Hungerford Stakes preview: Burrows reminder of Massaat layoff

Fri 18 Aug 2017

Owen Burrows has warned Massaat is likely to be in need of the run in the Betfred Hungerford Stakes at Newbury on Saturday.

Last year's 2000 Guineas runner-up will be dropped back down to seven furlongs for the first time since October 2015 when he makes his seasonal return in the Group Two contest.

The son of Teofilo, who also finished down the field in last year's Epsom Derby, has not been seen since he trailed home last in a Group Three at Salisbury last August.

Burrows said: "Massaat is as fit as I can get him at home but he will be rusty and he will come on for it.

"I would not say he has grown a lot upwards but he has certainly filled out - but he was always a big horse.

"He is a year older now and is not the easiest to get fit as he doesn't overdo himself at home, but I have been happy with his work.

"It is a good starting point for him and hopefully if he retains his old ability he should run a good race.

"It's been a long year with him and he is the type of horse you don't want to be without.

"I am looking forward to getting him back out."

Chris Wall believes a line can be put through the Royal Ascot run of Mix And Mingle as she bids to give the Newmarket handler a second Pattern race winner this week after First Sitting won the Prix Gontaut-Biron at Deauville on Tuesday.

Wall said: "Her main mid-season target had been the Oak Tree at Goodwood but it came up too soft for her.

"Two things worked against her in the Duke of Cambridge at Ascot.

"She had an impossible task from her draw as low numbers didn't have a hope in hell that day.

"We also found out that she just doesn't stay a mile. We can draw a line through that. It was not representative of what she can do.

"She won her Group Three well over seven furlongs. She is fresh and well and if it dries up, all the better.

"She is in great form and I could not be more happier with her."

John Gosden won the Hungerford for a sixth time with Richard Pankhurst last year and will saddle Nathra and Daban.

Bruce Raymond, racing manager for their owner Abdullah Saeed Al Naboodah, said: "Nathra and Daban breezed very well the other morning and they both looked good.

"Nathra got boxed in on her return at Ascot and could not get any sort of run at all, so you can forget that run completely.

"Daban was sixth in the Jersey last time out. We felt that she was too close to a very fast pace and she simply could not keep up with it.

"John is running them both in the race as they need to run somewhere and I am sure he has got something in mind for them both later on."

Connections of the Roger Varian-trained Spangled are hoping she can make up for lost time on what will be her first start in 344 days.

Chris Richardson, racing manager to owners Cheveley Park Stud, said: "We were hoping to run her at Goodwood but the ground was too soft.

"Drying conditions will suit her better. She had a nasty foot abscess in the spring and which took a while to come right which was frustrating.

"We took a view to be very patient and let it clear up. She is sound now and Roger has been very pleased with her.

"I think we will possible step her up to a mile but it makes sense to start her back at seven."

The David Simcock-trained Breton Rock will bid to defy a penalty for his victory in the Lennox Stakes at Goodwood, while Kaspersky makes what is likely to be his final start in Britain for Jane Chapple-Hyam before being shipped out to Australia.

Ibn Malik (Charlie Hills), Librisa Breeze (Dean Ivory), Sir Dancealot (David Elsworth) and Poet's Vanity (Andrew Balding) complete the line-up.

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