Koora attempts back-to-back victories in Worthington’s OCSL Stakes at Newbury on Saturday
Newbury’s Flat season comes to a close on Saturday, October 22, Worthington’s Armed Forces Day, with a fantastic eight-race programme headlined by the £60,000 G3 Worthington’s OCSL Stakes (2.20pm, 16 runners), staged over a mile and a half for three-year-olds and upwards.
Last year’s renewal of the Worthington’s OCSL Stakes went the way of Koora (Luca Cumani/Jamie Spencer) and the four-year-old Pivotal filly lines up again this year as she attempts to become only the second dual winner after the top-class Jupiter Island (1983 and 1986).
Koora has made three appearances so far this season, faring best on her seasonal reappearance when runner-up in the G2 Middleton Stakes at York in May.
Cumani, who also won the Worthington’s OCSL Stakes with Kithanga (1993) and Kaliana (1997) said today: “Koora is in good form. She hasn’t run for a while because every race she has been entered for the ground has not been suitable for her.
“We are looking forward to running her at Newbury on Saturday, on ground which should hopefully have a bit of give in it.
“It has been unfortunate that we have had a very dry summer and autumn so we have not been able to run her anywhere. But she is fresh, well and goes to Newbury in good form.”
Also lining up in the tremendous field for the Worthington’s OCSL Stakes are Kings Fete (Sir Michael Stoute, pictured), a dual G3 scorer this season including when successful in the Betfred Geoffrey Freer Stakes at Newbury in August, dual Scandinavian G3 winner Quarterback (Rune Haugen/Dane O’Neill) and Western Hymn (John Gosden/Robert Havlin), successful at G2 level in 2014 and third in this year’s G1 Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Western Hymn’s trainer John Gosden is also represented by Lady Of Camelot (Nicky Mackay), twice placed at Listed level, while Tashaar (Richard Hannon/Frankie Dettori) was third in the G3 Dubai Duty Free Legacy Cup at Newbury last month.
Godolphin is represented by progressive handicap winners Memorial Day (Saeed bin Suroor/Adam Kirby) and Frontiersman (Charlie Appleby/James Doyle), while other contenders include Mountain Bell (Ralph Beckett/Oisin Murphy) and Twitch (Hugo Palmer/Pat Cosgrave), both Listed winners last time out.
The second Pattern race on Worthington’s Armed Forces Day is the G3 £40,000 Worthington’s Alzheimers Society Stakes (1.45pm) over seven furlongs for two-year-olds. The field of 12 includes Listed winner Rodaini (Simon Crisford/Robert Havlin), Group-placed performers Sea Fox (David Evans/Adam Kirby) and Silver Line (Saeed bin Suroor), plus a whole host of impressive maiden scorers.
Listed action comes courtesy of the £30,000 JLT Stakes (3.20pm, 11 runners), staged over seven furlongs for two-year-old fillies, and a competitive contest looks assured for the £20,000 Bathwick Tyres Handicap (2.50pm, 14 runners) over 10 furlongs.
Action gets underway at 1.15pm with division one of the Conundrum HR Consulting EBF Stallions Maiden (10 runners) and concludes with the Worthington’s ‘The Rushton & Bridge Family Together’ EBF Stallion Fillies’ Handicap (5.05pm, 11 runners).
Racegoers can look forward to a fun family day out in honour of the UK Armed Forces complete with plenty of military themed entertainment.
A magnificent Chinook helicopter will deliver the ceremonial poppy for the launch of the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal for Berkshire & The Vale of White Horse, with static helicopters and military vehicles also on display during the afternoon.
The Royal Logistics Corps band will accompany a sing-along after racing to round off a spectacular end to Newbury’s 2016 Flat season.
Newbury also races tomorrow, Friday, October 21, with an eight-race card running from 1.20pm to 5.20pm.
The going at Newbury is currently Good to Soft, Good in places.