Hamada set for Melbourne Cup trip following Newbury victory

Charlie Appleby’s runner claims comfortable Geoffrey Freer victory

  • Saturday 18 August
  • News
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Hamada continued his winning spree with a clear-cut victory in the Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Geoffrey Freer Stakes at Newbury.

The gelded son of Cape Cross lined up in the Group Three contest having won each of his three starts since returning from the best part of two years on the sidelines, completing his hat-trick with a dominant display in a Newmarket handicap last month.

Stepping up in class, Charlie Appleby’s four-year-old was the 7-4 favourite in the hands of James Doyle, who positioned his mount in behind his pacesetting stable companion Walton Street.

Walton Street kept up the gallop to keep himself in contention, with first Raymond Tusk and then Hamada coming through to join him in the straight.

Raymond Tusk was short of room approaching the final furlong after Hamada hung across him, but it made little difference to the result as the latter forged clear late on for a decisive two-and-a-half-length success.

Walton Street was only a nose behind Raymond Tusk in third and Appleby is eyeing the Melbourne Cup for both of his runners.

Speaking from France, Appleby told Press Association Sport: “We decided to swerve the Ebor (at York next week) with both Hamada and Walton Street in the hope they would go to Newbury and confirm their slot for Australia.

“We felt it was the slightly easier option, going to Newbury rather than York, and it’s worked out really well.

“Hamada is getting better with racing and I feel he’s got the right sort of profile to go to Australia.

“We’ll find out what weights both horses get for the Melbourne Cup next week. I’d quite like to go straight there (with Hamada) if possible, as he’s had plenty of racing this year already, but it depends what weight he gets.”

Richard Hannon was pleased with the performance of Raymond Tusk, who will now be targeted at next month’s St Leger at Doncaster.

Hannon said: “It was a super run. He was just a bit gassy.

“He lost a lot of weight when he came back from Scotland after winning the Listed race up there, but I knew he would improve for that and we had to get some weight back on him.

“He slightly did a bit of the donkey work and was slightly softened up by the other Godolphin horse. He got in bit of trouble and still ran on to be second.

“The trip is no problem and we will absolutely go to the St Leger. I think the interference will have done him good experience-wise and hardened him up. It was the ideal run.”

Hamada set for Melbourne Cup trip following Newbury victory
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