Hungerford Stakes Tips: Haggas to claim Group 2 glory at Newbury

Hungerford Stakes Tips: William Haggas can train the winner of the Group 2 prize at Newbury.
Hungerford Stakes Tips: William Haggas can train the winner of the Group 2 prize at Newbury.

Steve Chambers previews the Group 2 Hungerford Stakes, which takes place at Newbury on Saturday afternoon, and he picks out his best bet for the feature race of the day...

Charlie Appleby trained Glorious Journey to victory in this race two years ago and the Godolphin trainer will be doubly represented in the 2021 renewal with Al Suhail and D'Bai flying the flag for the boys in blue. Of the pair it's certainly the former that stands the most chance of claiming the win, and the son of Dubawi was last seen finishing third behind Tilsit in the Summer Mile at Ascot. Prior to that he was seen competing in Dubai, where he struggled in Group 1 company, so a drop down in grade from that should see him in a better light.

Going from a mile to seven furlongs on Saturday afternoon, Al Suhail will compete over that trip for the first time since his juvenile campaign back in 2019, so it's certainly intriguing to see him over seven. However, he's only ever recorded two wins from his nine career starts, and while he ran well at Ascot, he may just find one or two too good for him here, and while he's favourite, at the prices he's most certainly worth taking on.

Second in the Buckingham Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, the Owen Burrows-trained Danyah returned to the Berkshire venue and bounded to victory in the International Stakes, which is one of the toughest handicaps on the Flat calendar, and he's now looking to step into Pattern company and continue his good form.

Second in the Spring Cup at Newbury back in April, Danyah has enjoyed the drop down to seven furlongs, and having blossomed over that trip at Ascot on his last two starts, then he has to be considered one of the leading players here. But, this is a notable step in class, and while he's sure to be on the vicinity he could just be vulnerable to a classier rival at the weekend.

Richard Hannon's Motakhayyel is another venturing from the handicap sphere into Group company, but having won the Bunbury Cup impressively at Newmarket he was unable to follow up and finished ninth in the aforementioned International Stakes, which was won by Danyah. Much like his rival that day, Hannon's charge could just be another contender that fails to find the progress needed to deliver the goods at this higher level.

One with proven Group winning form and a fascinating runner here is the William Haggas-trained SACRED, who was last seen competing in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket, but this should be a much easier task. Seventh in the Guineas, Sacred had previously been a fine winner of the Group 3 Nell Gwyn Stakes over seven furlongs, so a return to that distance should see her at her best.

She will receive a significant weight pull from her older rivals, and not only will she get the three-year-old allowance, she will also get the filly allowance, so an attractive 8st 11lbs to carry gives her a superb chance of claiming victory. She showed a fine turn of foot to land the Nell Gwyn in style, and having been freshened up she should be primed for this event, and she looks excellent value around the 8/1 mark, at the time of writing.

Of the others that take their chance, Ed Walker's Dreamloper was a brilliant winner of a fillies' Group 3 contest at Ascot over a mile last time out, and she has to be considered if replicating that effort, while Jessica Harrington's Njord was last seen down the field in a competitive event at the Galway Festival, but had previously performed with credit on British shores. A fine runner-up in the John Of Gaunt Stakes at Haydock Park, the Irish raider will have to come into calculations here if reproducing that effort.

Laneqash and Line Of Departure are two not to be completely discounted, but they may just lack the class of Sacred, who can spring a minor shock here and claim the crown for the Haggas team.

Hungerford Stakes
Sacred silk

Sacred

won
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