Hungerford Stakes preview: John Quinn hoping for soft ground for Safe Voyage

Fri 16 Aug 2019

Click here to study all the form ahead of the Unibet Hungerford Stakes plus the latest odds for all the contenders.

John Quinn hopes there is enough cut in the ground to enable Safe Voyage to put his best foot forward in the Unibet Hungerford Stakes at Newbury.

The six-year-old won his first three races of the season, all at Haydock, progressing from handicaps to a Group Three.

His winning run was brought to an end last time out in Ireland, when he finished third behind Romanised and Hey Gaman – form which was boosted when the winner followed up in the Prix Jacques le Marois on Sunday.

Safe Voyage was not disgraced behind Romanised in the Minstrel Stakes last time out

“Obviously it’s nice to see the form of his Irish race get a boost when Romanised won a Group One last weekend,” said Quinn.

“It was a decent run over there. We’re very happy with him. Obviously the races he can run in now are very difficult, but we couldn’t be happier with him and we’re hoping he can win.

“There’s rain around, and I’m expecting good to soft ground – which will be fine for him.”

That was not quite the case in Ireland.

Click here to read our unibet Hungerford Stakes runner-by-runner guide.

Quinn added: “It did dry up quicker than we expected at the Curragh, but it was safe and he went on it – he just prefers it with a little bit more dig. He can travel that bit easier when it’s softer.

“We’re pleased with him, but it won’t be easy – there’s eight runners and eight decent horses, so I hope he can win.”

Donjuan Triumphant is a real mud lover
Donjuan Triumphant is a real mud lover

Andrew Balding is hoping the forecast rain materialises for Donjuan Triumphant, and a return to the form he showed at Ascot on Champions Day would bring him right into the mix.

Balding said: “He will love the ground if the rain comes. He is a decent horse on his day.

“He got a bit squeezed out at Goodwood and he would have finished a bit closer if not.

“He ran well at Goodwood – but he just got hampered, and he would have probably been beaten two lengths instead of four and three quarter lengths.”

Charlie Appleby believes a return to the form Glorious Journey showed when beaten a neck by Limato in the Criterion Stakes would make him a “live contender”.

Glorious Journey was narrowly denied by Limato in the Criterion Stakes in June

Since then he has run in the July Cup over six furlongs, finishing eighth behind Ten Sovereigns.

“We set Glorious Journey a big task in the July Cup, but he ran creditably and has come out of the race well,” Appleby told

“His best form is over seven furlongs, so the step back up in trip is a positive. The ground should hopefully be on the easy side at Newbury, which is going to be another positive.

“A repeat performance of his runs at Windsor and Newmarket earlier this season should make him a live contender.”

Last year’s winner Sir Dancealot is aiming to repeat the win double of Goodwood and Newbury that he achieved 12 months ago – while Hey Gaman, second to David Elsworth’s stalwart at Goodwood, takes him on again.

Dean Ivory runs Flaming Spear and Librisa Breeze – and Royal Ascot winner Space Traveller makes the journey down from Richard Fahey’s Malton yard.

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