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Sacred slices through Hungerford field

Sacred came with a pulsating charge from the rear of the field to take the BetVictor Hungerford Stakes at Newbury.

Running for the first time since finishing seventh in the 1000 Guineas, the filly stormed home to complete an amazing hour for the William Haggas stable.

The Newmarket trainer took Group races in Deauville with Cloudy Dawn and Dubai Honour before Sacred (6-1) completed a remarkable hat-trick.

Nando Parrado, fired up by first-time blinkers, was soon running freely in front with D’Bai, Dreamloper and Al Suhail close up.

Tom Marquand settled Sacred at the back and was able to weave his way through the pack and get to the lead in the final furlong.

Galloping on strongly, the Cheveley Park-owned three-year-old crossed the line a length clear of Laneqash, with Njord a length and a half away in third.

Haggas’ wife, Maureen, said: “When Ryan (Moore) won the Nell Gwyn on her he said it was liking riding a motor bike.

“We’ve timed her with the latest equipment at home and some of her figures are unbelievable.

“She’s in the City of York, but that is very quick and could undo all the good that’s happened for her break.

“Then there’s the Foret, but she would only go if it stayed dry.”

She added: “She grew two inches through the winter and I hope that after her light season the owners might keep her in training at four.”

Marquand was equally impressed, saying: “It feels there’s been a lot in between her last run in the Guineas and they said she was top class.

“To jump into the race like that was very impressive. She is a very good horse.”

Appleby upbeat on Al Suhail’s Hungerford claims

Charlie Appleby has high hopes for Al Suhail in the BetVictor Hungerford Stakes at Newbury on Saturday.

The four-year-old competed in two Group One events at the Dubai Carnival earlier in the year, finishing a close third behind Lord Glitters in the Jebel Hatta before trailing home last of 12 runners in the Dubai Turf on World Cup night.

But having made an encouraging return to action in the Summer Mile at Ascot last month, hopes are high that he can get back on the winning trail in this weekend’s Group Two feature at the Berkshire track.

Charlie Appleby has high hopes for Al Suhail
Charlie Appleby has high hopes for Al Suhail (Adam Davy/PA)

Appleby said: “We were delighted with Al Suhail’s first start back in the UK at Ascot, finishing third over the mile in soft conditions.

“Dropping back to seven furlongs I feel will suit him – he travels very well through his races.

“He’s definitely come forward for that run and we feel the style of the race on Saturday will suit, so there are plenty of positives going into the race with him.”

The Moulton Paddocks maestro also saddles D’bai, who has been off the track since winning the Group Two Zabeel Mile at Meydan in February.

“D’bai is having his first run of the European season. We’re pleased with his preparation going into the race, (but) whatever he does I feel there’s going to be improvement there for an autumn campaign,” Appleby added.

“He’s got the penalty to carry, but hopefully in the autumn when that drops he’ll become more competitive in this type of race.

“He’s ready to get out and on the best of his form he doesn’t look out of place in the line-up.”

Owen Burrows had been looking forward to seeing how Danyah fared on his first start at Pattern level, having earned himself a step up in class with a narrow victory in the International Stakes three weeks ago.

However, the Invincible Spirit gelding was found to be lame and declared a non runner.

Sacred is an interesting contender for William Haggas and Cheveley Park Stud.

Sacred (centre) winning the Nell Gwyn Stakes at Newmarket
Sacred (centre) winning the Nell Gwyn Stakes at Newmarket (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

The high-class filly has not been seen in competitive action since finishing seventh in the 1000 Guineas in early May, having since missed engagements at Royal Ascot and Goodwood due to testing ground.

“It looks like the ground is coming and what I don’t really want to do is miss good to firm ground on Saturday and then go to York next week and it rains,” said Haggas.

“She’s useful and is in really good form at the moment.”

Nando Parrado won the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot and was second in two Group Ones as a juvenile last season.

Nando Parrado has something to prove
Nando Parrado has something to prove (Edward Whitaker/PA)

The Kodiac colt will be a big outsider following three underwhelming efforts so far this term, with Cox hoping the application of blinkers brings about a return to form.

He said: “Nando Parrado is in good form. He had an excellent season last year and I’m hoping to get him back to that top-flight level again this year.

“He was a very good two-year-old and has become a bit more relaxed at home, so I will stick a pair of blinkers on him. I think it should keep his mind fully on the job, and they should keep him focused, but he has been pleasing me at home and making good progress.”