SEVERAL CHANCES FOR GODOLPHIN ON CHAMPIONS' DAY
The Maktoum family’s tremendous support of Champions’ Day stretches back well over two decades and continues to this day, both in terms of sponsorship and through support of the race programme at Newmarket.
One of the few Group One races to have eluded the family’s Godolphin operation is the Emirates Airline Champion Stakes, although Halling went close in the famous royal blue silks, only finding the great filly Bosra Sham too strong in 1996.
This year, the ‘Boys in Blue’ run Campanologist in the 10-furlong event. Successful in the Group Two King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot last season, the four-year-old has been a model of consistency and trainer Saeed bin Suroor believes the colt has earned another crack at a top level prize.
He said: “Campanologist tries his hardest all of the time and he has been doing some nice work recently. We thought that he deserved another chance in Group One company but it looks like it will be a tough race for him.”
Godolphin is also represented in the Group One Jumeirah Dewhurst Stakes, with Buzzword lining up for the seven-furlong contest. Placed in Group One company in France earlier this month, the Pivotal colt has never been out of the first three in his life and is sure to reward his supporters with another game performance tomorrow.
Saeed bin Suroor continued: “I thought Buzzword ran a good race at Longchamp last time out and he came back from that run in really good order.
“He’s a really tough horse who takes his racing well and he is improving all of the time.
“It’s obviously going to be a tough race but I have been pleased with his preparation and he has the class to run well on Saturday.”
Opening the action on Champions’ Day is the Victor Chandler Challenge Stakes over seven furlongs, in which Godolphin is triple handed with the progressive Ashram, winner of his last two starts, last season’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf hero Donativum and tough campaigner Asset.
Godolphin’s trainer revealed: “Ashram looks like he is an improving horse based on his last two races and he looks in very good form at the moment.
“He will like racing over seven furlongs on good ground and I think that we have found the right race for him. He ran a couple of good races at Newmarket this time last year and I think that he goes into Saturday’s race with a great chance.
“Asset shows plenty of speed in his races but he has run some very good races over seven furlongs so we thought that he deserved another chance at seven furlongs.
“He has been working well and he will also appreciate the good ground.
“Donativum ended last year with victory at the Breeders’ Cup and he has been a little disappointing this season - there was quite a lot of expectation on him.
“He tries in all of his races and he ran well last time out at Newmarket. He will have no problem with seven furlongs and he goes into the race in good order.”
Baila Me was a smart performer in Germany last season and on her first start for Godolphin at Ayr last month she shaped well behind stablemate Prince Siegfried in the Listed Doonside Cup at Ayr.
Tomorrow the filly steps up in class for a crack at the Group Two Pride Stakes, although Saeed bin Suroor believes she may still come on for the run.
He said: “Baila Me has been coming along nicely in recent weeks and I was pleased with her first start of the season at Ayr.
“She has a very good level of form in Europe and she will enjoy stepping back up to a mile and a half.
“She goes into the Pride Stakes in good order and I am expecting her to run well, although she is improving all of the time and she will be better for the run again.”
Bringing Champions’ Day to a close is the Group Three Jockey Club Stakes over two miles, a race Godolphin captured in 2008 with Veracity.
Urban Poet has taken a while to show his best form for Godolphin, but he proved that stamina was his forte with a victory over two and a quarter miles at Pontefract last time out.
Saeed bin Suroor said: “Urban Poet won last time and I think that victory gave him a bit of confidence.
“The two-mile trip should suit him and he looks in good heart at the moment. I think he will need to improve to become a real Cup horse but his future is certainly over longer distances.”
For more information please contact:
Michael Prosser, Clerk of the Course and Director of Racing, 07802 844 578
Tony Rushmer, Racing PR Manager, 07702 579 382