Racing: Soft Falling Rain is class act

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Soft Falling Rain looks the class act in the Betfred Hungerford Stakes at Newbury.

The South African raider has been based in England for quite some time now, but trainer Mike de Kock has finally been convinced to go to the well in Berkshire.

De Kock has been keen to stress Soft Falling Rain will not be fully fired up for this Group Two over seven furlongs - but he might not need to be.

The four-year-old son of National Assembly is unbeaten in seven starts, with his finest hour arriving at Meydan in March, when he beat a solid field in the Group Two Godolphin Mile.

Soft Falling Rain has bags of pace, though, so this drop in trip will not be in issue.

Although his fitness must be taken on trust, De Kock’s patient approach with the Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum-owned colt can be rewarded in what hardly looks a vintage renewal.

Staying is the name of the game in the Betfred TV Geoffrey Freer Stakes, in which Biographer gets the nod for the David Lanigan team.

Lanigan has strived not to knock the stuffing out this four-year-old colt, who will be having just ninth career start. He has, however, shown a pretty consistent streak over exacting distances, which should serve him pretty well here.

The son of Montjeu looked booked for victory in the two-mile Coral Marathon at Sandown last month, but displayed a little of his sire’s unpredictability by wandering around inside the final furlong.

Biographer was eventually worried out of it by Caucus, but Lanigan will no doubt consider that run to have been another small step forward. This intermediate trip of a mile and a five furlongs looks just the ticket for a horse who deserves a long overdue shot in Group company.

Ripon’s William Hill Great St Wilfrid Stakes is typically fierce, but value-hunters could do a lot worse than throwing a few bob the way of Regal Parade.