Breton Rock ready to roll again in the Hungerford and prove he's as good as ever
Ladyswood Stud Hungerford Stakes | G2 | 7f | ITV4/RUK
Breton Rock is out to land Saturday's showpiece race for a second time – four years on from his first success.
The David Simcock-trained eight-year-old is making his fourth appearance in the £150,000 contest, having also finished third in 2015 and fourth a year ago, when the reopposing Sir Dancealot was fifth.
Sir Dancealot had his old rival back in third when landing the Group 2 Lennox Stakes at Goodwood last month, although there was only a neck between them at the finish.
A known lover of some ease in the ground, Breton Rock is fresher than most this campaign and is having just his third outing of the year.
Simcock said: "Breton Rock is running in the Hungerford again as it's a race that suits him, especially with some ease in the ground.
"He showed at Goodwood that he's as good as ever and that was only his second run as the dry summer was not for him. That said, it looks a hotter renewal than ever with Gustav Klimt in there."
Penalty to trip up Sir Dancealot?
You have to go back to 2007 to find a winner of this race who defied a penalty – the filly Red Evie – so Sir Dancealot is likely to find things tough with an extra 3lb burden for last month's Group 2 win.
Gerald Mosse has struck up a good relationship with the David Elsworth-trained improver and has won on him at Goodwood and Newmarket, and between times steered him into an excellent fourth in the Group 1 July Cup.
Elsworth said: "He's got a Group 2 penalty but often in these races it's luck in running or other factors that mean it's your day or not.
"Breton Rock is better off with us for just a neck so he'll be a danger, as will the O'Brien horse [Gustav Klimt]. He goes there with a solid chance and the jockey gets on well with him."
Breeze to blow them away on retrieval mission?
Last year's runner-up Librisa Breeze is back for another crack and could not have posted a better trial when fourth in a Group 1 at Deauville last time.
The Dean Ivory-trained grey was sent off favourite for this 12 months ago but got into all sorts of trouble and got going only when it was all over to chase home Massaat.
The likeable six-year-old was drawn on the wrong side when fourth to Polydream in the Prix Maurice de Gheest and should find this less competitive.
Ivory said: "In last year's race he managed to get boxed in, so hopefully he can get a clear passage this time.
"The ground has been against him for much of the summer but the recent rain has ticked plenty of boxes and we fancy our chances."
Can Klimt clinch O'Brien's first?
Aidan O'Brien has never won this prize but has had very few runners – something he is out to address with the classy Gustav Klimt.
The diminutive colt has punched above his size to finish placed in Group 1s in his last four outings, most recently when fourth to Lightning Spear in the Sussex Stakes.
Three-year-olds have won this on five occasions in the past decade and the son of Galileo could be potent dropping back in trip for the first time since winning at Listed level at Leopardstown in April.
O'Brien said: "Gustav Klimt has run well in Group 1s over a mile all season and seems in good form. We're dropping him down a furlong in trip and we think that might suit him."
What the others say
Bruce Raymond, racing manager to Saeed Suhail, owner of Dream Of Dreams
Dream Of Dreams will be suited by a bit of give in the ground but whether he's up to this level is another matter. His best form previously is over six furlongs but he's always shaped as if he would get seven.
Roger Varian, trainer of Tomyris
She's achieved her best form over this trip and the track should suit. She's training well and, while she has something to find with the principals, I think she'll run with credit.
Mick Channon, trainer of Dan's Dream
I thought she was very unlucky in the Group 3 at Goodwood last time. She looked to be coming with a good run before getting hampered. We've had a nice drop of rain and that will help. I am very sweet on her.
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