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Lilbourne Lass aims for Listed success in St Hugh’s Stakes

The Listed St Hugh’s Stakes at 3.55 is the feature race on Friday’s Newbury card. Richard Hannon’s Lilbourne Lass makes a quick reappearance after easily landing the odds at Windsor on Sunday.

She had previously put up a game effort here in the Weatherby’s Super Sprint when finishing second to Peniaphobia in a 24-runner field. She led her group throughout the race and came very close to providing her trainer with his eighth victory in the race.

Wind Fire is likely to be sent off favourite having got within a length of the smart No Nay Never in the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot. She was expected to win the Group 3 Princess Margaret Stakes at Ascot last month but faded to finish fourth behind Princess Noor.

Reroute was fifth in the Queen Mary but was also slightly disappointing when only sixth at Goodwood subsequently. Abbakova has consistent form in Ireland and could also be in the shake up.

There are some well-bred newcomers contesting the opening maiden race at 1.50. Hannon saddles Pupil, by Mastercraftsman out of the speedy Blue Iris whilst Sir Michael Stoute is represented by Eye Contact.

Richard Hughes has elected to ride the unraced Barley Mow in the second division at 2.20 in preference to Glebe Spirit who was third at Salisbury first time out. John Gosden’s horses are in flying form and the Dubawi colt Zerfaal could be useful.

Mabait must have every chance in the claiming stakes at 2.50 after his excellent second to Ashaadd at Haydock. Course winner Balty Boys could be the biggest threat after finishing third to Brae Hill in a similar event.

Lady Cecil’s Continuum carries top weight in the handicap at 3.20 and was not disgraced when second to Chancery at Haydock. Poyle Thomas and Statutory could still be improving whilst Masquerading ran well in defeat at Doncaster.

William Haggas is enjoying a terrific season with his handicappers and Assembly will be tough to beat in the 4.30. He had four lengths to spare at Yarmouth and could be up to defying a 6lbs rise in the weights.

Saddaqa can finally get off the mark in the 5.00 after three solid efforts. Bonanza Creek could be the best of the rest after a decent run at Nottingham behind Lemon Pearl.

Balmoral Castle has a chance to get back to winning ways in the closing apprentice handicap after disappointing here last time. Something was clearly amiss that day and he is better judged on his previous course victory.

Selections: 1.50 Eye Contact, 2.20 Zerfaal, 2.50 Mabait, 3.20 Masquerading, 3.55 Lilbourne Lass (NAP), 4.30 Assembly (nb), 5.00 Sadaqqa, 5.30 Balmoral Castle