Classic contenders and Royal winner headline day two of Dubai Duty Free Spring Trials Weekend
Barney Roy and Dabyah both enhanced their Classic claims with impressive G3 victories at Newbury on Saturday, April 22, while Her Majesty The Queen was also present on day two of the Dubai Duty Free Spring Trials Weekend to see her colours carried to victory by Call To Mind.
The Queen, who celebrated her 91st birthday on Friday, April 21, with a day’s racing at Newbury, returned to the course to see Call To Mind, a three-year-old Galileo colt whom she also bred, capture division one of the £8,000 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships Maiden (4.15pm) over a mile.
Trained by William Haggas and ridden by Ryan Moore, the 6/4 favourite quickened well to take the lead inside the final furlong, seeing off the challenge of Commander (Roger Varian/Andrea Atzeni, 5/2) to prevail by a neck on his racecourse debut.
Her Majesty’s colours were also carried in in division two of the £8,000 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships Maiden (4.45pm) by Musical Terms (William Haggas/Ryan Moore, 5/2), who ran well to take second, two lengths behind shock 100/1 winner Duke Of Bronte (Rod Millman/Ryan Tate).
Wiltshire-based Richard Hannon snr is the joint most successful trainer in the 10-runner G3 JLT Greenham Stakes with six wins including subsequent G1 winners Paco Boy, Dick Turpin and Olympic Glory, and his son Richard gained his first victory in the race with Godolphin recruit Barney Roy, who stormed to a decisive win under James Doyle.
Godolphin’s other runner in the seven-furlong contest, 9/4 favourite Dream Castle (Saeed bin Suroor/Oisin Murphy) quickened into a clear advantage over a furlong out but 5/2 shot Barney Roy produced a strong run to take the lead entering the final half-furlong and galloped out strongly for a two-length success. Zainhom (Sir Michael Stoute/Jim Crowley) finished third, a further four lengths in arrears.
Hannon said: “Barney Roy has relaxed enormously. I was a bit worried coming back from a mile to seven furlongs and he just took his time getting going. I thought he was in trouble four down but then he went ‘whoosh’.
“I have liked him for a long time and he has got a chance of going to the 2,000 Guineas. He will get a trip as well now that he is more relaxed.
“I did say in the summer he might get a Derby trip, whether he gets that far I don’t know. I definitely think he will stay further, but a strong-run mile will suit him well.”
James Doyle added: “It was a funny sort of race. They jumped as if they were going to go OK, so I just settled in, and then they steadied it a bit before one set them alight and we got racing a long way down.
“I was slightly concerned around the three-furlong pole but it was still a long way out on these type of horses. It was only his second run and, once I gave him a couple of taps, I could feel his stride pattern change – he got lower to the ground and lengthened.
“He galloped right through the line and was still having a bit of a look, so he is going to learn so much from that.
“I think he is crying out to step up to a mile and is going to stay beyond that with no problem. He is definitely a nice mile and a quarter horse in the making.”
In-form trainer John Gosden continued his fine start to the 2017 Flat season with a near 60/1 treble including a pair of G3 victories through Dabyah and Muntahaa.
6/4 favourite Dabyah made all of the running for a cosy success in the £60,000 G3 Dubai Duty Free Stakes (2.30pm) over seven furlongs. Frankie Dettori gave the Abdullah Saeed Al Naboodah-owned three-year-old filly a confident ride as she came home a length and a quarter ahead of Urban Fox (25/1, James Tate/Martin Harley).
The same owner, trainer and jockey combination also teamed up to take the G3 Nell Gwyn Stakes at Newmarket on April 19 with Daban, and both fillies now look set to take up Classic engagements.
Gosden said: “There was no pace on our side so Frankie said that he was going to take one hold, sit still as a mouse and let it go from there. I thought Dabyah pricked her ears well, which is a good sign that they are relaxing and looking about.
“She finished it out well and we will look at the French and English 1,000 Guineas for both Daban and Dabyah. I will talk to the owner and see exactly what he feels is right – he is charming man and it is great to have this success.
“Daban is a very relaxed filly and likes to come with a late run but Dabyah is different – she is out the gate and racing. They are two lovely fillies in good form and the Classics come quick on us now.
“We will see where we go and, as long as this filly comes out of the race all right, we will make some bold plans.”
9/2 shot Muntahaa, fourth in last season’s St Leger, gained the biggest success of his career as he got up near the line to take the opening 12-furlong £60,000 G3 Dubai Duty Free Finest Surprise Stakes (1.55pm) under Jim Crowley.
Chemical Charge (Ralph Beckett/Oisin Murphy), sent off a 9/2 chance after beating Muntahaa at Doncaster on April 2, looked to have his rivals in trouble as he opened up a clear advantage approaching the final furlong.
But Muntahaa rallied gamely down the inside rail to score by a neck, with 12/1 shot Second Step (Roger Charlton/Jamie Spencer) staying on well to take third as 3/1 favourite Midterm (Sir Michael Stoute/Ryan Moore) could only finish a staying-on fifth.
Gosden commented: “Muntahaa was a bit unlucky in the King Edward VII Stakes last year at Royal Ascot, when he got shuffled back and came late, and then things didn’t go perfectly in his last two races, which have both been at Doncaster.
“Luckily, there was a solid pace today and he settled well. What I really loved about it was, when he looked like he was beaten, Jim rode him with hands and heels and the horse has put his neck in front. That is always pleasing to see.
“I thought we were beaten inside the furlong pole but, in the last 50 yards, Muntahaa said ‘No, I want to win it’, and it is very fulfilling when a horse shows that attitude.
“This was the plan and he had the benefit of the race at Doncaster already this season. I think Chester might be a touch tight for him, so I think we will just play to those nice mile and a half races on a proper galloping track. I wouldn’t be frightened of going back up to a mile and six furlongs later on.”
Face The Facts (7/2), partnered by Dettori, completed Gosden’s treble in the 11-furlong £10,000 Carter Jonas Maiden (5.20pm). The three-year-old colt, who holds an entry in the Investec Derby, battled well after taking up the advantage over two furlongs out for a three-quarter length verdict over Karawaan (6/1, Sir Michael Stoute/Jim Crowley).
Banksea cut through the field to take the mile £50,000 Be Wiser Insurance Spring Cup (3.40pm) for trainer Luca Cumani. The 9/1 shot, making his first appearance since being gelded, ran on very strongly between horses after being held up by Jamie Spencer to hit the front in the dying strides and beat Another Touch (16/1, Richard Fahey/Paul Mulrennan) by half a length.
The day’s other handicap, the £12,000 Dubai Duty Free Millennium Millionaire Handicap (5.55pm) over a mile and a quarter saw 9/4 favourite Signe (William Haggas/Pat Cosgrave) stretch her unbeaten run to three with a last-gasp nose victory over Grapevine (7/2, Charlie Hills/Andrea Atzeni).