ITV Racing Tips: Hukum and Danyah can give Owen Burrows a big day at Newbury
Though the popular York Ebor meeting is just around the corner, there is some decent action available this weekend when Newbury, Newmarket and Ripon share the Saturday TV schedule.
The twin highlights of the Newbury meeting are the Group 3 Geoffrey Freer Stakes and the Group 2 Hungerford Stakes, while there are two races from Newmarket including the annual race for grey horses, plus two from Ripon featuring the Great St Wilfrid and it’s consolation race.
In the Geoffrey Freer, Hukum bids to claim a rare double in the race and if he can pull it off he will be the first horse to do it since old favourite Mubtaker, and he went on to land it three years in a row at the beginning of the century.
His trainer Owen Burrows could have a big day ahead as Danyah, winner of the International Stakes on King George day at Ascot, steps up in class for the Hungerford.
A tougher challenge will be finding the winner of the Great St Wilfrid Handicap in which 20 sprinters will thunder up the straight six furlongs. Last year’s winner Staxton heads the betting.
The Great St Wilfrid is the last of eight races on ITV4 which will start at 13:25. We have previewed the three most significant races of the day in our ITV Racing Tips.
Back-to-back winners of this race are hard to come by but Hukum, who won the race as a three-year-old, will attempt to emulate Mubtaker, who took it three times for the same Shadwell connections.
Hukum’s prospects are improved by the fact there is only one three-year-old in the field, Recovery Run, representing an age group which has won three of the last four runnings. Those horses were Hukum, Technician and Defoe, the last two went on to Group 1 success.
There appears nothing of their class in this year’s edition and with Hukum adding another Group 3 prize to his collection last time out, he should be too good here. Keep an eye on Rodrigo Diaz, given too much to do last time, who needs a top three finish to qualify for the Melbourne Cup.
Run over the specialist’s trip of seven furlongs the Hungerford has illustrious names on its roll of honour, such as Dream Of Dreams, Lethal Force and Excelebration.
Charlie Appleby won it two years ago with Glorious Journey and has chosen the race for Al Suhail, a one-time Classic contender who has done much of his racing at a mile. The half-brother of Telecaster cost 1.1 million guineas as a yearling and, now gelded, could start recouping some of that outlay more regularly.
However Danyah, a stablemate of Hukum, is the improver in the field capable of stepping up to this level after winning the International Stakes at Ascot. Line Of Departure, supplemented for the July Cup and only five lengths behind Starman, looks good each-way value.
The favourite has won the last two runnings of this competitive sprint and Staxton heads the betting to follow up his 2020 triumph. Mr Wagyu and Soul Seeker bring recent winning form and are sure to run well but there are also horses who have tumbled down the weights who could take a hand. Muscika fits that category. He finished fourth in the race in 2019 and is now 6lb lower with the in-form Joanna Mason taking another 3lb off. He likes to lead and off a light weight could be hard to peg back.
ITV Racing Schedule, Saturday 14th August
13:45 Newbury – Denford Stakes
14:00 Newmarket – 1m6f handicap
14:20 Newbury – Geoffrey Freer Stakes
14:35 Newmarket – Grey Horse handicap
14:55 Newbury – 7f handicap
15:10 Ripon – Silver Trophy
15:30 Newbury – Hungerford Stakes
15:45 Ripon – Great St Wilfrid Handicap
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing