The Curragh And Newbury Host Gr2 Features

Just monitor the weather reports

Feature fans have no black-type races on the local programme this weekend, so the The Curragh in Ireland, and Newbury racecourse in Berkshire, which both host Group 2 features on Saturday afternoon, could hold some interest.

There is of course the Gr1 Winx Stakes at Royal Randwick in Australia on Saturday morning for the early risers – the first is off at 03h35. Chris Waller will have a big say there again.

But in the Northern Hemisphere, rain is forecast in the south of England on Friday evening, so an update of track conditions is worth noting.

Aidan O’Brien’s Ballydoyle stable is in top form with eight winners from their last 31 runners over the last fortnight.

Aidan O’Brien – in top form

They saddle two of the five runners in the Gr2 Coolmore Stud Wootton Bassett Irish EBF Futurity Stakes (16h27) over 7-furlongs, with Ryan Moore opting to stay aboard the unbeaten Henry Longfellow.

A Dubawi colt by the great mare Minding, this course-and-distance winner was nearly two-lengths clear of runner-up Mythology who scored on his next start before finishing second in a Deauville Group 3. He should take this on his way to Group 1 features later in the season.

Half an hour later (17h00), it’s the girls equivalent – the Gr2 Alpha Centauri Debutante Stakes. A field of eight fillies, a more competitive contest on paper.

O’Brien and Moore team up with Pearls And Rubies who will appreciate the step back up to 7-furlongs after her running on second here in a Group 3.

Re-opposing on Saturday is her Royal Ascot conqueror, the unbeaten Snellen who got up to deny the Ballydoyle filly by a head in the Listed Chesham Stakes.

The Gr2 BetVictor Hungerford Stakes at Newbury sees a competitive field of 10 jump away from the 7-furlong pole at 16h35.

The Richard Hannon trained Chindit, officially the highest rated runner in the field, is the current 9/4 favourite. Sixth in the Queen Anne, beaten five-lengths, he now drops in trip and class and must be considered.

However his best form has been on good ground or better, so the selection is for last year’s winner Jumby to follow up for the in-form stable of Eve Johnson Houghton.

Here is the UK & Ireland programme for Saturday:

Ripon 14:35 pm 7 Horseracing
Newbury 14:50 pm 7 Horseracing
Newmarket 15:05 pm 6 Horseracing
Perth 15:15 pm 6 Horseracing
Doncaster 15:30 pm 6 Horseracing
Bath 18:02 pm 7 Horseracing
Market Rasen 18:30 pm 6 Horseracing
Curragh 14:45 pm 8 Horseracing
Tramore 17:10 pm 8 Horseracing

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