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Challenge Stakes: Timeform preview and free Race Pass


The Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards Challenge Stakes (15:00) at Newmarket on Friday is available as a free Race Pass, which means logged-in customers can view all our premium comments and ratings.

Eight runners are set to go to post for Friday's Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards Challenge Stakes (15:00) at Newmarket, a Group 2 run over seven furlongs for horses aged three and above.

The William Haggas-trained Sacred (127) tops the field on Timeform's weight-adjusted ratings having returned to form with an emphatic victory in a listed race at Newbury three weeks ago. She had a standout chance at the weights and duly capitalised on the drop in grade in the manner of a filly right at the top of her game, easing clear in the final furlong to land the spoils by six and a half lengths. This has been the target since and another big run seems assured in her follow-up bid for Haggas, who has the 'Hot Trainer' Flag to denote that his yard is in top form.

Haggas also saddles the three-year-old Purplepay (118), who has a 3 lb penalty to carry having won at this level in the Prix de Sandringham at Chantilly in June. She is clearly a smart filly on her day, but this demands more against older rivals and she wasn't at her best when last seen finishing only fifth in the Kilboy Estate Stakes at the Curragh in July. This is also the shortest trip she has run over since early in her two-year-old season.

The main danger to Sacred is likely to be Pogo (125), who made the breakthrough in Group company earlier this season with wins in the John of Gaunt Stakes at Haydock and Criterion Stakes on the July Course. He proved at least as good as ever when filling the runner-up spot in the City of York Stakes last time, passing the post just a length and a quarter behind the subsequent Group 1 winner Kinross and having the disappointing Sacred down the field behind him in sixth.

Sacred is likely to prove a different proposition today, but there is no reason why Pogo shouldn't give another good account at a track which lends itself well to his style of racing. Indeed, he has the 'Horse For Course' Flag following a series of good efforts on the Rowley Mile during his career, including when chasing home Happy Power in this race two years ago.

Jumby (122) had Pogo behind him when winning the Hungerford Stakes at Newbury in August, but he needs to bounce back having finished down the field in both starts since. Similar comments apply to Misty Grey (121), who followed a good effort in the Supreme Stakes at Goodwood (beaten just a head into second) with a disappointing display in the Park Stakes at Doncaster (beaten five lengths into fourth).

That just leaves Umm Kulthum (121), who proved her stamina for this trip when beaten just a neck in the Sceptre Stakes at Doncaster last time, and Oscula (119) and Internationalangel (120), who were separated by just a head when they met in the Oak Tree Stakes at Goodwood in July.

A tough and consistent filly, Oscula has continued to run well in the interim for George Boughey – who also has the 'Hot Trainer' Flag – including when registering her second Group 3 success in the Prix de Lieurey at Deauville in August. However, she might struggle to uphold the form this time with Internationalangel, who is 5 lb better off at the weights and ran another sound race when last seen filling the runner-up spot in the Prix Quincey at Deauville.

Timeform Analyst's Verdict:

Sacred got firmly back on track when routing 6 rivals in listed company at Newbury 3 weeks ago and is very much the one to beat. Pogo is rock solid at this trip so he seems sure to go well again, with Internationalangel perhaps the pick of those at longer odds.

Timeform's weight-adjusted ratings:

127 Sacred

125 Pogo

122 Jumby

121 Misty Grey

121 Umm Kulthum

120 Internationalangel

119 Oscula

118 Purplepay

Race Passes are the ultimate form guide, providing Timeform analysis, Flags and ratings for every runner in every race in Britain and Ireland. Subscribers have access to additional features that add extra levels of insight, including complete performance histories, an extensive form archive and unlimited use of horse, jockey and trainer searches.

Just log in and click here to view the full card and Timeform analysis for the 15:00 at Newmarket on Friday. You can subscribe to Race Passes to access every race here.



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Free Daily Race Pass (Result)


Thursday 08 December
Luke Morris silk Luke Morris
Archie Watson
Frederick Larson silk Frederick Larson
Michael Appleby
Go to full race



1st David Probert silk 2. STORM CATCHER (IRE) 7/24.5f
2nd Rhys Clutterbuck silk 8. THE BAY WARRIOR (IRE) 7/18
3rd Aidan Keeley silk ½ 5. FAR HORIZON (IRE) 4/15
T: Simon Pearce  
All 8 ran.


1st David Probert silk 4. FULL INTENTION 5/23.5f
2nd Taylor Fisher silk 3 8. PORT NOIR 10/111
3rd Thore Hammer-Hansen silk 3. SILKS PASS 8/19
T: Simon Pearce  
All 12 ran.


1st Kevin Stott silk 6. ALAFDHAL (IRE) 4/15
2nd Tom Eaves silk ns 1. ARAIFJAN 9/43.25f
3rd Jason Hart silk 8. HIT MAC (IRE) 5/23.5
J: Kevin Stott  
T: Phil McEntee  
11 ran. NRs: 11 


1st Luke Morris silk 2. EXCEL POWER (IRE) 11/43.75
2nd Frederick Larson silk 5. BALDOMERO (IRE) 9/43.25f
J: Luke Morris  
All 5 ran.


1st Jack Mitchell silk 8. DEMI POINTE 5/42.25f
2nd Adam Kirby silk 6. THE X O (IRE) 9/43.25
3rd Joanna Mason silk 1 9. LADY BEECHFIELD 33/134
T: Roger Varian  
All 9 ran.


1st Daniel Muscutt silk 2. BEELZEBUB (IRE) 13/82.62
2nd Cieren Fallon silk 3. ERTEBAT 17/29.5
7 ran. NRs: 1  4  9 


1st Christian Howarth silk 6. SECRETARY 66/167
2nd Kieran O'Neill silk nk 7. SKYBLUE EXPERT 3/14
3rd Kevin Stott silk hd 3. ATTRAZIONE (IRE) 9/43.25f
J: Christian Howarth (5)  
11 ran. NRs: 12  4  5 


1st Mr Frederick Tett silk 7. PERSIAN WOLF (IRE) 7/24.5
2nd Miss Imogen Levick silk ¾ 6. BASCINET 15/28.5
3rd Miss Jessica Barraclough silk 1 5. PRINCE ACHILLE 33/134
T: Phil McEntee  
All 9 ran.


1st Miss Taryn Langley silk 6. VILLALOBOS (IRE) 7/42.75f
2nd Mr Simon Walker silk nk 1. ENGRAVE 5/23.5
3rd Miss Isabelle Ryder silk ½ 2. GRAFFITI 15/28.5
J: Miss Taryn Langley (5)  
All 10 ran.
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