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Hughes is waiting for the rain to arrive to run his stable star Brentford Hope again, after he was withdrawn from the Celebration Mile at Goodwood at the final declaration stage.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

Reach For The Moon makes no mistake at Newbury

Royal Ascot runner-up Reach For The Moon carried the colours of the Queen to an impressive victory in the second race at Newbury on Friday.

Trained by John and Thady Gosden, the son of Sea The Stars came close to providing Her Majesty with a winner at last month’s showpiece meeting – going down by just half a length to Aidan O’Brien’s Point Lonsdale in the Chesham Stakes.

Having also filled the runner-up spot on his racecourse debut at Yarmouth in May, Reach For The Moon was the 2-9 favourite to make it third time lucky in division two of the bet365 EBF Novice Stakes and the result was scarcely in doubt.

Always travelling strongly in the hands of Frankie Dettori, the youngster moved smoothly to the front over a furlong out before rocketing four lengths clear of Harrow.

Gosden senior said: “He was entitled to do that but there was no pace and he quickened well, that will bring him on.

“He’s a grand colt and we’ll look towards the Solario with him now.

“We could have gone straight into another Group race, but you can see he’s quite playful – we’ll leave it at that! To that extent we’ll look for a race in August and the Solario is a nice race.

“He’ll get further. He’ll be comfortable over a mile this year and over middle distances next year because he switched off with no pace today. Frankie wanted to take a lead today.

“In the Chesham there was a strip of ground from his draw in two and I told Frankie to stay straight, so he raced on his own in the Chesham.”

Intelligentsia (5-1) then made a winning debut in the royal colours in the bet365 EBF Maiden Fillies’ Stakes.

Trained by Richard Hughes, the Exceed And Excel filly showed a smart change of gear for Pat Dobbs and looked home and hosed, only for Majestic Glory to close to within a neck.

“She’d shown plenty. She’s an end of May foal, but we gave her a swing one morning and I liked what I saw, we gave her another and she’s never let me down so we saw no point hanging on,” said Hughes.

“It was important she had a flat track and nice ground. but she’s smart.

“The Dick Poole at Salisbury, something like that in six weeks, I don’t want to rush her.

“Her brother did win over seven but ended up running over five and six, so I don’t want to bring her back to five in case she gets seven, if that makes sense.

“On her pedigree and the speed she shows, if she gets a mile she’s really good.”

The Queen went on to enjoy an across-the-card treble – from her three runners on the day – when Portfolio (9-2) made all in the Rich Energy Fillies’ Handicap at Newmarket.

Ryan Moore dictated affairs from the start on the daughter of Deep Impact, who found more when challenged by Brunnera in the final furlong to score by a length and a half for Sir Michael Stoute’s stable.

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.”

Stat of the Day, 15th September 2020

Monday's pick was...

6.20 Wolverhampton : Critical Thinking @ 15/2 BOG (6.375/1 after a 15p R4) WON at 7/1 (Tracked leader, pushed along 2f out, ridden to lead entering final furlong, all out to win by a nose) - nice to get the right side of a tight finish for a change 😉

Tuesday's pick runs in the...

6.40 Kempton :

Before I post the daily selection, just a quick reminder of how I operate the service. Normally, I'll identify and share the selection between 8.00am and 8.30am and I then add a more detailed write-up later within an hour or so of going "live".

Those happy to take the early price on trust can do so, whilst some might prefer to wait for my reasoning. As I fit the early service in around my family life, I can't give an exact timing on the posts, so I suggest you follow us on Twitter and/or Facebook for instant notifications of a published pick.

Who?

Charlie Arthur @ 3/1 BOG

...in an 8-runner, Class 5, A/W Handicap for 3yo+ over 1m4f on Polytrack worth £3,429 to the winner...

Why?...

We start with the racecard, as is often the case...

...which tells us that our 4 yr old is well clear on the Geegeez ratings and was a runner-up last time out 11 days ago. he was a little unlucky to be caught very late on and beaten by a neck at this class, course and distance by a Kempton specialist dropping in class. 3lb claimer Finley Marsh retains the ride today and will seek to improve upon a decent 4 wins and 3 places from 9 starts on this horse on the A/W to date.

As you can see above, Finley has 2 wins and 3 other places from 10 for trainer Richard Hughes at this venue, whilst the bigger picture for the trainer/jockey combo is that in all A/W handicaps since the start of 2017, they are...

and they include the following ten angles of relevance today...

  • 16/54 (29.6%) for 36.8pts (+68.1%) in fields of 6-11 runners
  • 15/65 (23.1%) for 54.6pts (+84%) from male runners
  • 15/55 (27.3%) for 61.8pts (+112.4%) at Class 5/6
  • 14/53 (26.4%) for 57.9pts (+109.2%) in races worth less than £4,000
  • 13/49 (26.5%) for 35.4pts (+72.3%) when Finley has claimed 3lbs
  • 10/29 (34.5%) for 12.3pts (+42.6%) on horses placed LTO
  • 9/45 (20%) for 35.1pts (+77.9%) on Polytrack
  • 8/28 (28.6%) for 54.5pts (+194.6%) in 3yo+ handicaps
  • 6/17 (35.3%) for 58.1pts (+341.8%) in August/September
  • and 5 from 13 (38.5%) for 11.1pts (+85.4%) in 2020 so far...

...whilst when Finley has claimed 3lbs on a Richard Hughes-trained male A/W handicapper in a 6-11 runner, Class 5/6 contest worth less than £5200, they are...

..including 5 winners from 6 (83.3% SR) for 14.1pts (+235.1% ROI) with horses who made the frame last time out.

As for Richard Hughes' record with stayers, a closer inspection of his overall numbers reveals that since the start of 2018, his handicappers racing over 1m3.5f to 2m0.5f sent off at evens to 10/1 are...

...and these include...

  • 16/67 (23.9%) for 44.5pts (+66.5%) in fields of 5-13 runners
  • 16/59 (27.1%) for 52.5pts (+89.1%) from those beaten LTO
  • 11/45 (24.4%) for 40.1pts (+89.2%) over 1m3.5f-1m4f
  • 10/36 (27.8%) for 27.5pts (+76.4%) on the A/W
  • 8/34 (23.5%) for 13pts (+38.1%) in races worth less than £4k
  • 6/25 (24%) for 8pts (+32%) on Polytrack
  • 6/24 (25%) for 28pts (+116.7%) in 3yo+ handicaps
  • 4/15 (26.7%) for 19.3pts (+128.7%) during September/October
  • 4/12 (33.3%) for 11.9pts (+98.8%) at Class 5
  • 3/13 (23.1%) for 9.9pts (+76%) for Finley Marsh
  • and 3 from 12 (25%) for 7.8pts (+65.2%) in 2020 so far

...steering us towards... a 1pt win bet on Charlie Arthur @ 3/1 BOG as was widely available at 8.00am Tuesday (bigger in places!), but as always please check your own BOG status (*some firms are not BOG until later in the morning)To see a small sample of odds offered on this race...

...click here for the betting on the 6.40 Kempton

Don't forget, we offer a full interactive racecard service every day!

REMINDER: THERE IS NO STAT OF THE DAY ON SUNDAYS

Here is today's racecard

P.S. all P/L returns quoted in the stats above are to Betfair SP, as I NEVER bet to ISP and neither should you. I always use BOG bookies for SotD, wherever possible, but I use BFSP for the stats as it is the nearest approximation I can give, so I actually expect to beat the returns I use to support my picks. If that's unclear, please ask!

Stat of the Day, 8th June 2020

Saturday's pick was...

4.30 Newcastle : Astrozone @ 9/1 BOG WON at 9/2 (Made all, ridden and hung left entering final furlong, stayed on to win by a length and a quarter)

Monday's pick runs in the...

1.00 Chelmsford :

Before I post the daily selection, just a quick reminder of how I operate the service. Currently, I'll identify and share the selection between 8.00am and 8.30am and I then add a more detailed write-up later within an hour or so of going "live".

Those happy to take the early price on trust can do so, whilst some might prefer to wait for my reasoning. As I fit the early service in around my family life, I can't give an exact timing on the posts, so I suggest you follow us on Twitter and/or Facebook for instant notifications of a published pick.

Who?

Kath's Lustre @ 4/1 BOG

...in an 11-runner, Class 6, A/W handicap for 4yo+ over 6f on polytrack worth £2,782 to the winner...

Why?...

Last week, Matt did a series of videos around the racecards and the report suite and today, I'm going to use that data to suggest a runner that should give us a run for our money, so let's just open the whole card first...

As you can see, that aside from jockey PJ McDonald's C5 icon, the only positive form for trainers and jockey comes for our runner.

The blue zeroes say that none of the field appear in any of my saved query tool angles, but two horses (ours and A Place to Dream) have a Red Report Angles number and with our pick featuring 7 times on my report angles, that's my way in for today, as opening that box up shows the following...

So, we see that the horse is 3 from 7 at this track : she's actually 2 from 4 over course and distance. We'll ignore trainer 30-day form, as we've only a week of results to rely upon, but it's clear that Richard Hughes had a decent week last week and he does well with horses coming back from a break.

Jockey Finley Marsh rides the course well and has a good record here when riding for Mr Hughes. Other than the horses for courses angles which doesn't carry the relevant figures, the A/E is over 1.4 for all my angles and the IV is 2.1 and above, these are excellent stats.

As for the race itself, this type of contest lends itself to horses drawn low that "like to get out" and the two horses that look most likely to lead are ours in stall 1 and a runner in stall 4. This is best illustrated by the Geegeez pace/draw heat map for the contest as follows...

So, all of the above considered, I think we're in a pretty strong position today. What I haven't touched upon is that although our mare was only fourth last time out, that was a Class 4 contest and she drops two classes to run here today She was bumped at the start of the contest and lost ground and as it was her fifth effort in less than seven weeks, it might also have been one race too many at the time and this graphic might also be of interest here...

More pictures than words today, but still plenty of numbers to consider...

...as I recommend...a 1pt win bet on Kath's Lustre @ 4/1 BOG as was offered by BetVictor and Hills at 8.05am Monday, but as always please check your BOG status. To see what your preferred bookie is quoting...

...click here for the betting on the 1.00 Chelmsford

Don't forget, we offer a full interactive racecard service every day!

REMINDER: THERE IS NO STAT OF THE DAY ON SUNDAYS

Here is today's racecard

P.S. all P/L returns quoted in the stats above are to Betfair SP, as I NEVER bet to ISP and neither should you. I always use BOG bookies for SotD, wherever possible, but I use BFSP for the stats as it is the nearest approximation I can give, so I actually expect to beat the returns I use to support my picks. If that's unclear, please ask!