Tuesday, 02nd Jun 2020
The chief supporting race at Newmarket on Friday is the 6f Group 3 Abernant Stakes (14:25) and Mr Lupton is worth a punt.
Trained by Richard Fahey, he is one of three course and distance winners in the line-up. Mr Lupton made a successful raid in Ireland on reappearance last term when landing the Group 2 Greenlands Stakes.
The seven-year-old gelding ran out a comfortable three-quarters of a length winner over Speak In Colours. As the runner-up put in some smart displays after that, the form isn’t too shabby.
Speak In Colours ran fourth to Royal Ascot sprint double hero Blue Point in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes. He also won Listed and Group 3 contests at the Curragh before coming a fine third in the Prix de la Foret on Arc weekend.
Although Mr Lupton hasn’t got his head in front since, this is usually the time of year to catch him. He didn’t need a run before coming good last term, unlike some of his fellow older horses.
With Fahey starting this week off well with a winner and some placed horses, this could be a nice opening for Mr Lupton.
Brando is a previous dual winner of this race in 2017 and 2018. Trained by Kevin Ryan, he tops ratings for this renewal.
The popular son of Pivotal only won one race like Mr Lupton last term, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. He went down fighting when a half-length third looking for a hat-trick in this last April.
Brando was later also held just a neck by Advertise in the Group 1 Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville. Although he finish 4 3/4 lengths in front of Mr Lupton that day, he needed two runs before winning last term.
It’s a big ask for Brando or fellow eight-year-old Keystroke who won the race in 2019 to deliver first time out in it. That Stuart Williams trained horse hasn’t scored since then.
These are some of the top rated horses in the Abernant Stakes this year, but none are getting any younger.
Brando should strip fitter for this outing so, for all he has 7lb and upwards clear of the field on official figures, he can be opposed.
The two four-year-olds in the line-up remain open to most progress, so can’t be discounted. Oxted is the higher rated, but Brando’s stable companion Emaraaty Ana highly tried.
The former is a Mayson gelding trained by Roger Teal. Oxted won twice last season progressing from novice company to land the valuable Portland Handicap at Doncaster’s St Leger Festival.
He also placed behind useful Charlie Hills sprinter Khaadem at Listed level. Although behind Keystroke in the Group 3 Hackwood at Newbury when fifth, Oxted is half the age of that re-opposing rival.
Ceieren Fallon gets a good tune out of him too. It would be no surprise to see Oxted take another step forward here.
Emaraaty Ana, meanwhile, won the Group 2 Gimcrack at York as a juvenile. Subsequent Group 1 outings over a mile at Newmarket and The Curragh indicated that the son of Shamardal didn’t get the trip.
He has since dropped back in trip and resumed winning ways in a conditions contest at Salisbury. Emaraaty Ana should find the Abernant Stakes easier than the elevated company he kept as a juvenile and the Classics last term.
Ryan has also been among the winners since racing restarted, so this colt could be worth chancing.