Can Richard Hannon's Epsom winner scoop Weatherbys Super Sprint at Newbury?
Marlborough trainer Richard Hannon has the top weight entry for Saturday's (July 22) £250,000 five furlong Weatherbys Super Sprint, which is the highlight of the seven-race card at Newbury on Weatherbys Super Sprint Day - with the added attraction of singer Jess Glynne performing after racing.
The Richard Hannon-trained de Bruyne Horse (9st 4lb) was successful in the Woodcote Stakes at Epsom Downs on June 2 where he went off as favourite. He has since finished eighth and fourth respectively in Group Two contests at Royal Ascot and the Curragh.
Among other favoured horses among the 53 confirmations is the Michael Dods-trained unbeaten filly Time Trail (8st 8lb) - one of two horses with a 100 per cent record. The daughter of Swiss Spirit, she won by a short-head first time out in a minor contest at Beverley on May 1 and doubled up three weeks later in a five-furlong novice event restricted to fillies at Catterick, defeating Lady Anjorica (8st 4lb, Keith Dalgleish) by a head.
Fillies have an excellent record in the Weatherbys Super Sprint, taking 15 of the 25 renewals since the race's inception in 1991. Past winners include champion two-year-old fillies Tiggy Wiggy (2014) and Lyric Fantasy (1991).
Dods, who paid £38,000 for Time Trail at Goffs in September and is based in County Durham, does not want the ground to get too quick: "She has won her two starts narrowly so far. She did well on debut at Beverley and then struggled a little bit under the penalty at Catterick."
"I think the handicapper has probably got her where she should be at the moment. She has to step up if she is going to be competitive, but we feel it is worth having a go."
Yorkshire trainer Richard Fahey is always well represented in the Weatherbys Super Sprint and has eight horses going forward as he chases a third victory in five years. The pick of his entries appears to be Maggies Angel (8st 6lb) who was second to Dance Diva in the Listed Empress Fillies' Stakes at Newmarket on July 1.
William Haggas also has an excellent strike rate in the Weatherbys Super Sprint with two winners from seven runners since 2000. The Newmarket trainer relies on recent Lingfield Park winner One For June (8st 5lb).
Other eye-catching names include Corinthia Knight (8st 7lb, Archie Watson), ninth in the Listed Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot on his latest start, and once-raced Goodwood victor Snazzy Jazzy (Clive Cox).
However, with a maximum field of 25 runners, more than half the confirmed runners will not make the cut.
Newbury's seven-race programme also features the £60,000 G3 bet356 Hackwood Stakes over six furlongs. Last year's winner the Tin Man enjoyed the biggest success of his career so far in the G1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot last month.
Lambourn trainer Charlie Hills, successful with Strath Burn in 2015, is set to saddle G2 winner Magical Memory following his confidence-boosting win at Haydock Park earlier this month.
Cambridgeshire victor Spark Plug - trained by Brian Meehan at Manton - is one of 13 entries in the £37,000 Listed Bet365 Stakes over 10 furlongs.
His potential opponents include last year's G2 Royal Lodge Stakes winner Best Of Days (Hugo Palmer).
Jess Glynne will be performing a 90-minute set after racing, with the concert due to end at 7.30pm.
A large crowd is expected, but tickets will be available on the day for all enclosures.