Racing: Gabr aspiring to growth in repute: A lightly-raced colt can prove his potential in today's Hungerford Stakes. Greg Wood reports

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The Independent Online
HONEST endeavour is not a frequent visitor to Britain's betting shops, but the presence of Inchinor in the Hungerford Stakes at Newbury today should guarantee at least one glimpse of hard work receiving a cheerful embrace.

Inchinor lacks the raw talent of the best of his generation, but deep reserves of courage and enthusiasm have carried him to honourable defeat in some of the season's best events. His performance in the Group One Sussex Stakes last month was typical, as he stayed on gamely to secure his place in the frame without ever offering a threat to Bigstone or Sayyedati.

A smart trainer knows when to face facts and Roger Charlton now returns his colt to Group Three company, where his healthy work ethic should be sufficient to defeat the likes of Swing Low and Ardkinglass. But as a role model for the dissolute, Inchinor may still prove to be flawed. For all his worthy qualities, he could prove vulnerable to a lightly-raced animal moving in the opposite direction on the ladder.

GABR (nap 3.10) is a convincing candidate. He did not make his seasonal debut until mid- July, but a close second to Thourios over today's course and distance hinted at considerable promise. That was confirmed at Goodwood on Stewards' Cup day, when Gabr arrived late to beat Visto Di Stampi by a neck in a conditions event. On both occasions Robert Armstrong's colt recorded a commendable time, and with further improvement likely, today's field will struggle to keep up.

Expect improvement too from Colonel Collins, though on the evidence of his first visit to the racecourse, at Newmarket's July meeting, he could have deteriorated by a stone and still prove too strong for the pitiful field in the Washington Singer Stakes. Colonel Collins is one of an astonishing collection of two- year-old's at Peter Chapple- Hyam's yard, and the trainer's gleeful progress through the leading juvenile races is unlikely to run into the buffers today.

Pat Eddery has the undemanding task of steering Colonel Collins down Newbury's straight seven furlongs, and it is a gift he will grasp with gratitude. Kevin Darley, who continues to confound the pre-season betting which reckoned Michael Roberts to be the only danger to Eddery in the jockeys' title race, has four good rides at Folkestone, though Eddery should complete a double thanks to Trammel (4.40).

The former champion also has a favourite's chance on Western Cape, but that one's win at Glorious Goodwood was on soft ground. Rapid Success (2.40) was a dozen lengths adrift there, but had previously been progressing well and may return to winning form on today's faster surface.

Inchinor's family pride may be restored by Ingozi, his half- sister, in the juvenile maiden, but Peter Chapple-Hyam again has a strong candidate in the once-raced Areciba (4.10). This contest often announces a useful newcomer, though, and betting is for only the clinically reckless.

(Photograph omitted)

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