STUNNING 72-STRONG ENTRY FOR EMIRATES AIRLINE CHAMPION STAKES
A superb 72-strong entry has been received for the £350,000 Group One Emirates Airline Champion Stakes, run over 10 furlongs on the NatWest Rowley Mile at Newmarket on Champions’ Day, Saturday, October 20.
Cockney Rebel returned trainer Geoff Huffer to the big time with victories in the Stan James 2000 Guineas on the NatWest Rowley Mile in May and also the Irish 2000 Guineas. He was found to be suffering with a hairline fracture of the pelvis after running fifth in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot behind Excellent Art.
The winner, trained by Aidan O’Brien, who is responsible for 21 of the 25 Irish entries, narrowly failed to add Sussex Stakes glory to his CV when failing by a head to reel in Godolphin’s ultra-tough Ramonti, who was following up his dramatic success in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot. The Emirates Airline Champion Stakes is one of the few Group One races to have eluded Aidan O’Brien.
Other Ballydoyle contenders include runaway Irish Derby victor Soldier Of Fortune, the mercurial George Washington, last year’s 2000 Guineas and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes scorer, brilliant filly Peeping Fawn, who recorded a Group One hat-trick this term in the Pretty Polly Stakes, Irish Oaks and Nassau Stakes, and top-class middle distance performer Dylan Thomas, who posted a resounding four-length victory in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot on July 28.
Godolphin has made nine entries, with King George fourth Laverock, Group Two winners Echo Of Light and Stage Gift and Formal Decree, runner up in the Group One Grosser Dallmayr Preis in Germany on his latest start, possible runners for the Maktoum family’s operation. Godolphin is also yet to win the Emirates Airline Champion Stakes.
Notnowcato, who received a tremendous ride from Ryan Moore to take the Coral Eclipse at Sandown on July 7, is one of four entries for Sir Michael Stoute, successful previously with Pilsudski (1997) and Kalanisi (2000).
Henry Cecil has entered Group One winner Passage Of Time, last seen finishing eighth behind stable companion Light Shift in the Oaks at Epsom on June 1, and Multidimensional, who captured a Group Two prize at Deauville in August, 2006, but has not run since. Cecil is looking for his third Emirates Airline Champion Stakes success after Indian Skimmer (1988) and Bosra Sham (1996).
France supplies six fascinating candidates, among them Lawman, trained by John-Marie Beguigne, who followed a ready success in the Prix du Jockey Club in June with a facile three-length triumph in the Prix Jean Prat on July 8.
Chantilly-based handler Alain de Royer-Dupre, who sent out Pride to land the spoils in 2006, is responsible for high-class fillies Darjina, who edged out Stan James and Irish 1000 Guineas heroine Finsceal Beo in the French equivalent on May 13 and captured the Prix d’Astarte on July 29, and four-year-old Mandesha, a three-time Group One scorer last season, who was last seen chasing home Peeping Fawn in the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood on August 4, when Speciosa finished sixth.
The Peter Schiergen-trained Soldier Hollow, a winner of four Group One races, and Pinot Noir are the German entries, while South African trainer Mike de Kock has entered the former Aidan O’Brien-trained six-year-old Mullins Bay.
FANTASTIC DARLEY DEWHURST STAKES ENTRY
The £250,000 Group One Darley Dewhurst Stakes, Britain’s premier contest for juvenile colts, which will take place on Newmarket’s Champions’ Day on Saturday, October 20, has attracted a fantastic 138-strong entry.
The total number of colts engaged in the seven-furlong race, three more than in 2006, when the final field of 15 produced a thrilling race, with the champion juvenile Teofilo rallying to overcome Holy Roman Emperor after a breath-taking duel.
A powerful Irish raid can again be expected with 44 entered from the Emerald Isle, including no less than 36 from Aidan O’Brien’s mighty Ballydoyle battalions, headed by the unbeaten Group Two Coventry Stakes winner Henrythenavigator.
O’Brien’s contingent also includes Group Two Anheuser Busch Adventure Parks Railway Stakes winner Lizard Island, as well as the runner-up that day, South Dakota.
Listed winner Warsaw has been engaged by the trainer who took the prize in 2001 with the brilliant Rock Of Gibraltar, along with Goodwood maiden runner-up Belgrave Square, Group Two Richmond Stakes third One Great Cat, High Chaparral’s brother Tale Of Two Cities and Hawk Wing’s unraced half-brother Zulu Chief.
Peter Chapple-Hyam, successful in 1991 with the following year’s Derby winner Dr Devious, could have a say in the outcome as he has entered seven colts including the unbeaten Winker Watson who landed the Group Two TNT July Stakes at Newmarket in July, having already captured the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot.
The trainer also has Group Two Weatherbys Superlative Stakes runner-up Declaration Of War, impressive Listed winner Western Art, Amaakin, Orientalist Art, Skadrak and Tame That Tiger.
Andre Fabre secured a hat-trick of wins in the 1990s with Zafonic (1992), Pennekamp (1994) and Xaar (1997), and the master French trainer’s trio consists of World Ruler alongside maiden winners Beret Rouge and Minted, while fellow Gallic trainer Pascal Bary has engaged Group Two Prix Robert Papin winner Natagora.
Godophin trainer Saeed bin Suroor has nine colts entered including impressive Group Two Veuve Clicquot Vintage Stakes winner Rio De La Plata, while Raven’s Pass, an eye-catching five-length winner of an Ascot Listed contest on July 28, is one of four John Gosden-trained entries.
Milk It Mick gave Jamie Osborne his biggest success as a trainer when victorious in 2003 and he has Windsor Castle Stakes winner Drawnfromthepast, who was last seen when fifth to the Jeremy Noseda-trained Strike The Deal in the Group Two Richmond Stakes at Goodwood on August 3.
Mark Johnston took the Darley Dewhurst Stakes in 2004 with the brilliant Shamardal and he has Sandown maiden winner Campanologist, the progressive Gothenburg, McCartney, Miesko and Missioner.
Tommy Stack has engaged the unbeaten Group Three Dubai Duty Free Anglesey Stakes hero and recent Coolmore purchase Myboycharlie, while Jim Bolger, successful in 2006 with Teofilo has the exciting and unbeaten Tyros Stakes winner New Approach.
Mick Channon enjoyed Darley Dewhurst Stakes victory with Tobougg in 2000 and he has Group Two Weatherbys Superlative Stakes winner Hatta Fort as well as Atlantic Sport. Paul Cole took the race with Derby winner Generous in 1990 and may run TNT July Stakes runner-up River Proud, while Swiss Franc, third in that race, has been entered by David Elsworth.
NOTNOWCATO WORKS AT NEWMARKET’S JULY COURSE TOMORROW
ARABIAN GULF SET FOR A RACECOURSE SPIN ON SATURDAY
The Sir Michael Stoute-trained Notnowcato will work on Newmarket’s July Course at 8.00am tomorrow, Friday, August 10, in preparation for a repeat victory in the Group One Juddmonte International Stakes at York on August 21.
The four-year-old, a triple Group One winner including when triumphant in the Coral-Eclipse Stakes at Sandown on his most recent start, will gallop with a companion.
On Saturday, August 11, Arabian Gulf, also trained by Sir Michael Stoute, will work on the July Course prior to the first race, which is due off at 2.15pm.
Arabian Gulf, who will gallop with a companion, is a possible for the Group Two Great Voltigeur Stakes at York on August 21, and holds an entry in the Group One Ladbrokes St Leger, the final classic of the season at Doncaster on September 15.
The Khalid Abdulla-owned three-year-old won a 10-furlong maiden on the NatWest Rowley Mile in April and has not been seen on the track since finishing runner-up to Budweiser Irish Derby winner Soldier Of Fortune in the Group Three MBNA Chester Vase in May.