x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Dettori hopes Bawadi kicks off big weekend at Ascot

The eagerly-awaited UAE showdown in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes tomorrow between Delegator and Aqlaam may be the race whetting everyone's appetite.

The eagerly-awaited UAE showdown in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes tomorrow between Delegator and Aqlaam may be the race whetting everyone's appetite, but Godolphin hope to kick off the three-day festival of autumn racing in style today. The stable of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid send Bawadi in the EDF Ratcliffes Syndication Classified Stakes and he forms the backbone of the opposition to the Sir Michael Stoute-trained favourite Tryst, who is stepping up from seven furlongs and will be ridden by the champion jockey Ryan Moore.

Bawadi, the three-year-old ridden by Frankie Dettori, was a winner first time out and followed up 10 days later with a fourth over a 1m4f handicap at Kempton in August. He suffered an awkward start, which may have hampered him, and Dettori will be hoping for a clear run in today's contest over a mile-and-a-quarter. "He's a half-brother to several winners in the US and was a respectable fourth last time out," said the Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford. "He is effective at this distance."

Godolphin will be looking for Global City to step up in form when he goes in the Jean Brynt Memorial Handicap over six furlongs. The sprinter had some good two-year-old results and won a decent handicap on his third start this season, but has struggled in more esteemed company. He was well down the order in the two Heritage Handicaps he contested at Newmarket and Glorious Goodwood in July and August, but finished runner-up in a four-horse field two weeks ago on good-to-firm ground in a minor race at Yarmouth and connections will be hoping he can build on that.

But all the focus is on tomorrow's big race when Delegator, Aqlaam and Rip van Winkle, from Aidan O'Brien's yard, go head to head. Meanwhile, three-time winner Frozen Power is among 11 runners declared for the Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes tomorrow. The juvenile brought up his hat-trick with an impressive victory at Deauville and forms part of a two-pronged Godolphin assault on tomorrow's event with stablemate Vale Of York also taking his chance. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid's Waseet is also an interesting contender. The juvenile has earned this step up in grade after an impressive maiden win at Sandown.

stregoning@thenational.ae