x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Trainer Botti's Colorful Notion for UAE 1000 Guineas

The filly is rated worst among seven candidates but her race fitness has the connections hopeful.

Gamilati is the favourite after her win at the Cherry Hinton Stakes.
Gamilati is the favourite after her win at the Cherry Hinton Stakes.

It may be a quixotic challenge, but Marco Botti is adamant that his Colorful Notion can be competitive in Friday's UAE 1000 Guineas at Meydan Racecourse.

The bay filly is rated by far the worst horse among the seven entries for the first Classic of the UAE season, which looks at the mercy of the top-rated Godolphin pair of Gamilati and Pimpernel.

Colorful Notion is one of four three year olds owned by Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa that were sent last year to the Newmarket-based trainer.

The 35-year-old handler considered the daughter of Danehill Dancer as Sheikh Sultan's only representative at his Newmarket stables in England that was worthy of a crack at the Dubai World Cup Carnival, and hopes to beat at least one Godolphin challenger home.

Gamilati proved her victory in the Group 2 Cherry Hinton Stakes at Newmarket in the summer was no fluke with a facile win in the UAE 1000 Guineas trial this month, but the match fitness of the likes of Pimpernel and Herman Brown's Moon Spun needs to be taken on trust.

"Before the race, I would say that we will struggle to beat Gamilati, but the others might take time to come to hand and may not be 100 per cent ready," the Italian said. "Our filly ran in December so is race fit and sometimes that can make all of the difference."

Colorful Notion is one of six horses representing Botti in the UAE this season, and although he will not be present this week, his three-person team is ably led by his wife, Lucie.

"I have plenty to do in Newmarket at the moment, but I am planning to come next week as we hope to have Joshua Tree run the Maktoum Challenge," Botti said. "He will be entered in a handicap, also, but I'd prefer the Group 2 race."

In Newmarket, Botti is putting the finishing touches to Planteur, his exciting recruit from France that was bought by a Dubai-based owner in December to run in the World Cup on March 31, with a possibility of a prep run on March 10.

"He was bought by Ahmed Al Falasi, who also owns Happy Dubai," Botti said.

"We hope the horse will be ready to run on Super Saturday but we will see how he progresses over the next few weeks. He will ship to Dubai at the beginning of March whether he runs on Super Saturday or not."