Betfred Hungerford Stakes - 17th August 2013  

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Gregorian Passes Hungerford Test

1 Gregorian 3/1
2 Soft Falling Rain 9/4F
3 Tawhid 5/2
5 ran Distances: 1½l, 1¼l, 4½l
TIME 1m 25.84s (slow by 2.84s)

Soft Falling Rain lost his seven-race unbeaten record accrued in South Africa and Dubai to John Gosden's reliable Gregorian in the Group Two Betfred Hungerford Stakes at Newbury.

© Racehorse Photos


Paul Hanagan bravely took up the running on Soft Falling Rain, but Rab Havlin had the advantageous near-side rail in his favour and Gregorian (3-1) had the 9-4 favourite's measure by a length and a half.

With stable jockey William Buick and Gosden both overseas, this was a cherished prize for Scotsman Havlin, who was partnering a gelding who was third in the Queen Anne at Royal Ascot.

He said: "He's had a few near-misses at the top level, so the ability has always been there. I had a nice, handy lead and he showed a good turn of foot.

"I've had a few Group winners but never a Group One - I won the Italian Derby the year after it had been relegated from a Group One!"

Soft Falling Rain

Soft Falling Rain

Mike de Kock expects Soft Falling Rain to improve for his run on Saturday.

The South African trainer was delighted with the four-year-old's performance in running Group One-experienced Gregorian to a length and a half, despite the fact that he was suffering defeat for the first time in eight races.

It was Soft Falling Rain's first run since he won the Godolphin Mile at Meydan at the end of March and De Kock felt the race conditions were against his charge.

"He gave 2lb to the winner and coming from the Southern Hemisphere he was disadvantaged to the tune of 2lb to 3lb as well, which was not factored into the weight he carried. It was a very good run under the circumstances," De Kock told At The Races.

"I thought it was a quality field and there was enough form in Group Ones to say it was a really good field. Like most of our horses with the way we prepare them he will come on with racing."


Betfred Hungerford Stakes
£100,000 added, 3yo plus, 7f, Class 1
5 ran
Going: Good

Starting Price
Beaten Distance
J H M Gosden
R Havlin
9st 3lbs
3 - 1
Soft Falling Rain
M F De Kock
P Hanagan
9st 5lbs
9 - 4
1 1/2 length
S bin Suroor
J P Murtagh
8st 12lbs
5 - 2
1 1/4 length
Caspar Netscher
D M Simcock
S W Kelly
9st 3lbs
7 - 2
4 1/2 lengths
R Hannon
K Fallon
9st 3lbs
12 - 1
1 1/4 length
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