (John Egan), Boundsy (Sam Hitchcott), Lady In Question (Paul Hanagan) and Lucky Mistake (Conor Beasley).
Tim Easterby is the most successful current trainer in the Weatherbys Super Sprint with three victories and has two contenders this year – Ventura Secret (Jim Crowley) and Hope Solo (James Sullivan).
Jonathan Portman, based locally to Newbury at Upper Lambourn, is represented by the unbeaten Mrs Danvers (Luke Morris) who has joint bottom-weight of 8st.
The daughter of Hellvelyn caused a 33/1 shock when winning easily on debut at Lingfield Park on June 11 and followed up by taking a fillies’ conditions race in good style at Windsor on June 26. Both of her wins have been over five furlongs on soft ground. She was bought by Portman for just £1,000 at Tattersalls Ireland Ascot Sale in February this year.
Portman commented: “We are very happy with the progress Mrs Danvers has made so far. She has not had to have too hard a race on both her two starts so far.
“Her two wins both came on soft ground, which she was very happy on but she won’t get it on Saturday. I don’t think she will have as much of an advantage on faster ground but I do think she will handle it OK. It is just it may suit other horses better.
“She is very well in herself and is an improving filly, we hope. She is still maturing and growing up. I am not sure she has beaten a great deal yet, so has a bit to prove but we have always seen her as a nice filly.
“In the Weatherbys Super Sprint, she has a lot more on her plate and we are just looking forward to seeing how she copes with a bit more pressure. We don’t think she is a certainty by any means and has her work cut out but hopefully she can be competitive off of eight stone.
“She is a very straightforward filly and we are lucky to have her.”
Other leading contenders include Clem Fandango (Keith Dalgleish/Andrew Mullen), who finished third in the Group Two Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot, impressive Chester winner Super Julius (Eve Johnson Houghton/Shane Kelly) and Spiritual Lady (Charlie McBride/Cam Hardie), who caught the eye when making an impressive winning debut on Newmarket’s July Course.
The main supporting action on Saturday is provided by the £60,000 Group Three bet365 Hackwood Stakes (3.35pm, 13 runners) over six furlongs. The field includes 2014 Group One Middle Park Stakes winner Charming Thought (Charlie Appleby/James Doyle), last season’s Group Two Coventry Stakes hero Buratino (Mark Johnston/Robert Havlin) and The Tin Man (James Fanshawe/Tom Queally), who will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing run in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot.
There is also Listed action the shape of the 10-furlong bet365 Stakes (3.00pm, eight runners) won last year by Intilaaq (pictured). Group Two winner Berkshire (Paul Cole/Jim Crowley) is declared along with Listed winners GM Hopkins (John Gosden/Robert Havlin), Scottish (Charlie Appleby/James Doyle) and Master Carpenter (Rod Millman/Frederik Tylicki). Trip To Paris (Ed Dunlop/Graham Lee), successful in the Group One Gold Cup at Royal Ascot in 2015 over twice as far, makes his seasonal return in this contest.
Simply Red on Weatherbys Super Sprint Day gets underway at 1.25pm with a race for Purebred Arabians followed by the first Thoroughbred action at 2.00pm, with the card running through to 5.15pm.
Premier Enclosure sold out
Tickets for the Premier Enclosure on 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.
Newbury also races tomorrow, Friday, July 15, with a seven-race card running from 2.00pm through to 5.15pm.