Sat, 17 Aug 2019
WILLIAM Muir believes Pyledrive is in contention to win the Denford Stakes at Newbury on Saturday.
The Lambourn trainer is aiming to pick up success at his local track and he spoke with the Racing Post about his chances.
“He's in good shape and looks very well. He couldn't do much more than he did first time out and the race has worked out quite strong.
“His family handled soft ground, so I would like to think he'll handle it. I've always thought he was a bit above average, but this looks like a good race and we'll need to show how good we are.”
Elsewhere, Kingsclere trainer Andrew Balding will be hoping for more success at Newbury.
The trainer had one winner on Friday afternoon with Game And Set, and has four runners today.
One of those runners, Morando, is being heavily tipped to win the Geoffrey Free Stakes.
Balding is expecting a drop in class and optimum conditions to give Morando a perfect chance to get back to winning ways, as the soft ground specialist takes on a select field in this Group 3 contest.
King Power Racing's four-year-old has been found wanting at the highest level, most recently behind Enable in the King George at Ascot and the Coronation Cup at Epsom with a fourth to Defoe in the Group 2 Hardwicke at Royal Ascot in between.
Morando started the season in impressive style, defeating last year's St Leger winner Kew Gardens by eight lengths in the Ormonde Stakes on soft ground at Chester.
The forecast wet weather and running in a less competitive grade is expected to bring a resurgence – he is 9lb and more clear of his rivals on Racing Post Ratings.
Balding said: "He is dropping down [in class] but this is still a Group 3 and with a 3lb penalty so it won't be easy.
“The soft ground would suit him and any rain that falls would be to his advantage. He is a course winner too [St Simon Stakes last October] so hopefully he can run well."
The feature race afternoon is the Hungerford Stakes at 3.35, and Donjuan Triumphant is a runner out of Park House Stables.
But there will be fierce competition in the field as Sir Dancelot attempts to win the race for a second succesive year.
Sir Dancealot attempts to become the first back-to-back winner of the Hungerford Stakes since Jimmy Reppin 50 years ago when he takes on seven rivals in the Unibet-sponsored Group 2.
He also bids to become the first horse to complete an unusual 'double double', for last year's Hungerford win was preceded by success at Goodwood in the Qatar Lennox Stakes, and he won the same race again 18 days ago.
Balding, trainer of Donjuan Triumphant said: “ The rain would suit him and I thought he ran better than his finishing position suggests at Goodwood last time. He was hampered at a vital stage too. He is a decent horse on soft ground, so hopefully he can go well.”
Thanks to Racing Post for providing their support with this article. We’ll have a full report after racing closes.