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27 Sep 2018
Issue Number: Issue 648
Seemar can only hope for another upward performance from North America
Dubai playing a key role in British racing, says Jockey Club boss
Busybody Tadhg looks to scale mountains after climbing Hills
Nass’ trial and error style seems to be working wonders for him
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A Super Saturday ahead worldwide


Depending on where you are in the world, the end of September can be a depressing time weather wise, with autumn taking over in Europe but, of course, that means spring in Australasia. Wherever you are though, it is traditionally an exciting period in the racing world and this Saturday is a particularly good example with the cream of the juvenile crop in action on The Rowley Mile at Newmarket before a clash of two Meydan heroes in America a few hours later. The third and final day of the Dubai Future Champions Festival, Saturday’s Newmarket card is highlighted by both the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes, for fillies, and the colts’ equivalent, the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes. Both are for juveniles, over 6f and have impressive rolls of honour, producing both Classic winners and top class sprinters.

In true English chivalrous fashion, it is ‘ladies first’ and a mouthwatering renewal of the Cheveley Park Stakes, featuring a rematch between Pretty Pollyanna and Signora Cabello who were first and second in the 6f Group 1 Prix Morny at Deauville six weeks ago. Trained by Michael Bell for Bill and Tim Gredley, Pretty Pollyanna had previously landed the Group 2 Duchess of Cambridge Stakes on the Newmarket July Course. Sporting the Phoenix Thoroughbred silks, Signora Cabello is trained by John Quinn and has won four of her six starts, most notably the Prix Robert Papin and Royal Ascot’s Queen Mary Stakes, both Group Two contests.

It would be no surprise to see the pair dominate on Saturday with Fairyland, winner of the Group 2 Lowther Stakes at York, perhaps next best, assuming she runs with her trainer, Aidan O’Brien, still having five entries at the time of writing. Interestingly, her immediate victim at York, The Mackem Bullet, trained by Brian Ellison, as well as William Haggas’ Queen Of Bermuda, was supplemented to the race on Monday for the not insignificant sum of £20,000. If the bookmakers have it right, and they very often do, O’Brien is going to add to his five wins, already a record, in the Middle Park Stakes.

His four remaining entries are headed by Ten Sovereigns, victorious in both his starts and imperious each time; 24 rivals were trounced in a 6f Curragh maiden before he was far too good when landing the Group 3 Round Tower Stakes over the same course and distance. Heading the opposition and identically unbeaten after two outings is Jash, trained by Simon Crisford for Sheikh Hamdan. A son of Kodiac, he has won a maiden and a novice stakes so is taking a massive step up in class. Kevin Ryan saddles Emaraaty Ana who landed the Group 2 Gimcrack Stakes at York in the colours of Ahmad Al Sheikh, once of Dubai TV fame, but will be having his first outing in the colours of Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum.

He should go well. Then, ‘across the pond’, a fascinating Jockey Club Gold Cup, one of three Grade Ones on a good Belmont Park card, is taking shape with Dubai World Cup winner Thunder Snow set to clash with UAE Derby victor Mendelssohn. Also winner of the 2017 UAE Derby, Godolphin’s Thunder Snow has run just once since his big night in March, failing to fire when not beating a rival in the Juddmonte International at York. Entitled to have needed that run, the Saeed bin Suroor stable star’s main target is the Breeders’ Cup Classic, as it is for Mendelssohn whose Meydan Classic success was registered by an ever expanding distance of almost 19 lengths. Almost knocked over in the Kentucky Derby, he was then third in the Grade 3 Dwyer Stakes and most recently second in the Grade 1 Travers Stakes.

He is trained by Aidan O’Brien whose stable jockey, Ryan Moore, faces a tricky dilemma whether to ride on the Rowley Mile or to cross the Atlantic. However, it appears Diversify, trained by Richard Violette Jr, will start favourite after three consecutive victories, culminating in the Grade 1 Whitney Stakes in early August. So, whichever way you look Saturday, admittedly a rare one without an Australian Group One, there is something well worth keeping an eye on, be it future stars at Newmarket or Meydan equine luminaries Stateside. Australian fans need to wait until Sunday for the Group 1 Underwood Stakes in which Godophin’s Blair House takes his chance.

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