Arabian Crown Set For Classic Trial Test

Arabian Crown | Racingfotos.com

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Europe swings back into pattern-race action Friday, with Sandown playing host to the G2 bet365 Mile, G3 Gordon Richards S. and G3 bet365 Classic Trial on a seven-race card. Godolphin's emphatic G3 Zetland S. winner Arabian Crown (Fr) (Dubawi {Ire}) lays his G1 Derby credentials on the line and will be confronted by eight in the Classic Trial. The €600,000 Arqana August graduate, who also snagged last term's Listed Stonehenge S., shed maiden status at the Esher venue in July.

“Arabian Crown has track experience at Sandown, which is always handy, and we were pleased with his recent racecourse gallop at Newmarket,” said Charlie Appleby. “It's the same situation with a lot of early 3-year-olds as we are trying to find out where the rest of the season lies. We will hopefully be a lot wiser afterwards as to whether he's a Derby horse or not.”

Arabian Crown's rivals include G1 Criterium International third Portland (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire), G2 Royal Lodge S. fourth Macduff (GB) (Sea The Stars {Ire}) and stakes-placed 'TDN Rising Star' War Rooms (Ire) (Churchill {Ire}).

Three-time G1 Dubai Turf hero Lord North (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) failed in his bid for a fourth straight renewal of that nine-furlong Meydan contest last month and is one of the main contenders for the Mile. Nominees also include 2022's G1 Dewhurst S. third Nostrum (GB) (Kingman {GB}), who ran sixth in August's G3 Strensall S. at York when last seen, and Nurlan Bizakov's Charyn (Ire) (Dark Angel {Ire}), who has a fitness edge returning off a win in last month's Listed Doncaster Mile. Group 2 winners Flight Plan (GB) (Night Of Thunder {Ire}) and Poker Face (Ire) (Fastnet Rock {Aus}) also feature in the seven-strong line-up.

This year's edition of the Gordon Richards is an open renewal and includes another Godolphin winner of the Stonehenge and Zetland. Flying Honours (GB) (Sea The Stars {Ire}) has not been on the track since finishing last of 11 in May's G2 Dante and has been gelded in the interim. Trainer Charlie Appleby is looking forward to the homebred's comeback and said, “Flying Honours hasn't run since last May, so there will be some improvement to come from whatever he does here. A mile-and-a-quarter is a good starting point, although we will be looking at stepping him up in trip afterwards. We are hoping for a nice comeback run that we can build on.”

The 4-year-old's rivals include G1 St Leger third Desert Hero (GB) (Sea The Stars {Ire}), another to have been gelded since his last run, G2 Princess of Wales's S. victor Israr (GB) (Muhaarar {GB}) and this month's Listed Magnolia S. runner-up Okeechobee (GB) (Time Test {GB}).

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