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Busy weekend for Godolphin handlers

Hunter’s Light in Turkish mission for lucrative Group 2 contest

Mahmoud Al Zarouni
Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News
Mahmoud Al Zarouni of Godoplhin
Gulf News

Dubai: Godolphin have been known to end the flat racing season strongly and their presence will be felt at several racecourses in the UK this week when they target some of the big Group prizes on offer.

Trainer Mahmoud Al Zarouni has a particularly busy weekend ahead of him when he saddles key runners at Sandown Park in the UK on Saturday.

His Godolphin teammate Saeed Bin Surour saddles two interesting runners when Turkey stages its annual card of international races on the polytrack at Veliefendi racecourse.

Hunter’s Light will contest the Group 2 Anatolia Trophy on Saturday while Retrieve is being aimed at the Group 2 Bosphorus Cup the following day.

A recent winner of the Group 3 Rose of Lancaster Stakes at Haydock, Hunter’s Light will bid to replicate the feat of Balius, who captured the £173,611 (Dh1 million) winner’s prize in 2009.

Godolphin’s Campanologist was beaten in last year’s running of the Bosphorus Cup which was won for the second year in a row by English raider Indian Days, trained at Lincolnshire by James Given.

Meanwhile, back in the UK, Al Zarouni sends out Falls Of Lora and Irish History in the Group 3 Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association Atalanta Stakes over a mile at Sandown.

The race has attracted some noteworthy entries besides the UAE Oaks heroine Falls Of and Irish History who was fourth in the Group 1 Falmouth at Newmarket last month.

They are led by Richard Fahey’s Ladys First and the four horses who finished behind her in a Listed race at Haydock Park on August 1 — Sir Michael Stoute’s Dank, Ralph Beckett’s Moone’s My Name, Tom Dascombe’s Rhythm Of Light and the Will Muir-trained Villeneuve. Irish History was seventh on that occasion.

The Group 3 Solario Stakes for two-year-olds has also drawn a strong field with Godolphin represented by the Listed Chesham Stakes winner Tha’ir, who represents Bin Surour.

Master Of War, narrow runner-up to Heavy Metal in the Group 2 Richmond Stakes and Steeler, second in the Group 3 Acomb at York last week are others of note.

Another promising race is the Betfred Beverley Bullet Sprint Stakes, a Listed race at Beverley in the north of England.

Brian Meehan’s Ballesteros and David O’Meara’s Pepper Lane are noteworthy entries together with Free Zone, Night Carnation, Cheviot and Confessional.

Looking ahead to next week the consistent Artigiano, trained by Al Zarooni, remains in the Group 2 One Call Insurance Champagne Stakes at Doncaster on September 15, while Bin Surour’s Scarf and Soul hold entries for the Group 2 OLBG Park Stakes on the same day.