x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Star names to add glitter at Royal Ascot

Champion horses from all over, including all Dubai World Cup winners, will travel to England.

Mikael Barzalona, left, rode Monterosso to a surprise victory on Dubai World Cup night.
Mikael Barzalona, left, rode Monterosso to a surprise victory on Dubai World Cup night.

LONDON // All eight thoroughbred winners on Dubai World Cup night have been entered for Ascot Racecourse's Royal meeting in June.

Godolphin's Monterosso, who won the world's richest race at Meydan Racecourse last month, could clash with the Dubai Sheema Classic victor Cirrus Des Aigles in the Princes Of Wales's Stakes, run over 10 furlongs.

Cityscape, the Dubai Duty Free winner, who is on course for the BMW Champions Mile in Hong Kong next month, could return from the Far East to run in either the Queen Anne Stakes, over a mile, or set up a mouth-watering contest by running in the Prince Of Wales's Stakes.

With Frankel, the world's highest-rated thoroughbred, also owned by Prince Khalid Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, Cityscape's participation hinges on whether Sir Henry Cecil, the trainer, decides to run Frankel over a mile, or step the unbeaten colt up to 10 furlongs.

The first four home in the Al Quoz sprint, won by the Australian mare Ortensia, could renew their rivalry in the King's Stand Stakes, the first Group 1 race of the five-day meeting, which starts on June 19.

The entries for the seven Group 1 races were released yesterday and the British racecourse attracted horses from 11 different countries.

Although the Dubai Racing Club could not entice Black Caviar to the UAE, the Australian mare, trained by Peter Moody, is to travel to England at the beginning of June to contest the Diamond Jubilee Stakes, the final Group 1 race of the meeting.

Black Caviar and Ortensia will be joined at the meeting by fellow Australian mares King's Rose, who is also trained by Moody, and More Joyous, the champion miler in her home country.

The Australian male sprinters Foxwedge and Temple of Bloom could also travel.

With Krypton Factor, the Dubai Golden Shaheen winner, also set to clash with Black Caviar, the winners of the first three legs of the Global Sprint Challenge could feature in the Diamond Jubilee after Curren Chan, this season's Takayuki Yasuda winner in Japan, was entered in the six-furlong contest.

Daddy Long Legs, who won the UAE Derby, has been entered in the St James's Palace Stakes, won last year by Frankel, although he is set to run in the Kentucky Derby on May 5.

Godolphin have also entered Opinion Poll, the Dubai Gold Cup winner, and African Story, the Godolphin Mile victor, in the Gold Cup and Queen Anne Stakes respectively.

With four horses from the USA also hopefully set to travel, Ascot were delighted with the international representation.

"Once again we are delighted to see such a wide range of entries from around the world, headlined of course by Frankel for the home team and Black Caviar from Australia," Charles Barnett, the chief executive at Ascot, said

"The star names don't end there, however, and there are some fascinating names from the United States, a particularly numerically strong Hong Kong entry and the best from all over Europe."

Frankel stepped up his preparation yesterday for the meeting with his first piece of work since suffering a setback last Wednesday.

The colt remains on course for his seasonal bow in the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury next month.

"He did a gentle piece of work in the morning," said Lord Grimthorpe, Prince Khalid's racing manager.

"It was nothing very much, but he strode out well and everyone was very pleased

"It is still the intention to run in the Lockinge. Obviously his main objective is Royal Ascot so it is important to get him on track before then."


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