Tajaanus goes on trial in Dubai Duty Free Stakes at Newbury on Saturday

The £60,000 Dubai Duty Free Stakes (2.35pm) is one of three G3 contests staged at Newbury this Saturday, April 21, day two of the Dubai Duty Free Spring Trials Weekend.

The seven-furlong contest for three-year-old fillies boasts a fabulous roll of honour with future champions including Marwell, Salsabil, Shadayid, Bosra Sham, Wince and Tante Rose all featuring.

There are 20 entries for the 2018 renewal, headed by Khalid Abdullah’s homebred Gavota (Roger Charlton). The Bated Breath filly won her first two starts before finishing third in the G2 Rockfel Stakes and second in the G3 Oh So Sharp Stakes, both over seven furlongs at Newmarket last year.

Richard Hannon, who took the spoils two years ago with Marenko, has three contenders to choose from in G3 Sweet Solera Stakes scorer Tajaanus, Natural and All Out.

Tajaanus races in the famous blue and white silks of Hamdan Al Maktoum, who has won the Dubai Duty Free Stakes four times, courtesy of Muthabara (2008), Aqaarid (1995), Shadayid (1991) and Salsabil (1990).

The daughter of Arcano was successful on three of her five starts in 2017 including a Listed event at Sandown in July, before plundering the G3 Sweet Solera Stakes at Newmarket on August 12, with both victories coming over seven furlongs.

Tajaanus finished seventh on her final start of the season in the G2 May Hill Stakes at Doncaster in September, her first attempt at a mile.

Angus Gold, Racing Manager to the owner, reports the filly to be in good form at home.

He said today: “Tajaanus has wintered really well according to Richard [Hannon, trainer], and he is extremely happy with her heading into Saturday’s race.

“The inclement weather has not helped preparations for anyone, so she is probably slightly behind with the spring we’ve had, but she seems to have done well over the winter.

“I think she was over the top when beaten last time at Doncaster and I wouldn’t put that down to the trip.

“She had enjoyed a good season, but that had probably caught up with her by the time she ran in the May Hill.

“She is a daughter of Arcano, so whether she stays a mile will be interesting in time, but that is why we are running on Saturday so we can see what sort of plans we could make up for her this season.

“She is entered in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket. I don’t think she probably is good enough to run in that race, but Saturday will tell us everything.

“It would be a pleasant surprise if she was good enough to contest a 1000 Guineas, so we’re looking forward to seeing how she gets on.

“If she was to come out of the race well and run a big race, then we would have to think about the 1000 Guineas, but we’ll see how she runs on Saturday first before making any other plans.”

Newmarket trainer David Simcock is doubly represented by two exciting fillies in Teppal and Worship. Teppal is unbeaten in two starts, including a four-length verdict at Kempton Park on her latest start in September, while Worship was a cosy winner on her only start at the same venue just before Christmas.

Other interesting possible contenders include Cheveley Park Stud-owned pair of Tallow (William Haggas), the winner of two of her three starts, and G3 Princess Margaret Stakes second Dance Diva (Richard Fahey).

Hikmaa (Ed Vaughan) captured the Listed Bathwick Tyres Stakes at Newbury in October last year and could head back to West Berkshire after missing today’s Nell Gwynn Stakes at Newmarket on account of the ground.

Day two of the Dubai Spring Trials Weekend also includes the £60,000 G3 Dubai Duty Free Finest Surprise Stakes (2.00pm, 10 entries) and the £60,000 G3 Al Basti Equiworld Supporting Greatwood Greenham Stakes (3.10pm, 15 entries).

Dubai Duty Free Spring Trials Weekend starts on Friday, April 20, with a seven-race programme running from 1.50pm through to 5.05pm.

A fascinating contest is in prospect for the £16,000 Dubai Duty Free Gold World Cup British EBF Conditions Race over a mile and a quarter (4.35pm, six runners).

The best three-year-old filly in the world Enable, who went on to win six consecutive G1 contests including the Oaks, King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, began her 2017 season by finishing third in this race 12 months.

This year’s runners include Blazing Thunder (Henry Candy/Oisin Murphy) who was an eye-catching winner of a maiden at Nottingham in October, following which he was sold to Qatar Racing Limited, and Bombyx (James Fanshawe/Daniel Muscutt), a comfortable winner of a novice contest at Leicester in October who holds entries in the Dante Stakes and the Derby.

Friday’s richest contest is the Compton Beauchamp Estates Ltd Silver Bar Handicap (4.05pm, 10 runners) over two and a quarter miles, while there are sure to be plenty of clues for the rest of the season with maiden contests for both two and three-year-olds.

The going at Newbury is currently Soft. It has been dry for the 24 hours. The forecast is for dry and sunny conditions over the next three days. Saturday is predicted to be overcast, with some sunny spells later in the day.

The seven-race card on Saturday runs from 2.00pm through to 5.30pm. The Dubai Duty Free Spring Trials Weekend gets underway on Friday, April 20, with a seven-race programme running from 1.50pm through to 5.05pm.

A superb list of 24 local breweries has been revealed for Newbury Racecourse’s eighth annual Beer & Cider Festival which takes place over Dubai Duty Free Spring Trials Weekend.

Returning this year are Festival favourites from West Berkshire, Andwell, Bond Brews, Indigenous, Upham and Loddon breweries plus many more from around the region.

The festival is open on both days of Dubai Duty Free Spring Trials Weekend and be an found in a marquee next to the Dubai Duty Free Stand in the Grandstand Enclosure.

Gates open at 12 noon on Friday and 11am on Saturday, giving racegoers plenty of time to sample a wonderful variety of tipples before the first race of each day gets underway.

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