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Last year winner - Alex Merriam, representing Godolphin's trainer Charlie Appleby, receives the trophies from Dubai Duty Free officials after Walk of Stars won the 10-furlong Dubai Duty Free Golf World Cup British EBF Conditions Stakes. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Dubai Duty Free’s European horseracing season gets underway in style at Newbury Racecourse on Friday with the start of the two-day Dubai Duty Free Spring Trials Weekend when Classic hopefuls will be on display in Saturday’s Group races.

The Group 3 Dubai Duty Free Stakes, a popular 1,000 Guineas trial, has attracted 22 entries including Godolphin’s Bridestones, a John and Thady Gosden-trained Teofilo filly, who was an impressive winner on her only start at Yarmouth last October.

The Dubai Duty Free Stakes shares top billing on Saturday with the Group 3 Watership Down Too Darn Hot Stakes in which Godolphin’s 2022 Al Basti Equiworld Gimcrack Stakes winner, Noble Style, is among 16 entries.

The Group 3 Dubai Duty Free Finest Surprise Stakes for four-year-olds and over and run over a distance of one mile and four furlongs opens the programme on Saturday and has also been supported by Godolphin at the entry stage with last year’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby winner, Hurricane Lane, and Newmarket Group 2 winner, Yibir, both entered.

Excellent platform

Dubai Duty Free Executive Vice-Chairman and CEO Colm McLoughlin said: “We are very much looking forward to returning to Newbury where our sponsorship of British racing began back in 1996. Since then, horseracing, and Newbury in particular, has provided us with an excellent platform to promote our brand and Dubai as a global destination for tourism and sporting excellence.”

Dubai Duty Free’s horseracing portfolio continues in two months’ time with the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at The Curragh, followed by the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup, the world’s premier international jockeys’ competition, at Ascot in August before returning to Newbury for the Dubai Duty Free International Weekend in September.