My Dream Boat set for Al Rayyan Stakes on Saturday
Group One winner My Dream Boat will step up to 12 furlongs for the first time in the £100,000 G3 Al Rayyan Stakes (1.50pm, 17 entries) at Newbury on Al Shaqab Lockinge Day, Saturday, May 20.
The Clive Cox-trained horse raced predominantly over 10 furlongs last season and came of age in the G1 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot, wearing down champion racemare Found by a neck in a thrilling finish.
The five-year-old competed at the top table for the remainder of the campaign and signed off with a good fourth behind Almanzor in the G1 QIPCO Champion Stakes at Ascot in October.
Owned by Paul & Clare Rooney, he was third behind Ulysses on his comeback in the G3 Gordon Richards Stakes at Sandown Park on April 28, a race he won decisively in 2016.
Jason Maguire, racing manager for Paul & Clare Rooney, said today: “The plan is for My Dream Boat to go to Newbury on Saturday.
“He ran well at Sandown the other day and was staying on nicely at the finish. He should come on a bit for the run.
“I am looking forward to stepping him up to a mile and a half. His pedigree doesn’t scream a mile and a half but it doesn’t scream 10 furlongs on soft ground either.
“All his races last year, particularly at the backend, suggests it will be in reach. Clive and Adam [Kirby] think he will have no problem and, given the way he likes to be ridden, it would be nice to think it might bring out a bit more improvement.”
Entries for the Al Rayyan Stakes also feature G2 King Edward VII Stakes victor Across The Stars (Sir Michael Stoute) and last year’s Irish Derby runner-up and Investec Derby third Idaho (Aidan O’Brien IRE).
Chemical Charge (Ralph Beckett) and Second Step (Roger Charlton), a German G1 winner in 2015 for Luca Cumani, were second and third respectively in the G3 Dubai Duty Free Finest Surprise Stakes over the course and distance on April 22. Godolphin’s G1 Coral-Eclipse hero Hawkbill (Charlie Appleby) may also run and return to a mile and a half.
The centrepiece of Newbury’s seven-race card on Saturday is the course’s richest contest, the £350,000 G1 Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes (3.30pm, 12 entries) over the straight mile.
An exciting line-up this year is set to include top-class milers Galileo Gold (Hugo Palmer), Ribchester (Richard Fahey) and Lightning Spear (David Simcock), as well as progressive four-year-old filly Somehow (Aidan O’Brien IRE).
The high quality action also includes the £70,000 Listed Shalaa Carnarvon Stakes (2.20pm, 25 entries) over six furlongs and the £70,000 Listed Haras De Bouquetot Fillies’ Trial Stakes (4.40pm, 13 entries) over 10 furlongs, both restricted to three-year-olds.
Newbury stages the Starlight Charity Raceday on Friday, May 19. Starlight does remarkable work granting the wishes of terminally ill children, and last year’s fixture raised £150,000.
The racing highlight is the £30,000 Starlight Handicap (15 runners) at 2.35pm, in which Gunmental (Charlie Hills/Callum Shepherd (5)) bids to get back on track after encountering trouble in running at Newmarket on his latest start.
There could be several nice two-year-olds on show in the Welcome To The Starlight Raceday Maiden (2.00pm – 13 runners) over six furlongs. John Gosden took the spoils with Cunco in 2016, Frankel’s first winning progeny, and is represented by another Frankel debutant in Westerland (Frankie Dettori).
Friday’s eight-race card starts at 1.30pm and concludes at 5.20pm.