Brave Punters Hungry For Big Payout
Newbury’s big race this Saturday comes via the Group 2 Hungerford Stakes (3.45), which has attracted a whopping 16 runners, including the current punters’ favourite, Home Of The Brave (5/1).
Brave Punters Set For Payout?
Home Of The Brave may have been beaten 7l in the 2,000 Guineas, but he bounced back to land Group 3 success at the Curragh last month (7f, yielding), making all the running. Whether this 3yo can be allowed to dominate a 16-runner field is another thing, but he is improving and respected.
If past trends are anything to go by, though, Home Of The Brave looks well drawn in stall 4 and is Irish-bred, another plus in this race…
Of the last 10 Hungerford winners…
10 were drawn in stalls 3-8
9 returned 110 or higher
9 were Irish-bred (24%) – British-breds were only 1-32 (3%)
9 never won a Group 2
8 returned 8/1 or shorter
J Gosden won it twice
Also on 5/1 is Andrew Balding’s 5yo, Here Comes When, a dual Group 2 winner last autumn (7f-1m), who takes a drop in class having performed creditably in Group 1 company the last three times (beaten under 4l by Solow last month).
Gosden’s Sixth Sense For Hungerford
The above stats show that John Gosden is a trainer to note (won this five times since 1994), and his 3yo, Richard Pankhurst (9/1), makes a belated reappearance having last been seen winning a Listed race at Royal Ascot 14 months ago (7f, good to firm). The market on Saturday may provide clues to his wellbeing, though one who doesn’t have fitness to prove is the top-weight, Safety Check (6/1).
Charlie Appleby’s 4yo won a couple of Group 2’s in Dubai earlier this year, before returning last month to finish just 1l behind Toormore in a Group 2 at Goodwood (7f, good to soft). Safety Check certainly has enough class, and that encouraging return would have set things up nicely for Saturday.
Limato Up In Trip
Meanwhile, Henry Candy’s 3yo Limato (8/1) runs for the first time since beaten under 4l by the subsequent dual Group 1 winner, Muhaarar, at Royal Ascot (6f, good to firm). Limato makes the move up to 7f here, which could suit judged by the way he finished at Ascot. Similar can be said of William Haggas’ 3yo, Adaay, who was a further 3l behind Limato at Ascot when keeping on.
As for those at double-figure odds, then Charles Hills’ 4yo, Cable Bay (10/1), has been there and done it, including a Group 3 win over 7f two outings ago.
A final mention goes to last year’s winner of this, Breton Rock (10/1), who scraped home by a short head 12 months ago, but was in better form beforehand than this year (unplaced both runs this term).
With fancied runners and Irish-bred performers boasting such a good record in this race during the last 10 years, the evidence points to Home Of The Brave, who comes here following a career best victory over this trip of 7f last time.
*Prices correct at time of publication