Tag Archive for: Brentford Hope

Hughes looking to Calling The Wind for Cup campaign

Richard Hughes hopes Calling The Wind can develop into a Cup horse as he ratchets up preparations for the turf season.

The six-year-old only finished out of the frame once in seven starts last season, winning the 20-runner Goodwood Handicap, and gaining some useful place money in both the Cesarewitch and the November Handicap.

Calling The Wind was third on his seasonal bow in a mile-and-a-half conditions race at Doncaster and the Upper Lambourn handler is hopeful the Authorised gelding can progress further.

“I have plenty of older horses this year, we will have plenty of fun with Calling The Wind,” he said.

“He started off at Donny and he will run in France in a couple of weeks’ time in a Group Three over two miles.

“He could be a Cup horse. He could jump up another level and I’m hoping he will.”

Brentford Hope, who was placed in Group Three company at Saint-Cloud and in an Italian Group Two when last seen in November, is likely to be another flag-bearer for the yard.

“He is kind of nearly ready,” said Hughes. “We are just waiting on the forecast, really.

Richard Hughes has plenty to look forward to this season
Richard Hughes has plenty to look forward to this season (Dan Abraham/PA)

“He likes soft or heavy ground to show his best. There is Haydock coming up, and we will look at something like that.”

There are several youngsters to coming through and Ring Of Beara, who impressed in a Salisbury maiden in August before finding the pace too hot in the Group Three Tattersalls Stakes at Newmarket the following month, could be set for a step up in trip.

“He is a nice horse,” said Hughes. “I declared on good to soft at Newmarket, but it ended up good to firm with a tailwind and they flew, and he was on his head the whole way.

“He doesn’t necessarily need a dig in the ground, just needs a bit further. He’s probably a mile-and-a-quarter horse, and we might start off in the Esher Cup next month at Sandown.”

There is one horse who he hopes could progress to become something special, despite not having won a race yet.

A half-brother to Group One winner Akeed Mofeed, Beny Nahar Road had one outing as a juvenile, finishing runner-up to Lady Labelle in a 10-furlong novice at Chelmsford in December.

Hughes makes no secret that the three-year-old son of Nathaniel, who is owned by Jaber Abdullah, could be useful.

He admitted: “He is a dark horse who ran first time out at Chelmsford and was a bit unlucky.

“He is 17 hands and I absolutely love the horse. He is a lovely horse.

“We will look for a mile-and-a-half maiden on the grass and see what we have got. We will go from there.”

Hughes has long-term plans for Ring Of Beara

Richard Hughes sees Ring Of Beara as a long-term project after the two-year-old got off the mark in convincing fashion at Ffos Las.

The colt by Wootton Bassett followed up his promising debut second at Goodwood four weeks ago when justifying his short odds of 4-9 with an effortless success by four lengths.

Hughes may give Ring Of Beara one more run this season, possibly in the Group Three Somerville Tattersall Stakes at Newmarket, before putting him away for the winter.

“I wanted to make sure he went and won his second run. It’s probably one of the best tracks in the country, and he went and won really well,” said the Upper Lambourn trainer.

“I’d have been disappointed if he hadn’t done it any other way.

“He’s a ‘next-year’ horse really. We might go to the well once more in a month’s time.

“The Somerville maybe, or go to France. There’s nothing set in stone. I want him to tell me.”

Hughes admits he was taking a chance when he paid 200,000 guineas for Ring Of Beara at Tattersalls Sales in October.

“I loved him from the first time I saw him. I underbid on a few horses the day before and I said I’m not leaving without this fella,” he said.

“I was asked to buy from a mare that had either bred something or had done something themselves. His dam, funnily enough, was an unraced mare – so I put my neck on the line a little bit. The sire Wootton Bassett was a huge plus.”

Hughes has another exciting youngster in Intelligentsia, owned by the Queen, who is set for the Group Three IRE Incentive Scheme Dick Poole Stakes at Salisbury on Thursday if the ground is suitable.

The daughter of Exceed And Excel made all the running to land a six-furlong maiden at Newbury on her debut in July.

“She goes for the Dick Poole at Salisbury, as long as the ground is quick,” he said.

“She has come on for the run, and we couldn’t be happier with her.”

Intelligentsia (left) could turn out in the Dick Poole Stakes at Salisbury
Intelligentsia (left) could turn out in the Dick Poole Stakes at Salisbury (Alan Crowhust/PA)

Hughes is waiting for the rain to arrive to run his stable star Brentford Hope again, after he was withdrawn from the Celebration Mile at Goodwood at the final declaration stage.

The four-year-old could head for the Betfair Double Daily Rewards Superior Mile at Haydock on Saturday if there is plenty of cut in the ground.

“He’s in at Haydock, and then he’s going to have a busy enough campaign in the autumn when he’ll get his ground more often,” said Hughes.

“If the rain doesn’t come (for Haydock) he won’t be going. His schedule doesn’t change anyway. He’s easy to train.”

Hughes looking to Haydock for Brentford Hope

The Rose of Lancaster Stakes is a potential next target for Brentford Hope following his fine effort in defeat in France last weekend.

The son of Camelot was considered a potential Classic contender following a sensational debut victory at Newmarket in the autumn of 2019, but results since have been mixed.

The Richard Hughes-trained four-year-old appears to have found a level of consistency this season, however, with an impressive handicap success at Nottingham followed by fourth place in a Listed event at Windsor.

Brentford Hope stepped up to Group Three level for the Prix Messidor at Chantilly last Sunday and ran arguably the best race of his career so far to fill the runner-up spot behind Andre Fabre’s dual Group One winner Victor Ludorum.

Hughes said: “I was delighted with him. We went over there on very soft ground, but when I walked the track it was very good ground.

“He showed great resilience on ground he didn’t like. He’s got stronger and with a bit of racing he’s getting better.

“If it was soft ground I think he’d have troubled the winner and I remember reading an article where Andre Fabre said he was one of the best horses he’d trained.”

The Lambourn-based trainer is eyeing a step up to a mile and a quarter in Haydock’s Rose of Lancaster Stakes on August 7 with a view to a potential tilt at the Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot in the autumn.

Richard Hughes at Ascot
Richard Hughes at Ascot (Dan Abraham/PA)

“A mile is fine for our horse when the ground is soft or heavy, but he’s on his head the whole way when it’s good ground,” Hughes added.

“We’ve pencilled in the Rose of Lancaster over a mile and a quarter. At Haydock, you’d imagine you’ve a chance of getting your ground.

“Our goal is Champions Day at the end of the year. If it came up very bad ground, he’d definitely have a place chance.

“I’d like him for Arc weekend as well, so I’m kind of ducking and diving for the ground between now and then.”

Intelligentsia (left, red sleeves) on her way to victory at Newbury
Intelligentsia (left, red sleeves) on her way to victory at Newbury (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Hughes also provided an update on plans for exciting juvenile filly Intelligentsia, who carried the colours of the Queen to debut success at Newbury last week.

He said: “She’s come out of the race really good and I’m contemplating going back to Newbury for the St Hugh’s Stakes over five furlongs.

“In an ideal world I’d rather that was six furlongs, but on her pedigree and the speed she’s showing, I can’t see much reason in trying to make her step up in trip.

“I’d like to stay against fillies for now on a Flat track. The five furlongs is a little curveball, but she seemed to travel very easily the other day.”

Hughes mulling Zetland option for Brentford Hope

Brentford Hope could make a quick reappearance in the Racing TV Zetland Gold Cup at Redcar next Monday, as long as the current wet conditions prevail.

The four-year-old relished the rain-softened ground to run out a convincing three-length winner at Nottingham on Sunday.

Trainer Richard Hughes is to give his stable star an entry in the mile-and-a-quarter handicap at the North East track as he needs to make the most of the unseasonal weather.

“He won well at Nottingham. It was good, he had his ground. When he has his ground he performs well,” said the Lambourn handler.

“He’s grand and we’ll probably make an entry for the Zetland Gold Cup. We’ve got the weather at the moment and I know I’m not going to have it for ever.

“I have to go wherever the rain goes. He’s in the Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot. It might have dried up by then, but you never know.”

Lincoln looms for Brentford Hope

Brentford Hope will be aimed at the Lincoln in the spring after justifying the faith of trainer Richard Hughes with an emphatic victory at Haydock.

The son of Camelot was considered a potential Derby contender by connections after making a brilliant start to his career at Newmarket 12 months ago.

However, an injury earlier in the year put him on the back foot and he was then a beaten favourite on his first three starts of the current campaign at York, Kempton – after which he was gelded – and Leicester, over trips ranging from an extended mile and a quarter to a mile and a half.

Hughes decided to drop his stable star to a mile for his latest assignment and it was a move that worked the oracle, with Brentford Hope winning hard-held by three-quarters of a length under an ultra-confident Jamie Spencer.

“It’s been a very funny year for the horse,” said Hughes.

“He won his mile-and-a-quarter maiden on very soft ground, so naturally you think he’s a mile-and-a-half horse. He’s bred to stay a mile and a half or even two miles, for that matter.

“He broke a rib in the spring, which meant he missed a run in a Derby trial – and maybe that was for luck, because if you run a horse in the Derby and they don’t stay, it drags the life out of them.

“He ended up going to York on good ground over a mile and a quarter and came there on the bridle. He ended up finishing fifth, and I gave the horse the benefit of the doubt and said he needed the run.

“At Kempton next time (Jamie) Spencer was looking behind him because he knew he had the horses in front of him beat. He didn’t finish, but he didn’t stop either, so I actually went to Leicester thinking ‘I don’t think this horse stays, but we’ll know for sure after this’.

“It was a mile and a half in heavy ground and it was the same story again. He arrived there on the bridle – and while he hung on to their coat tails at the finish, I think that’s just because he’s so talented.

“After that I said we’d go back to a mile, because I don’t have a horse that can lead him at home – then he goes to Haydock and he’d have won over seven furlongs.

“It was a huge relief to see him do that, because that’s what I see at home, and I’m delighted for his owner Sean Mulryan and his racing manager Paddy Aspell, who have been patient with him all year.”

Former jockey Hughes has high hopes for Brentford Hope
Former jockey Hughes has high hopes for Brentford Hope (John Walton/PA)

Brentford Hope will now enjoy a winter break before being prepared for the first major race of the 2021 Flat season at Doncaster.

Hughes added: “He came out of the Haydock race great. He’s going to go home now for a rest, and then he’ll be heading for the Lincoln.

“He went up 9lb for winning by under a length at Haydock, so he’s rated 100 now.

“I’m just pleased it worked out for him in the end this year – I’m glad I believed in him.”