x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Seraphin faces a tough challenge

The connections of Seraphin du Paon are looking for an all-out effort from their charge today as the colt bids for victory in the final round of the Festival of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed race series for purebred Arabians.

The connections of Seraphin du Paon are looking for an all-out effort from their charge today as the colt bids for victory in the final round of the Festival of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed race series for purebred Arabians. Third in his maiden race at Toulouse, France in June, Seraphin du Paon - owned by Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi - is trained by Robert Litt and will go to the gate today under Philippe Sogorb.He faces competition over 2,100m of the Dax racecourse in France from another UAE-owned runner, Rahef, owned by Sheikh Mansour. The colt has acquitted himself well in the four-race series, claiming a third and a second.

Nasser al Habtoor saddles Nieshan under Jean Hamel, who claimed a second in the President of the UAE Cup, another prestigious Arabian race this season. Godolphin continued their successful August campaign in thoroughbred racing yesterday with an impressive victory for Delegator in Goodwood's Group Two Totesport.com Celebration Mile. The newly-purchased 2,000 Guineas and St James Palace Stakes runner-up, who was beaten by Sea the Stars and Mastercraftsman in those contests, is looking like an astute buy for the Dubai operation.

Frankie Dettori timed his race to perfection, allowing the leaders, Ordnance Row and Zacinto, to kick almost two lengths clear before eating up the distance between them in a few strides and winning going away. "I was quite taken with the way he picked up," said Dettori. Earlier Mourilyan, under Ryan Moore, won the Windflower March Stakes for his English trainer, Gary Moore. He will return to Dubai for the inaugural Meydan season.

Godolphin are in action again today when another new acquisition, Long Lashes, looks to build on two unbeaten runs in the seven-furlong Group One Moyglare Stud Stakes for fillies. Long Lashes, in her second start for Godolphin, must step up in class if she is to claim three wins from three runs especially on the Curragh's soft going. She is not new to the track though, having won her maiden listed race there in soft going.

"The soft ground is always a bit of a concern but we are hoping she can handle it," said Godolphin racing manager, Simon Crisford of the Dubai 1,000 Guineas and UAE Oaks possible. "She has won before on soft but this is going to be a tougher test for her." stregoning@thenational.ae