Usherette and Arabian Hope try for a first G1 victory in the Sun Chariot Stakes over a mile at Newmarket, UK, on Saturday.
Five-year-old Usherette (Andre Fabre/Mickael Barzalona) has already gained a major victory on Newmarket’s Rowley Mile course, having stayed on strongly to beat G1 winners Arabian Queen and Amazing Maria in the nine-furlong G2 Dahlia Stakes in May, 2016.
Usherette went on to readily capture the G2 Duke Of Cambridge Stakes at Royal Ascot the following month and the Shamardal mare, third in this year’s G1 Prix d’Ispahan, steps back up in class after a short-neck success in a mile Listed race at Maisons-Laffitte on September 5.
Andre Fabre said: “Usherette had a nice, confidence-boosting win last time out and we are looking forward to running her.
“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 (Saeed bin Suroor/Jimmy Quinn) also heads into the Sun Chariot Stakes in winning form, with the three-year-old filly being the comfortable winner of the G3 Istanbul Trophy over a mile at Veliefendi, Turkey, on September 2.
The daughter of Distorted Humor ran an excellent race to finish third in the G1 Falmouth Stakes, run over a mile of Newmarket’s July course in July, and gained a brave head victory in a York Listed race over the same distance in June.
Saeed bin Suroor 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.”
A field of 13 for the Sun Chariot Stakes, in which Arabian Hope is drawn two and Usherette nine, also includes dual G1 scorer Roly Poly, last season’s G1 Matron Stakes runner-up Persuasive and this year’s Duke Of Cambridge Stakes winner Qemah.
Carry On Deryck, Very Talented and Linguistic line up in one of the UK’s most historic heritage handicaps, the Cambridgeshire, on day three of Newmarket’s Cambridgeshire meeting, Saturday, September 30.
Both Carry On Deryck and Very Talented make a second appearance in the fiercely competitive nine-furlong contest, having filled the runner-up spot and third respectively 12 months ago.
Five-year-old Carry On Deryck (Saeed bin Suroor/David Egan) drops back down to handicap company following three starts in Pattern races, including an excellent second in the G3 Darley Stakes, run over the same course and distance as the Cambridgeshire in October.
The son of Halling has top-weight of 9st 10lbs, slightly alleviated by David Egan’s 3lb claim, and is drawn six of the 35 runners.
Very Talented (Saeed bin Suroor/Pat Smullen, 8st 13lbs, drawn 12) has his first outing since last year’s Cambridgeshire and the four-year-old colt has been restricted to six starts in all, including an impressive maiden success at Doncaster in September, 2015.
Saeed bin Suroor commented: “Carry On Deryck is doing well. He was second last year and has gone on to run good races at Group level. This is the right race for him in terms of trip and course and we are looking for another good result from him.
“Very Talented physically looks much better compared to last year. This will be his first start for a year but he has been working well and is ready to go.”
Four-year-old Linguistic (John Gosden/James Doyle, 9st 3lbs, drawn five), a valuable sales race winner at Newmarket in April, 2016, also returns from a break having gone down by a neck in the Listed Magnolia Stakes over 10 furlongs on Polytrack at Kempton Park in March.
Thunder Snow could have his last run of the season in the Challenge Stakes at Newmarket on October 13 before being prepared for another winter in Dubai.
Trainer Saeed bin Suroor is eyeing the Group Two over seven furlongs for the three-year-old, who also has the option of the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot on Champions Day eight days later.
Winner of the Prix Jean Prat this summer, Thunder Snow won the UAE 2000 Guineas and Derby at Meydan earlier in the year and was third to Al Wukair in the Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville on his latest start.
“The horse is doing well but I think more next year he is going to be a better horse physically,” Bin Suroor told At The Races.
“The target we have for him is the Challenge Stakes in October or we could take him to the QEII. That’s another option for him.
“He had an easy time after his last run. We will have one race, then give him a break before we take him back to Dubai.”