Hamada set for Melbourne Cup trip following Newbury victory

Sat 18 Aug 2018

Watch a full replay of the Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Geoffrey Freer Stakes won by Godolphin's Hamada at Newbury on Saturday and read our report from Berkshire.

Hamada continued his winning spree with a clear-cut victory in the Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Geoffrey Freer Stakes at Newbury.

The gelded son of Cape Cross lined up in the Group Three contest having won each of his three starts since returning from the best part of two years on the sidelines, completing his hat-trick with a dominant display in a Newmarket handicap last month.

Stepping up in class, Charlie Appleby’s four-year-old was the 7-4 favourite in the hands of James Doyle, who positioned his mount in behind his pacesetting stable companion Walton Street.

Walton Street kept up the gallop to keep himself in contention, with first Raymond Tusk and then Hamada coming through to join him in the straight.

Raymond Tusk was short of room approaching the final furlong after Hamada hung across him, but it made little difference to the result as the latter forged clear late on for a decisive two-and-a-half-length success.

A tilt at the Melbourne Cup is likely to be on Hamada’s agenda.

Appleby’s assistant, Alex Merriam, said: “Definitely Australia is the plan now. We are very pleased with that.

“James said he saw it out well and that the ground was just on the soft side for him. He thought that Australia would suit him well.

“Walton Street has finished third there, so he has probably booked his place (on the plane to Australia) as well, then there is also Cross Counter. We will weigh up the options this week and see what Charlie wants to do.”

Richard Hannon was pleased with the performance of Raymond Tusk, who will now be targeted at next month’s St Leger at Doncaster.

Hannon said: “It was a super run. He was just a bit gassy.

“He lost a lot of weight when he came back from Scotland after winning the Listed race up there, but I knew he would improve for that and we had to get some weight back on him.

“He slightly did a bit of the donkey work and was slightly softened up by the other Godolphin horse. He got in bit of trouble and still ran on to be second.

“The trip is no problem and we will absolutely go to the St Leger. I think the interference will have done him good experience-wise and hardened him up. It was the ideal run.”

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