x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Pimpernel leads Al Zarooni's charge at Newmarket

'Step back to seven furlongs will suit her' says the trainer who has 14 runners for Godolphin.

Mahmoud Al Zarooni’s Moulton Paddocks stable has been flying the flag for Godolphin in Britain past two weeks and the Newmarket operation is well represented in the Nell Gwyn Stakes today.

Godolphin have had 15 runners in Britain during the past two weeks, 14 of which were saddled by Al Zarooni, while Saeed bin Suroor was responsible for the other runner.

Mickael Barzalona, the Dubai World Cup-winning jockey, will be onboard Minidress in the Group 3 feature, while Frankie Dettori takes the ride on Pimpernel, considered the more fancied runner on account of her decent shows in Dubai at Meydan Racecourse.

A daughter of the sprinter Invincible Spirit, Pimpernel finished second to Gamilati in the UAE 1,000 Guineas over 1,600 metres before finding Falls Of Lora too hot in the UAE Derby over 2,000 metres.

Both of those runs were on Tapeta, however, and a return to turf, on which she proved to be just shy of top class last season in Britain should prove helpful.

“Pimpernel is in good form at the moment. She ran nicely behind Gamilati in the UAE 1,000 Guineas and I wasn’t disappointed with her effort in the UAE Oaks," Al Zarooni said.

"The step back to seven furlongs (1,400 metres) will suit her and I am hopeful that she can run a nice race."

sports@thenational.ae