Noel Murless Stakes preview: Hereby the answer to Ascot Listed contest

Published on: October 3, 2019
Author: David Metcalf
Our 2019 Noel Murless Stakes preview from Ascot includes Ralph Beckett trained Hereby

The ultra-progressive Hereby looks worth siding with to take the step up into Listed company in her stride and land the spoils in the feature race at Ascot on Friday, the 1m 6f Noel Murless Stakes (14:35).

This Ralph Beckett trained three-year-old filly only made her racecourse debut in May, but has won four of her six starts.

She comes into the race on the back of a hat-trick of successes, showing a willing attitude to score by narrow margins at Chester and Pontefract before romping to a facile success last time out.

That came in a class 3 handicap at Chester where the daughter of Pivotal made all and, after being driven clear two from home, registered a very easy four-length success over Gabrial The One.

It was a most taking and authoritative display – and one which suggested Hereby was well worth a crack at this level.

Although a revised rating off 88 leaves her with 10lb to find with the top-rated I’ll Have Another, she is clearly thriving and this is not a strong renewal of the Noel Murless Stakes.

Hereby should also have no problem with the forecast heavy going as the offsprings of her sire revel in mud.

Other pluses are that the stable is in good form at present and she once again has the services of Harry Bentley in the saddle, who is three from four on her.

So, at odds of 4/1 with BetVictor, Hereby looks value to go in again and land the four-timer.

Almania feared most in Noel Murless Stakes

The aforementioned I’ll Have Another was beaten 20 lengths when runner-up last time on bottomless ground, so makes little appeal now faced with similar conditions.

A bigger danger to Hereby, therefore, may well be the Sir Michael Stoute trained Almania who has an air of unfinished business about him

This son of Derby winner Australia had just two starts as a juvenile, finishing a promising fourth at this venue before showing a game attitude to beat Buffalo River by half-a-length in a 10-runner maiden at Sandown.

Almania then found things too hot on seasonal reappearance when finishing an 11 1/4 lengths last of eight to Telecaster in the Group 2 Dante Stakes over 1m 2f at York.

Connections then decided to drop him back into handicap company, and he posted a much improved effort when a keeping on three lengths fifth of 16 to South Pacific in the 1m 4f King George V Stakes at Royal Ascot off his current mark of 95.

Almania backed that up with a staying on 1 3/4 lengths fourth to Floating Artist over 1m 4f – again at this venue – in a slowly run affair which didn’t play to his strengths.

He was then far from disgraced in finishing a 3 1/2 lengths fifth of 11 to Forest Of Dean over 1m 2f at Glorious Goodwood.

Almania also shaped a bit better the bare result suggests last time out the valuable Melrose Handicap over the 1m 6f trip of this at York when a 3 1/2 lengths sixth of 12 to Hamish.

The form of that race reads pretty well in relation to this and his best runs have come with cut in the ground. At 3/1 with Bethard, Almania could represent a bit of value.

Just Hubert appeals each-way

Just Hubert finished a neck in front of Almania when a fine fifth in the Melrose, so is another that can’t be ruled out despite now meeting that rival on 9lb worse terms.

Trained by William Muir, this three-year-old son of Dunaden has won three of his five starts this season and showed improved form on each outing.

He has had just one run since the Melrose and that saw Just Hubert land the valuable and competitive class 3 Edinburgh Cup Handicap at Musselburgh in taking fashion.

After racing in midfield under a confident Graham Lee, he made stealthy headway three from home to take up the running approaching the final furlong.

Just Hubert then stayed on strongly to draw clear at the finish and comfortably beat Anyonecanhaveitall by 1 1/2 lengths.

The runner-up, to whom he was conceding 10lb, is a fair sort trained by Mark Johnston who went on to score next time up – so that gives the form a solid look.

Just Hubert is also now reunited with Tom Marquand, who has won once and been placed once in two starts on him. He also hails from a yard that has been back among the winners of late.

So, at odds of 6/1 with Boylesports, Just Hubert looks decent each-way value in a Noel Murless Stakes renewal where a case can be made for the majority of the eight runners.