Dubai Challenge Stakes (Group 2) 7f
- (3yo+, 7f, Class 1, 9 runners)
- Winner £51,039 2nd £19,350 3rd £9,684 4th £4,824 5th £2,421 6th £1,215
- Going: Good to Soft, Good in places
- Surface: Turf
- Winning time: 1m 24.24s
- Off time: 14:05:39
Trumpet Major (IRE) 91
|4||133 9-7||R Hannon||R L Moore||113||9/1|
Amarillo (IRE) 27
|4||129 9-3||P Schiergen||Martin Harley||112||8/1|
Ansgar (IRE) 27
|5||129 9-3 t||Miss S J Harty||R P Cleary||110||12/1|
Arnold Lane (IRE) 7
|4||129 9-3||M R Channon||S Hitchcott||107||25/1|
Gabriel's Lad (IRE) 21
|4||129 9-3||D J Coakley||P Hanagan||101||9/1|
Highland Colori (IRE) 21
|5||129 9-3||A M Balding||David Probert||111||9/2|
|5||129 9-3||R Hannon||R Hughes||107||20/1|
|4||129 9-3||Saeed bin Suroor||S De Sousa||113||7/2|
Fiesolana (IRE) 35
|4||126 9-0||W McCreery||W J Lee||110||3/1f|
||3||91 p1||A P O'Brien||J P O'Brien||114||WD|
||3||9-1||M Johnston||J Fanning||15/2|
There's a strong Irish presence in this and Ansgar finished ahead of Darwin at the Curragh last time. That was over a mile, however, and the latter's earlier defeat of Gordon Lord Bryon over 7f gives him every chance and he's preferred to Fiesolana. Richard Hughes rode Trumpet Major to victory at Sandown early in the year but it's no surprise he prefers Libranno over today's trip. But the latter was well beaten in this last year and finished behind the German raider AMARILLO at Haydock in June. Peter Schiergen's colt won't mind if the forecast rains arrive and gets the nod ahead of Lockwood and Highland Colori in a competitive opener.
Darwin 4-7fav (9-5) Settled behind leaders in 4th, closer in 3rd 3f out, ridden 1 1/2f out, no impression final furlong, kept on same pace, just held 3rd at line, 3rd of 10, 3 1/2l behind Brendan Brackan (9-7) at Curragh 1m Grp 3 (1) gd in Sep.
Fiesolana (IRE) 4-1 (9-5) Prominent, disputed lead briefly 3f out, ridden in 2nd 2f out, led briefly over 1f out, headed 1f out, no extra final furlong, 5th of 12, 6l behind La Collina (9-5) at Leopardstown 1m flls Grp 1 (1) gd in Sep.
Amarillo (IRE) (9-4) 4th of 9, 3l behind Smooth Operator (9-2) at Munich(GER) 6f Listed stks (1) gd in Sep.
Libranno Finished 3l behind Producer when fifth of 9 on his latest outing in the Group 2 Topkapi Trophy at Veliefendi over 1m (good to firm) last month.
Highland Colori (IRE) 20-1 (8-13) Chased leaders stand side, ridden to lead over 1f out, kept on well towards finish, won at Ayr 6f hcp (2) gs in Sep beating Louis The Pious (8-12) by 2 1/4l, 26 ran.
Gabriel's Lad (IRE) 12-1 (8-13) Towards rear stand side, headway over 1f out, ridden and stayed on inside final furlong, 9th of 26, 6l behind Highland Colori (8-13) at Ayr 6f hcp (2) gs in Sep.
Trumpet Major (IRE) 20-1 (9-4) Tracked leader until well over 1f out, ridden over 1f out, weakened inside final furlong, 6th of 11, 6l behind Aljamaaheer (9-1) at Ascot 1m Grp 2 (1) gf in Jul.
Ansgar (IRE) 10-1 (9-7) Led, ridden over 2f out, kept on, headed last 150 yards, no extra and kept on same pace, 2nd of 10, 2l behind Brendan Brackan (9-7) at Curragh 1m Grp 3 (1) gd in Sep.
Arnold Lane (IRE) 33-1 (9-9) Towards rear, headway under pressure over 1f out, ridden and stayed on well inside final furlong, not reached leaders, 4th of 17, 2 1/4l behind Heaven's Guest (8-13) at Ascot 7f hcp (2) gs.
Lockwood 5-1 (9-4) Keen tracked leaders, headway to lead over 4f out, ridden and headed entering final furlong, ran on, 2nd of 9, 3/4l behind Viztoria (8-11) at Doncaster 7f Grp 2 (1) gs in Sep.