Chindit leads Hannon charge in Hungerford Stakes

Chindit sets the standard as he leads a three-pronged assault from Richard Hannon in the BetVictor Hungerford Stakes on Saturday.

The five-year-old has been a regular visitor to Newbury throughout his career, winning the Greenham over track and trip as a three-year-old and producing arguably a career best when chasing home Modern Games in the Lockinge Stakes earlier in the campaign.

Not disgraced at Royal Ascot when last seen, he now drops back to seven furlongs as he joins stablemates Mammas Girl and Royal meeting scorer Witch Hunter in the line-up for the Group Two contest.

“He’s in very good form and only had three races this year,” said Hannon.

“He probably ran the race of his life in the Lockinge in May and we left the Sussex Stakes alone because of the ground.

“He’s won Group races at two, three and four and is a pleasure to have around. He’s in super order and we’re looking forward to Saturday.”

Chindit was beaten four and a half lengths when well held behind Jumby in this last season and following some encouraging recent performances, trainer Eve Johnson Houghton is hoping the rain stays away for her defending champion.

She said: “Jumby is in fine form at home ahead of his bid to win back-to-back Hungerford Stakes.

“He needs quick ground so we will be keeping an eye on the weather forecast.”

Charlie Fellowes’ Marbaan bounced back to something near his best when third in the Lennox Stakes and is another who will prefer conditions to remain dry, while similar applies to Mostabshir who has campaigned exclusively at a mile but now steps back in distance.

John and Thady Gosden’s three-year-old was an impressive winner at York earlier in the season, but has found life tough when handed stiff assignments since and blinkers are now reached for in an attempt to see him replicate the form he shows at home on the racecourse.

“He’s an interesting horse and a horse who works very well at home and shows plenty of ability there,” explained Angus Gold, racing manager for owners Shadwell.

“I’m not quite sure he has fulfilled his potential so far on the racecourse. He won very well at York obviously earlier in the year and on his day he’s capable of putting up a good performance, but he really needs to step up to the plate now.

“He’s been a bit immature, but like everything out of his mare, hopefully he is only going to get better as he gets older.

“I would just like to see him run well on Saturday. He’s capable and has certainly got the ability, so hopefully he can start to put it together now and fulfil his potential.”

Britannia Stakes second New Endeavour (Roger Varian) has some smart form at this distance and was not disgraced behind Nostrum at Newmarket at Newmarket most recently, while Charlie Hills’ Pogo arrives on the pack of a third in the Criterion and has often showed his best form at this distance.

Tom Dascombe’s Misty Grey and Spanish raider Rodaballo complete the field.

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