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Newbury preview: Hackwood Stakes (15.10)

Watchable has some strong form to his name and can gain a deserved success in the Group 3 Hackwood Stakes at Newbury (15.10).

The David O’Meara trained gelding posted a cracking effort when runner-up in the Abernant Stakes on his seasonal reappearance and backed that up with a solid fifth to Goldream in the Group 3 Palace House Stakes at Newmarket.

Watchable was beaten just over three lengths in the latter, and the winner has gone on to ladn the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot.

That is strong form in relation to this contest, and Watchable has since gone on to finish an excellent fifth of 25 in the ultra-competitive Wokingham Stakes.

Although slightly disappointing last time out when a 2 3/4 lengths fifth to Aeolus at Newcastle, the five-year-old now meets the winner on 4lb better terms and is more than capable of bouncing back and gaining his revenge.

The O’Meara team also remain in good form, and this looks a nice opportunity for Watchable to bag a first victory at Group level.

Portamento

Portamento scored in good style last time out at Chester and may well give Watchable most to think about.

The Charlie Applety trained colt has won five of his 10 starts and posted a career-best effort at the Cheshire venue when showing a nice turn of foot to beat Anonymous John by 1/4 lengths in a decent class 2 handicap.

This demands more, but Portmento has a progressive profile and is clearly going the right way.

Musical Comedy is unbeaten in two runs over course and distance and can’t be discounted on the pick of his form if the return to the Berskire venue has the desired effect, whilst Strath Burn is another that looks sure to go well.

The latter hails from the in-form yard of Charlie Hills and has run some good races in Listed/Group contests.

Strath Burn also comes into the race on the back of a confidence boosting success at Doncaster and won’t need to raise his game much to play a leading role.

Coral’s top tip: Watchable should live up to his name here.