17th August 2012
Newbury Betting: Soul should give Strong Suit a hard race in 7f affair
Newbury 3.05pm – Hungerford Stakes – 7f – Group 2
Richard Hannon saddles two with chances here and Strong Suit is the more fancied of the two at 2-1 with PaddyPower. It is usually ridden by Richard Hughes but today Ryan Moore is in the saddle and could add to his tally for the jockeys championship and be provided a winner by Hughes’s own trainer. Strong Suit has plenty of class and looks like a Group 1 horse in a Group 2 race. It seems to struggle over a mile at the top level and the same kind of criticism was previously aimed at Canford Cliffs and Paco Boy before they silenced the critics.
Strong Suit was a 4 ½ length winner over 7f in a Group 2 race at Newmarket. The horse in 2nd was Chachamaidee, now withdrawn from this race but this horse has run well this season and has recorded 2 wins and a 2nd so it is clearly no mug but was put in its place by Strong Suit. It is still to win a Group 1 race but was 2nd to Dream Ahead, beaten 9 lengths. It has had its problems with breathing but came back well after an operation. Ryan Moore will be hoping to use its turn of foot to best effect close home and get another winner on the board.
Libranno is the other Hannon runner and it has shown great consistency in its last 3 races with a 2nd and 2 victories. It has won over 6f and 7f but at listed and Group 3 class races. It beat Edinburgh Knight in June by ½ a length and that rival is in this race today. It was 2nd to Chachamaidee at Goodwood at the end of July, beaten 1 ½ lengths. If we use Chachamaidee as a marker then this horse has a lot of improvement to find to beat Strong Suit. Edinburgh Knight was last in the Goodwood race and looks up against it here.
Lethal Force wears blinkers for the first time and has finished 4th in Group 2 races last June and July but is still only a maiden winner and was beaten in a class 3 race last time out. It has been beaten over 6f and has yet to prove it truly stays 7f and is passed over here today.
Red Jazz won a listed race over 7f at Haydock back in May but has been 4th of 7, 9th of 11 and 8th of 8 since in Group 3, Group 2 and Group 1 races. It was a Group 2 winner over 7f back in October 2010 but has not shown that type of form recently. The drop back to 7f might see some improvement but it certainly needs some from somewhere to go close in this race.
Majestic Myles has raced 5 times this season, all over 7f and won just one of them. It got the run of the race from the front at Chester on soft ground and ran out an easy winner. It was well beaten by Chachamaidee last time out and has also been beaten by Libranno, Red Jazz and Pastoral Player this season and they all oppose today.
Pastoral Player ran a fine race last time out to finish 2nd to Fanunalter in a Group 2 race at Ascot. It was outclassed when facing Black Caviar but was also awkward in the stalls that day and that wouldn’t have helped. It beat Majestic Myles at Haydock over 7f while previous wins were in handicaps. It has a tendency to blow the start and won’t get away with it all the time.
Soul was a 4 length winner last time out but over 6f and on heavy ground. It has won over 7f but at the Australian Sandown. It was 4th to Black Caviar and only beaten 1 ¼ lengths that day. It stayed on strongly last time out over 6f to suggest this trip will be fine and it looks quite unexposed in this country, most of its racing was previously in Australia until Godolphin brought it over here. Dettori takes the ride and the horse is the 2nd highest rated with plenty of potential.
Alanza was 7th in a Group 1 last time out on soft ground over a mile. It won a Group 3 race over 7f on good to soft and also won over 7f at Doncaster in another Group 3 race. It is rated 108 but is only 4 years old and although it has to prove up to this class it is still growing and improving. John Oxx’s horses are respected when sent over here and it is a 9-1 chance to win this race. It has won on good and good to firm so ground shouldn’t be an issue.
Strong Suit is expected to go well as long as the ground does not turn soft but slight preference at the prices is for Soul. It seems to have plenty to offer and can go well for a stable in form at odds of 7-2 and should go on the ground and gets the trip and further.
2pts WIN – Soul 7-2 Bet365 (BOG)
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Author: Formbook Frank