Newbury Preview: Moonlite set to shine in St Hugh’s Stakes
Dangerous Moonlite can provide trainer Richard Hannon with another big race juvenile winner in the St Hugh’s Stakes at Newbury today (3.55).
The filly is one of a trio of runners in the Listed contest for the locally based Marlborough handler, and fact the stable jockey Richard Hughes has sided with her suggests she is the number one hope.
The daughter of Acclamation looked a useful prospect when winning on debut at Ascot, and was the far from disgraced when pitched into Group 2 company and finishing a seven length 10th of 21 to Anthem Alexander in the Queen Mary Stakes.
Dangerous Moonlite showed plenty of pace to chase the leaders until weakening a furlong from home, and got back to winning ways last time out at Windsor in a three-runner conditions contest when scoring by 3 3/4 lengths.
Although entitled to win that contest with the ease in which she did, it was a nice confidence boost for Dangerous Moonlite and she looks the type who has plenty more improvement to come and should be more than capable of winning a race of this nature.
Eshtiaal has been disappointing so far this season, but has fallen markedly in the weights as a a result and it would be no surprise to seem him bounce back and take advantage in 1m 5f handicap (3.20) now dropped in class.
The Brian Meehan trained gelding was a consistent and progressive sort last year when winning back-to-back contests at Goodwood and Yarmouth.
In the last of those, Eshtihaal beat Debdebdeb by 4 1/2 lengths on soft ground off a mark of 85, and the son of Dynaformer went on to finish a fine third to Excellent Result in a competitive 1m 4f class 2 handicap at Ascot off a rating of 93.
The four-year-old now races off a mark of just 87 after being well-beaten in three class 2 contests this season, and that gives Eshtihaal a big chance on the pick of his form now dropped into class 3 company on ground which suits.
In the 1m 2f maiden (5.00), Blue Waltz holds outstanding claims of opening her account at the third time of asking.
The Luca Cumani trained filly has finished runner-up on both her starts, and ran really well on the last of those when chasing home the now 90-rated Solar Magic over a mile at Ascot.
That form sets a high standard, and with the step up in trip looking sure to suit, Blue Waltz is going to be very hard to beat.
2.20: Elm Park
3.20: Eshtiaal (NB)
3.55: Dangerous Moonlite (NAP)
5.00: Blue Waltz
5.30: Celestial Bay