Owen Burrows is targeting a big-race double at Newbury on Saturday with stable stars Hukum and Danyah.
The Lambourn handler reports Hukum firmly on course to bid for back-to-back victories in the Group Three Geoffrey Freer Stakes, while Danyah is being prepared for a step up in class for the Group Two BetVictor Hungerford Stakes.
Having finished third behind top-class filly Wonderful Tonight in the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot in June, Hukum got back on the winning trail in last month’s Silver Cup at York.
Burrows said: “Hukum will almost definitely run on Saturday, as long as we’re happy with him tomorrow (Wednesday) morning.
“He’s done nothing wrong at all this year. Obviously he won this race well last year and it would be nice to repeat that.
“It gets a little bit tricky after this race, but we’ll get Saturday out of the way and worry about where we go next afterwards.
“I see they had 12 millimeters of rain (at Newbury). We’re about 25 minutes away and we had a nice dousing yesterday.
“The sun is out today. They’re talking about getting a shower or two on Thursday, but I would have thought it will dry out to be lovely, good ground – there’ll be no excuses for anybody, I wouldn’t have thought.”
Hukum was one of 12 entries received for the Geoffrey Freer on Monday.
His potential rivals include the William Haggas-trained Ilaraab, who won six consecutive races before disappointing in the Hardwicke, and Hugo Palmer’s Listed-winning filly Golden Pass.
Hukum’s stablemate Danyah was last seen claiming a narrow victory in the lucrative International Stakes at Ascot.
The Invincible Spirit gelding was not winning out of turn three weeks ago, having finished fourth in the Lincoln at Doncaster, second in the Spring Cup at Newbury and second in the Buckingham Palace at Royal Ascot on his three previous outings this season.
“We’ll have to see where we are with him and see if he can take that step up into Group Two company,” Burrows added.
“We could wait for a Listed race back at Newbury in early September over seven furlongs, while there’s also the Park Stakes at Doncaster at the Leger meeting, but that is still a month away.
“I was always taught that if they’re well they ought to be running and he’s giving us all the right signs.”
Danyah is one of 19 confirmations for the Hungerford Stakes, with Motakhayyel and Space Blues the top two on ratings.
The Richard Hannon-trained Motakhayyel won Newmarket’s Bunbury Cup before finishing three lengths behind Danyah in the International, while Group One winner Space Blues can be expected to improve from his comeback fourth in the Lennox Stakes at Goodwood.