On 16th September 2022 Haynes Hanson & Clark celebrated a milestone with the 42nd consecutive running of the HH&C Conditions Stakes at Newbury Racecourse. The sponsorship marks a feat that only six other current serving sponsors can lay claim to in British Racing.
This year’s renewal drew a small but select field of four runners. The well-regarded favourite was the once raced Godolphin owned colt, Highbank, who had impressed many onlookers when winning at Newmarket on his debut. The Richard Hannon trained Classic, another who was victorious at Newmarket on his previous start, also set a useful level of form entering this race. However, it was the beautifully bred Stormbuster who made every yard of the running under David Probert to score by five lengths. A son of the legendary Dubawi, he is an own brother to the Group One Juddmonte International heroine Arabian Queen. Always well regarded by his handler Andrew Balding, he had previously been placed second in a Listed contest at Salisbury.
The switch to more forceful tactics in the HH&C reaped dividends. Owner/ breeder Jeff Smith has an exciting colt on his hands and suggested his next target could be the Group One Vertem Futurity at Doncaster next month. His reappearance there is eagerly awaited where it is hoped that our race’s rich heritage can be enriched further. The last two renewals have certainly unearthed some outstanding talent with the 2020 victor Yibir now a four-time Group winner, including the Grade One Breeders Cup Turf at Del Mar last November.
Last year’s winner Zechariah was only a nose away from winning at Royal Ascot this June in the Group 2 Queen’s Vase before triumphing in the Group 3 Geoffrey Freer Stakes at Newbury in August. The second placed, Juddmonte owned, Ralph Beckett trained, Westover, has developed into a colt of the highest order. The winner of Sandown’s classic trial in April, he was a fast finishing third in the Derby before an impressive victory in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby. He is a live contender for Sunday’s Qatar Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe at Paris Longchamp.