x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Ektihaam has 'a great chance' to shine at Chantilly

Mount aiming to improve on Bonfire's Derby form at Group 1 Prix du Jockey Club.


Ektihaam bids to improve on the form shown by Bonfire in the English Derby yesterday when he lines up in the Group 1 Prix du Jockey Club at Chantilly tonight.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid's colt finished a close second to yesterday's English Derby sixth-placed runner when the pair clashed at York last month in the Dante Stakes.

Bonfire did not handle the undulations at Epsom, however, but trainer Roger Varian believes he has his charge spot on for his French Derby assignment.

"I have been very pleased with him [Ektihaam] since his good run in the Dante," Varian said. "He has taken his races extremely well and looks in very good condition."

Paul Hanagan takes the ride having partnered Mickdaam yesterday at Epsom and the retained rider to the Dubai Royal was optimistic of a big run.

"He's got a great chance," Hanagan, who rode Ektihaam to his sole success this season at Newbury in April, said. "He's in great form and the distance of the race is perfect."

Elsewhere on the card, Prohibit will lay down a marker ahead of defending his Royal Ascot crown when he lines up in the Prix du Gros-Chene.

Prohibit had no answer to the fleet-footed Ortensia in the Al Quoz Sprint at Meydan Racecourse on Dubai World Cup night and trainer Robert Cowell hopes this afternoon's contest can get the sprinter, part-owned by Khalifa bin Dasmal, back on track for the King's Stand Stakes on June 19.

"If he can bounce back to form he would be right in the shake-up and that would be his prep race for the King's Stand," said Cowell.

Stablemate Monsieur Joe disappointed in the Temple Stakes at Haydock last Saturday, but Cowell still hopes to get him to the big meeting.

"His problem is he's just had a couple of races too quick since he came back from Dubai," added Cowell.