Newbury Saturday Preview - 16/07/22

James Mackie | @jamesmackieee

Newbury - July 15 2022
Newbury 12:50
Tom Marquand

Grocer Jack

J: Tom Marquand
T: William Haggas
Age: 5
Weight: 9-8
OR: 110
Days: 41

The first selection of the afternoon from Newbury on Saturday comes in the Listed Steventon Stakes, also known as the bet365 Stakes and Grocer Jack for William Haggas could go close.

The five year old has been a globe trotting horse for the yard since joining, having moved to Haggas this season having been a smart horse in Italy.

Having won on his final start at Hoppegarten in Germany for his old yard in a Group Three event, he made his first start this term in February in Saudi Arabia and finished a close up fifth in the Group Three Neom Turf Cup.

Sent up in trip for his last start over in France in the Group Two Grand Prix de Chantilly he was a fair fourth behind some smart french horses.

Back down to his preferred 10f on quicker ground he has his ideal conditions and also dropping back into Listed company having been performing well in Group races, he holds big claims for a thriving yard.

Newbury - July 15 2022
Newbury 13:21
Rob Hornby

Rock Eagle

J: Rob Hornby
T: Ralph Beckett
Age: 7
Weight: 9-5
OR: 98
Days: 32

Next up is the Highclere Castle Gin Cup Stakes over 2m 1/2f and Rock Eagle for the inform Ralph Beckett makes big appeal at around the 9/2 mark.

A superb yardstick over the years the seven year old was highly consistent last year in similar events over staying trips, always floating around the 100 mark with the handicapper.

Seen twice this season, he needed his comeback at Haydock over 1m4f with the trip being too short and overall it looking like a pipeopener.

He was last seen at Royal Ascot when running a cracking race in the Ascot Stakes over 2m4f, getting to the front and going well a few furlongs out but just fading late on into eighth.

He drops close to half a mile in trip for this event which should suit perfectly and still available at an each way price he looks a nice bet.

Newbury - July 15 2022
Newbury 13:56
Sean Levey

Happy Romance

J: Sean Levey
T: Richard Hannon
Age: 4
Weight: 9-6
OR: 110
Days: 7

The feature race of the afternoon is the Group Three Hackwood Stakes over six furlongs and we are siding with Happy Romance.

An extremely smart filly for Richard Hannon over the years, Happy Romance has only started recently to truly show her full ability at the top level and we think it can continue in this event.

A winner of this race over six furlongs last year, she then went on to finish a valiant fourth in the Group One Sprint Stakes at Haydock, but rounded off the season with a tame effort at Ascot on Champions Day.

Back this year she went to Riyadh over seven furlongs and was a very close third in the G3 Turf Sprint and next time out back at 6f she showed a classy turn of foot to finish second of 16 in the Group One Al Quoz sprint at Meydan behind the talented A Case Of You.

Not seen again since June, she returned in the Group One Platinum Jubilee Stakes when running another decent race into eighth and then last time out in the July Cup was another strong seventh.

Dropping back in class to a race she won last year, she looks a solid contender at odds of 9/2 and shouldn't be overlooked.

Newbury - July 15 2022
Newbury 14:30
Jack Mitchell

Rogue Spirit

J: Jack Mitchell
T: Tom Clover
Age: 2
Weight: 8-9
OR: 91
Days: 26

One of the trickiest events on the card is the Weatherbys Super Sprint Stakes over five furlongs and with a field of over 20 runners heading to post we have two selections.

The first is the Tom Clover trained Rogue Spirit with the two year old being seen three times to date and running strongly on every occasion.

Making his debut in May over 5f at Beverley he got off the mark in a decent 13 runner with the second going on to frank the form since.

Sent into the Two Year Old Trophy Conditions Stake over the same course and distance he ran another cracker to finish a neck second behind the talented Chateau.

Getting back to winning ways last time out at Wolves by three lengths in taking style he looks to be ahead of his mark of 91 and should run another bold race.

Newbury - July 15 2022
Newbury 14:30
Pat Dobbs

Swift Asset

J: Pat Dobbs
T: Richard Hannon
Age: 2
Weight: 9-3
Days: 19

At more of an each way price in the big fielded race is the Richard Hannon trained Swift Asset who has been backed from 25/1 into 7/1 ahead of this race with the handler winning three of the last four renewals and between him and his father they have won 10 renewals.

Swift Asset has been seen twice to date, finishing fifth on debut at Windsor over six furlongs, looking to need the experience but dropped to 5f at the same track last time out got off the mark in fine style.

He showed a clear turn of foot in the final furlong to pull away from the pack and looking the best of the Hannon team in this he can't be discounted with the teams record.

Progression expected again.

Newbury - July 15 2022
Newbury 15:05
David Egan

Julia Augusta

J: David Egan
T: Roger Varian
Age: 3
Weight: 9-2
OR: 90
Days: 17

The final selection of the afternoon comes in the Class 2 Premier Fillies' Handicap over a mile and Julia Augusta for Roger Varian might be one of the most exciting runners of the afternoon.

Making her debut in December at Kempton over a mile on the all weather she bolted up in a Novice Stakes and then returned this season for the first time at Thirsk on good ground over the mile again and went on to take another Novice Stakes by five lengths.

The Cheveley Park owned filly is a highly exciting daughter of Ulysees that makes her handicap debut in this event off a mark of 90 and she could be better than that.