Hampton Court Stakes preview: Sangarius value in colts’ Group 3 at Royal Ascot

Published on: June 19, 2019
Author: David Metcalf
The 2019 Hampton Court Stakes preview from Royal Ascot includes Sangarius

Sangarius shaped with plenty of promise on seasonal reappearance, so looks decent value at 7/1 with Betfair in the Group 3 Hampton Court Stakes – a three-year-old colts’ contest run over 1m 2f at Royal Ascot on Thursday (15:05).

This son of multiple Group 1 winner Kingman hails from the powerful yard of Sir Michael Stoute, who is bidding for a third success in the race having saddled Glass Harmonium and Cannock Chase to land the spoils in 2009 and 2014 respectively.

He had some very smart form to his name as a juvenile and was backed off the boards into 11/8 favouritism on debut, before beating Bangkok by a neck in a 13-runner novice contest over 7f on the July course at Newmarket.

Sangarius was produced at the furlong marker before quickening smartly to score readily under a hands and heels ride.

The front two pulled six lengths clear of the field and it was a most taking display which suggested he needed keeping firmly onside.

That view was confirmed when he landed the Listed 7f Flying Scotsman Stakes at Doncaster in impressive fashion where, after tracking the leaders travelling strongly, he again showed a smart turn of foot when taking up the running at the furlong marker to beat Dubai Dominion by 2 1/4 lengths.

Sandown form looks strong

Sangarius was then far from disgraced on his final start last season when pitched into Group 1 company and finishing fourth to Too Darn Hot in the Dewhurst back at Newmarket.

He looked the type that would come into his own as a three-year-old once strengthened up.

There was certainly lots to like about his return to action at Sandown last month when a 3 3/4 lengths third of eight to King Of Comedy in the Listed 1m Heron Stakes.

Sangarius raced keen on the heels of the leaders before being able to find any extra inside the last and shaped as if needing the run.

He looks sure to come on a bundle for that outing and the winner, to whom he was conceding 3lb, is a really smart sort who was arguably an unlucky loser when a fast finishing runner-up in the Group 1 St James’s Palace here on Tuesday.

That gives the form a solid look and suggests that Sangarius, who should be suited by the extra two furlongs of this, is the one to be on now partnered by Frankie Dettori for the first time.

Progessive Headman a key player

Headman – like Sangarius – carries the famous Frankel colours of leading owner Prince Khalid Abdullah, is a lightly-raced and progressive sort who looks well worth a crack at this level following his success last time out in a hot handicap.

This Roger Charlton trained son of Classic winner Kingman looked a very smart prospect when making a winning debut at Newcastle where, after being awkwardly away, he made mooth progress two from home.

When shaken-up to lead entering the final furlong, he then showed an instant change of gear to put the race to bed and easily beat Repuapo by 3 3/4 lengths.

Headman then got turned over when sent off the 4/9 favourite and finishing a two-length second of 13 to Zakouski at Kempton, but the winner has since run well to finish a 4 3/4 lengths fifth of eight to subsequent 2000 Guineas third Skardu in the Group 3 Craven Stakes at Newmarket.

So, although it appeared disappointing at the time, in hindsight it was a fine effort and the pair pulled well clear of the third home – giving the form a solid look.

Headman has had just two starts this season and, after shaping as is needing the run when sixth of nine to the highly regarded King Ottoker at Newbury, he put in a battling display to defy top weight of 9st 7lb and land the valuable London Gold Cup at that venue.

Charlton saddled Time Test to land the spoils of that ultra-competitive handicap in 2015 and that one went on to follow-up in this contest.

Headman has a similar profile; so, with further improvement on the cards he, looks a big each-way player and can be baked at 8/1 with BetVictor.
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Great Scot appeals each-way

Another that appeals to make the frame is the Tom Dascombe trained Great Scot as he has some very useful form in the book.

This son of Requinto won three of his five starts as a juvenile, including a Listed contest on heavy ground at Haydock when only having to be pushed out to score by two lengths.

Great Scot also ran very well when beaten just 1 1/2 lengths into third behind Magna Grecia in the Group 1 Futurity Trophy at Doncaster on his final start of the campaign. The form of that race looks very strong.

Magna Grecia went on to land the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket, the runner-up Phoenix Of Spain captured the Irish equivalent, and the third home Circus Maximus took the Group 1 St James’s Palace here earlier in the week.

Great Scot has also run well in three starts this season, including when ninth of 19 to Magna Grecia in the 2000 Guineas and last time out in a Group 2 at Cologne when beaten just half-a-length into third.

On the pick of his form, he looks a major contender in this. Other big pluses are he is versatile as regards ground and has proven form on soft surfaces – which is the going in Berkshire at the time of writing.

At the 12/1 on offer with Betway, Great Scott looks overpriced now dropped in class and capable of hitting the frame at least in what is a very wide-open looking renewal of the Hampton Court.