Dubai: Usherette and Arabian Hope, two very interesting Godolphin-owned horses, bid for victory at the highest level when they contest the Group 1 Sun Chariot Stakes over a mile at Newmarket, UK, on Saturday.
Five-year-old Usherette, who races out of the legendary Andre Fabre’s stables in France, has already sampled success at the Rowley Mile course, having won the nine-furlong Group 2 Dahlia Stakes in May, 2016.
The Darley-bred daughter of Shamardaal also captured the Group 2 Duke Of Cambridge Stakes at Royal Ascot the following month and was third in this year’s Group 1 Prix d’Ispahan.
Fabre is looking forward to pitting her up against Group 1 scorer Roly Poly, last season’s Group 1 Matron Stakes runner-up Persuasive and this year’s Duke Of Cambridge Stakes winner Qemah.
“Usherette had a nice, confidence-boosting win last time out and we are looking forward to running her,” he told the Godolphin website.
“Hopefully, she can perform well and we can look at taking her out to Del Mar for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1, 9f, November 4) afterwards.”
Arabian Hope, who is trained by long-serving Godolphin handler Saeed Bin Surour in Newmarket, comes into the race with rousing overseas form having captured the Group 3 Istanbul Trophy over a mile in Turkey, on September 2.
Prior to that, the daughter of Distorted Humor was an eye-catching third behind Roly Poly in the Group 1 Falmouth Stakes in July course in July
Bin Surour commented: “Arabian Hope is a very tough filly, who always tries her hardest in races.
“She is ready to go and I am looking forward to seeing her take on some very good fillies and mares.”
The Sun Chariot Stakes was held on the final day of Newmarket’s three-day Cambridgeshire Meeting, the same day as the Cambridgeshire Handicap, but was moved to a fixture a week later from 2014.
The most successful owner in the race is His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, who has won the race three times with Indian Skimmer (1988), Red Slippers (1992), La Confederation (1994).
Another genuine contender with a Dubai connection is the Shaikh Juma Dalmook Al Maktoum-owned Muffri’Ha, who toyed with her Listed rivals when breaking the course and distance success in the Rosemary Stakes at Newmarket last month.
Kingdom of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes (Group 1)
(British Champions Series) (3yo+) 1,600m,
Persuasive (3); Roly Poly (5); Aljazzi (7); Qemah (7); Usherette (8); Sea of Grace (12); Siyoushake (12) Talaayeb (14); Muffriha (16).