Dubai: Godolphin duo Willing Foe and Songcraft head a promising quartet of Dubai-owned two-year-olds being aimed at Saturday’s Group 3 St Simon Stakes at Newbury, the venue’s last flat racing fixture of the year.
Frankie Dettori is set to partner the former, while seven-time UAE champion jockey Ted Durcan gets the leg up on Songcraft.
Both horses are trained by Saeed Bin Surour, who is looking for his first success in the race named after an undefeated horse from the 1880s.
Willing Foe, winner of the prestigious Betfred Ebor (Heritage Handicap) at York in August, was under consideration for the Melbourne Cup (G1) before he was ballotted out of the race in order to reduce the field to the safety limit of 24.
The consistent five-year-old son of Dynaformer is seeking his first Group race success.
Bin Surour won the St Simon in 2007 with Crime Scene who was ridden by Durcan. Dettori has not won the race previously.
The other two horses with Dubai-connections are Camborne who will race in the colours of Princess Haya Bint Al Hussain, wife of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai and Hawaafez, who is owned by Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance.
William Buick rides the John Gosden-trained Camborne, who was third behind Hawaafez in the Group 3 Cumberland Lodge Stakes at Ascot earlier this month.
Among their rivals is Frankel’s brother Noble Mission, who represents Sir Henry Cecil and winning jockey Tom Queally.
The three-year-old son of Galileo has won three of his seven starts including the Group 3 Gordon Stakes at Goodwood in July.
Newbury’s other Group race is the seven-furlong Horris Hill Stakes (Whizz Kidz Stakes) which is open to two-year-old colts and geldings.
The event has attracted three horses with Dubai interests among them Godolphin’s Nottingham maiden winner Tawhid and the Shaikh Hamdan-owned duo of Alhebayeb, a battling winner of the Group 2 TNT July Stakes at Newmarket in July, and Odooj who was a noteworthy runner-up in the Rockingham Stakes (Listed) at York this month.
Richard Hannon trains the former who will be ridden by shaikh Hamdan’s retained jockey Paul Hanagan while Dane O’Neill will do duty on the William Haggas-trained Odooj.
The Horris Hill, which was won in rousing fashion by Hannon;s Tell Dad, is named after an area located to the south of the racecourse.