Hackwood Stakes Preview – Saturday 21st July

Last updated: July 21, 2018 by Leon Marshal

The 3.00 race on a valuable card at Newbury on Saturday is the Group 3 Hackwood Stakes over six furlongs. The race has been won by some top class sprinters over the years including Keen Hunter (1991), Lake Coniston (1994), Invincible Spirit (2001) and Deacon Blues (2011). The latter was one of three winners in the race for trainer James Fanshawe, also successful with La Grange Music (1990) and The Tin Man (2016). Last year’s race went to Magical Memory, trained by Charles Hills and ridden by Frankie Dettori.

Horses racing at Newbury

Equilateral backed for Hackwood Stakes

The key form line for this race could be the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot last month. Hey Jonesey finished fifth, Invincible Army ninth, Equilateral twelfth and Enjazaat twentieth. The early betting moves suggest that Equilateral is expected to come out on top on Saturday.

Charles Hills trains the colt who had beaten Foxtrot Lady by eight lengths at Doncaster in May. Last week the runner-up won a £62,000 handicap at Newmarket off an official rating of 94. Equilateral was among the market leaders at Royal Ascot but faded inside the final furlong. That was only the fourth race of his career so it would be no surprise to see him perform a lot better at Newbury.

Invincible Army was only beaten four lengths but his overall form suggests that he is best with a bit of cut in the ground. He had previously just failed to peg back Sands of Mali at Haydock Park. Enjazaat was never a factor at Royal Ascot and was over three lengths behind Invisible Army at the same course in May.

Dettori aboard Bacchus at Newbury

Hey Jonesey was a 40-1 outsider at Ascot so it was a creditable performance to finish fifth. He was entitled to take his chance there after being beaten a neck by Main Desire at York in May. Trainer Kevin Ryan dropped him back from seven furlongs after he finished fifth in the Free Handicap at Newmarket. Hey Jonesey was a useful two-year-old, finishing fourth to U S Navy Flag in the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes in September.

Bacchus takes a step up in class after saving the bookmakers with his last gasp victory in the Wokingham Stakes. Brian Meehan’s gelding foiled a massive gamble on Dreamfield to win by a neck off an official rating of 105. That was his first run for 260 days but he also showed his best form on his debut last season. It remains to be seen whether he produce back-to-back victories.

Roger Charlton has booked Harry Bentley to ride Projection, a five-year-old gelding by Acclamation. He has been mixing it with Group 1 sprinters this season and must be respected. Projection was beaten only two and a quarter lengths in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot last time. He was also runner-up to Blue Point at the same course in October. The one worry with Projection is that he has only managed two victories from fifteen races.

Richard Hannon’s Yalta has been running consistently this season. He won over six furlongs at Newmarket in May before being beaten a head by Maksab over seven furlongs at the same track. Hannon stepped him up to Group 3 next time and he was runner-up to Above The Rest.

Two horses racing side by side at Newbury

Betting Tips

Projection @4-1 Bet365

Each-way 1/5 odds, 1,2,3

The Hackwood Stakes is due off at 3.00pm at Newbury on Saturday 21st July and will be televised live on ITV3.