Today’s Action: Tupi or not Tupi
6.40 SALISBURY EBF STALLIONS STONEHENGE STAKES (Listed Race)
Today’s feature race comes from Salisbury and unfortunately just five runners will line up for the Listed contest over a mile. The race has been dominated in recent years by Richard Hannon Snr with four wins in the last five years and today his son saddles the unexposed Tupi in a bid to maintain the family’s grip on the prize.
A winner of a Sandown maiden on debut, Tupi was immediately thrown in at the deep end in the Vintage Stakes at Goodwood on his second start and boy did he swim! The son of Tamayuz put in a classy performance finishing just over two lengths behind the highly regarded Highland Reel, who is now towards the head of the market for next season’s classics.
Hannon’s charge was then set the task of a French raid in the Listed Prix Francois Boutin and again came out with his head held high having ran extremely well on testing ground, finishing a close second despite meeting with plenty of traffic trouble. Today’s step up in trip looks ideal, as does the current Good to Soft ground.
The big danger for Tupi will come in the form of Godolphin’s Winter Moon. The New Approach filly was another thrown in at the deep end following a good debut win at Newmarket, returning to the track to finish a fine third in the Group 3 Sweet Solera Stakes a month later. She hung badly that day which didn’t help and she should be suited by the better ground here and with her pedigree suggesting the step up in trip is a big positive, she must have a huge chance.
Recent Newbury maiden winner Elm Park is the unknown quantity of the race as he takes his first steps into pattern company. Andrew Balding’s charge was very impressive in that easy victory at Newbury on soft ground and although he may have preferred a little more juice in the ground, is definitely one to watch.
The step up in trip should help Mark Johnston’s Mister Universe but he was well beaten in the Superlative Stakes last time and will have to be better here. As is with all Johnston horses, if he is afforded a soft lead from the get go he might not be that easy to reel in.
James Tate’s Groor completes the five runner field but will be up against here on all known form. It took him five runs to break his maiden tag and was soundly beaten on his handicap debut last time off what should have been a generous enough mark.
By Kevin Walsh / Photo: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
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