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14:20 Newbury I will start this preview by saying I have an aversion to tipping favourites and then tell you I’m going to tip a favourite! Several runners in this race have questions to answer whether it be up in grade or running at a trip short of their best and favourite Hukum who won this race last year looks to have everything in his favour and can repeat his win here.

Hukum looks like going off a short price here but with good reason. He won the Group Three John Smiths Silver Cup at York last time (Roberto Escobar well beaten in fourth). He was quietly impressive there travelling strongly and then staying on well. Prior to that run he was an excellent third (beaten 3L) to the high class Arc prospect Wonderful Tonight in a Group two on soft ground at Ascot. He looks capable of winning at least at Group two level and can take this on the way. He does have to carry a 3lb penalty for the Group three win, but it shouldn’t prevent him winning today.

Of the others Golden Pass a Golden Horn filly has been running well in mile and a half listed races. She goes up in trip here but the way she kept on at Newmarket last time suggests she is worth a go at this trip. The other horse I fancy to get a place is Sleeping Lion who was 4th in a decent handicap here last time. Rodrigo Diaz finished in front of him that day, but Sleeping Lion has a hefty pull in the weights today. However, that race was over 2 miles and because of the drop in trip I do not see him beating Hukum.

For the rest of the field Pablo Hernandes won a Group 3 at Goodwood last year but has looked badly out of form since unlike his stable who have been in fabulous form. Recovery Run looks out of his depth and would need softer ground. Red Verdon needs further and is an infrequent winner. Rodrigo Diaz has a good record in handicaps but will struggle to confirm form with Sleeping Lion off level weights. Without a Fight looks to need softer ground.

Questions marks over most of the field here but none regarding Hukum who looks a better class than most of these. Sleeping Lion and Golden Pass can both run well at decent prices but I cannot see them winning so the selection has to be Hukum.

HUKUM (WIN) written by Steve Marriott


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