Newbury hosts one of it’s biggest racedays of the flat season in mid-August. The headline act at the Berkshire venue is the Hungerford Stakes, this seven furlong Group 2 affair often attracting a quality field.
This is one of only two Group 2 races held at Newbury, the other being September’s Mill Reef Stakes. The Hungerford was first contested in 1949 and was promoted to its current level in 2006 having previously been a Group 3.
Next Race: TBD
The next renewal of this race has not been scheduled yet. We will update this once the schedule has been released for next season. The race info, trends and tips shown below will be updated for the next renewal once the final declarations have been made.
Last Run: 15th August 2020
- Winner: Dream Of Dreams
- SP: 13/8
- Trainer: Sir Michael Stoute
- Jockey: Oisin Murphy
7f is the trip for this Group 2 event which offers decent total prize money of £60,000 this year. The going at the track is currently described as good but, with torrential rain forecast in the area, seems likely to be soft on the day of the race, despite the recent hot spell.
|Going||Distance||Grade||Prize Money||Runners||EW Terms|
|Good||7f||Group 2||£60,000||10 Runners||1/5 1-3|
Hungerford Stakes Betting Tips
Note: The following tips are from 2020. Tips for the next renewal will be added once the final declarations have been made.
One of the biggest races of the season at Newbury, the Hungerford Stakes is open to all runners aged three and older. When looking at the age of the previous winners, it is the four year olds who have fared best in recent times – registering 11 wins in the past 20 years, compared to five wins for the three year olds. That’s a strong trend and indeed the youngsters have won six of the last seven. That said, we can’t rule out older horses and the six year old Balthazaar's Gift won in 2009 and in 2006 the race was won by the seven year old Welsh Emperor.
Six-time winner John Gosden leads the way in the training ranks for this race but doesn’t hold an entry this year. That leaves three-time winning trainer Sir Michael Stoute as the leading handler represented in this year’s field. Stoute sends Dream Of Dreams into battle this time around and that one is certainly in with a very live chance.
This hasn’t been a great race for supporters of the market leader in recent years, with just the one winning favourite in the past decade – handing jolly backers a level stakes loss of -£7.75. It is often quite an open race though and whilst new have a warm favourite this year there are certainly plenty in with a chance.
|Dream Of Dreams||9/4||117||Sir Michael Stoute||Oisin Murphy|
|Glorious Journey||6/1||112||Charlie Appleby||James Doyle|
|Threat||6/1||112||Richard Hannon||Pat Dobbs|
Dream Of Dreams – 9/4
Heading the ratings for the 2020 edition is the aforementioned Dream Of Dreams from the yard of Sir Michael Stoute. Now six years old, the mount of Oisin Murphy does have to concede 6lb to the three years olds in the field, but that still leaves him with something in hand from all bar one of his rivals, and on the pick of his form he shouldn’t be too far away.
The majority of this one’s winning has come over the shorter 6f trip, but career form figures of 1522 over this distance are solid enough, and whilst he is yet to score in Group company, he couldn’t have come much closer.
Beaten by just a head in the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot in 2019, he then repeated that result exactly last time out in the 2020 renewal of that event. Down slightly in class here, the manner in which he finished off his race at Ascot suggests that this step up in trip may be what he needs these days. Whilst he could manage only fifth in his only previous attempt in this race, he did make the running that day, and may fare better under a more restrained ride.
Glorious Journey – 6/1
Also set to go to post is the defending champion, Glorious Journey. This Charlie Appleby-trained son of Dubawi proved to be half a length too good for the field in a soft ground version of the race 12 months ago and, with similar conditions appearing likely this year, he looks set to go well for Jim Crowley.
Four times a winner at Group 3 level or above, he is also more proven in this grade than a number of the others in the line-up. On the negative side, he does have to bounce back from a slightly underwhelming display in the Lennox Stakes last time out.
However, having gotten into a battle for the lead and then been hampered close home, he did have a couple of possible excuses that day. Of more concern is the fact that he has to concede weight to the entire field courtesy of the 3lb penalty picked up for a Group 2 win out in Meydan earlier in the season. That proven ability at the trip, and on soft ground, do count for plenty though, and he can’t be ruled out, although history may be against him, with Jimmy Reppin (1968 and 1969) the only multiple champion of this contest.
Threat – 6/1
Narrowly the best in at the weights, courtesy of the three year old’s weight allowance, is the Richard Hannon-trained, Threat. Going in the famous Cheveley Park Stud silks, this son of Footstepsinthesand takes a step down in class having lined up in Group 1 company in each of his three most recent starts.
Beaten over six lengths in his two outings during the current campaign, that step down in class may well be needed. Career form figures of 211 at Group 2 level do show he is up to this standard when on song though, and he looks dangerous to write off on the back of those two recent runs, particularly as they came over trips of 1m and 6f. Unbeaten in his only previous start at this 7f distance, connections will be hoping the return to the intermediary trip can see him bounce back to something like his best.
Hungerford Stakes Winners
|2020||Dream Of Dreams||13/8||Sir Michael Stoute||Oisin Murphy|
|2019||Glorious Journey||10/3||Charlie Appleby||James Doyle|
|2018||Sir Dancealot||4/1||David Elsworth||Gerald Mosse|
|2017||Massaat||12/1||Owen Burrows||Jim Crowley|
|2016||Richard Pankhurst||11/1||John Gosden||Robert Havlin|
|2015||Adaay||15/2||William Haggas||Paul Hanagan|
|2014||Breton Rock||3/1||David Simcock||Martin Lane|
|2013||Gregorian||3/1||John Gosden||Robert Havlin|
|2012||Lethal Force||25/1||Clive Cox||Adam Kirby|
|2011||Excelebration||5/4||Marco Botti||Adam Kirby|
About the Hungerford Stakes: Midsummer Group Action at Newbury
The Hungerford Stakes is a flat horse race run at Newbury in August of each year. The race is named after the town of the same name which lies only several miles to the west of Newbury. The race is open to all horses aged three years and older, and is run over the longest distance to still be considered a sprint race: seven furlongs.
The popular affair began back in 1949 and was initially run over a distance of one mile and four furlongs. The first race was won by the famous horse Star King, who was later shipped off to Australia to have a renowned career under the new name Star Kingdom. In the early years of its existence, the race was run on Newbury’s left handed course and shortened to seven furlongs 64 yards and for a time was a Group 3 contest. In 2002 the race was changed to run on the straight track, and four years later in 2006 the race was upgraded to its current Group 2 status.
Hall of Fame
The race has garnered much interest over the years from the betting community and as such brings with it the biggest names in the sport to compete. Many champion jockeys and trainers have tested their abilities here through the decades, but only a couple stand out from the crowd.
Frankie Dettori, arguably the best jockey of his generation, holds the race record for most wins having tasted victory a staggering six times in this race. His first win came in 1993 with Inchinor, and his last successful ride was in 2010 with Shakespearean. His record is double that of his nearest competitors – Jamie Spencer, Pat Eddery and Steve Cauthen – who all sit on three wins each.
Regarding the successful trainers in this Newbury encounter, John Gosden has a very similar record to Dettori, having claimed first place six times with his runners, and also with his three nearest competitors on half the number of wins as him. Barry Hills, Henry Cecil and Richard Hannon Sr all have three wins each. Even more coincidentally is that Dettori and Gosden were trainer and jockey for the horse Pollen Count, who in 1994 was part of the only ever dead heat in this race, when it crossed the finish line simultaneously with Young Ern, who was ridden by Willie Ryan and trained by Simon Dow.
Making the Right Pick
When choosing which horse you favour most in this contest it is important to factor in as many of the details as you can. From the table below you can see the best jockeys and trainers over the 20 years in the event leading up to 2019.
Top Hungerford Stakes Jockeys & Trainers: 2000 – 2019
|Top Jockeys (Wins)||Top Trainers (Wins)|
|Jamie Spencer (3)||John Gosden (3)|
|Robert Havlin (2)||Clive Cox (2)|
|Adam Kirby (2)||Richard Hannon Snr. (2)|
|Frankie Dettori (1)||Saeer bin Suroor (1)|
However, though having a great and successful jockey on board certainly increases your chances of betting success, you clearly also need to look at the finer details, such as the distance at which the horse is used to running; you need to stick to horses with a solid history of success at six furlongs to one mile in this case.
Then the weight has to come into play as three year olds have five pounds less on board than their older competitors in the field, and there are penalties of five and three pounds for previous Group 1 and Group 2 winners respectively. Lastly, fillies and mares also have a three pound advantage over the males in the race. Then there are the trends to consider, such as that fact that only one horse in the 11 years to 2019 had won their previous race. By taking everything into account you can get a decent picture of who has a fair chance of success.