Europa Kicks Off Saturday Fayre

Mishriff meets his old Classic rivals The Summit and Victor Ludorum in the Prix Guillaume d'Ornano | Scoop Dyga

Saturday's Group 1 action gets underway early in the afternoon, with Cologne's 12-furlong Preis von Europa scheduled for 1 p.m. German time. Hollie Doyle has a gilt-edged opportunity to record a first win at the highest level for the soon-to-be-retired Ed Vaughan as they combine with Anthony Oppenheimer's Dame Malliot (GB) (Champs Elysees {GB}). Impressive on her seasonal bow when capturing Newmarket's G2 Princess of Wales's Tattersalls S. over this trip on July 9, the homebred 4-year-old was in turn justifying the decision to come back again in 2020 even though she had won an important race in last year's G2 Prix de Pomone.

She encounters Godolphin's Barney Roy (GB) (Excelebration {Ire}), who stretches out to a mile and a half for the first time following his success in the 10-furlong G1 Grosser Dallmayr-Preis at Munich on July 26. His only defeat this year came when third in the G1 Prince of Wales's S. at Royal Ascot on June 17, but this stamina test is a question mark over a horse who was fast enough to win a G1 St James's Palace S. at three. “We were delighted with Barney Roy in the Grosser Dallmayr-Preis, when he won on ground that was softer than ideal,” Charlie Appleby said. “He showed all the signs in that race that a mile and a half will be to his liking. If you look at his runs out in Dubai this year, and even the Prince of Wales's S., he was putting in his best work in the closing stages. If he does get the trip, we know that he is the class horse in the race.”

Representing the home defence is last year's G1 Deutsches Derby hero Laccario (Ger) (Scalo {GB}), who represents Gestut Ittlingen and trainer Andreas Wohler. He is re-opposed by Darius Racing's filly Donjah (Ger) (Teofilo {Ire}), who was second when he was third well adrift of Godolphin's powerhouse Ghaiyyath (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) in the G1 Grosser Preis von Baden in September. Adding spice is the pride of the Czech Republic, Nagano Gold (GB) (Sixties Icon {GB}), who was beaten a neck by Way To Paris (GB) (Champs Elysees {GB}) when runner-up on his return in the June 28 G1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud.

Classic Showdown in d'Ornano

At Deauville, a fascinating renewal of the G2 Prix Guillaume d'Ornano plays host to the July 5 G1 Prix du Jockey Club first, second and third Mishriff (Ire) (Make Believe {GB}), The Summit (Fr) (Wootton Bassett {GB}) and Victor Ludorum (GB) (Shamardal) respectively. Victor Ludorum was slowly away in that 10 1/2-furlong Classic and had to do more running than the front two, impressing with the way he finished off after his bad trip. Godolphin's 'TDN Rising Star' had previously beaten The Summit in the G1 Poule d'Essai des Poulains over the straight mile at Deauville on June 1 and is probably the best in the line-up if he can get out on terms. The operation's Lisa-Jane Graffard said she is approaching the race with caution. “Victor Ludorum is a horse with a fantastic turn of foot, so the thunderstorms at Deauville place a slight question mark over whether he will be able to use it effectively on soft ground,” she commented. “He comes into the race in good health and it is an exciting opportunity to see him take on his Prix du Jockey Club rivals. We feel that his run in the Prix du Jockey Club was inconclusive in terms of whether he stays this sort of trip, but Andre Fabre has always been confident that this distance would suit him.”

Prince Faisal's racing manager Ted Voute said of Mishriff, “He's up against some of the same suspects. It's a small field and they've had plenty of rain. I think it might be soft by the time we get to race day. It was bottomless at Nottingham when he won by 10 lengths and the Riyadh track [when second on the Saudi Derby] rides soft, so we know he handles it. It's a Group 2 and the prize money is almost the same as the Juddmonte International a few days later, so it's fingers crossed.” The fixture also features last year's Prix du Jockey Club hero, with Sottsass (Fr) (Siyouni {Fr}) having to give six pounds away in the G3 Prix Gontaut-Biron Hong Kong Jockey Club. Among those he encounters is Shadwell's Motamarris (Ire) (Le Havre {Ire}), who was third behind him in the 2019 Chantilly Classic. The G3 Prix de Lieurey for 3-year-old fillies on the round mile sees The Aga Khan's June 28 Listed Prix Volterra scorer Simeen (Fr) (Lope de Vega {Ire}) tackle the June 7 G1 1000 Guineas runner-up Cloak of Spirits  (Ire) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}) and 'TDN Rising Star' Fooraat (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}).

Dream Time At Newbury

Newbury stages a trio of notable encounters headed by the G2 Unibet Hungerford S. over seven furlongs and a renewal light on quality could be there for the taking for Saeed Suhail's 2018 runner-up Dream of Dreams (Ire) (Dream Ahead). He repeated his trick of leaving it a fraction too late in Royal Ascot's G1 Diamond Jubilee S. on June 20, when he was a head behind Hello Youmzain (Fr) (Kodiac {GB}) at the line but in front after. Freshened up this time, he is reported in rude health by the owner's racing manager Bruce Raymond. “He's working extremely well at the moment,” he said. “I think the trip is okay for him–six and a half is probably his best trip, but I think seven should be fine. He hasn't run over seven in nearly two years, but that's just been down to circumstances more than anything. Any rain they get at Newbury would be a help to him.”

Last year's winner Glorious Journey (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) was only ninth in the G2 Lennox S. on his return at Goodwood on July 28 and there are doubts hanging over him and fellow 'TDN Rising Star' Threat (GB) (Footstepsinthesand {GB}). Cheveley Park Stud's G2 Gimcrack S. and G2 Champagne S. winner runs at an intermediate trip, having been fifth in the G1 St James's Palace S. over a mile at Royal Ascot on June 20 and 10th in the six-furlong G1 July Cup at Newmarket on July 11. “He worked great on Tuesday. Seven furlongs is ideal for him and he is a very good horse,” Hannon said. “He was a little bit disappointing in the July Cup and I wouldn't be mad about running him if the ground is soft, because I think he needs fast ground. The race has cut up nicely, which might well suit him, and he is in good nick. He needs to run very well and prove to us that he is a horse worth keeping, after being taken out of the sales.”

In the G3 Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Geoffrey Freer S. over an extended 13 furlongs, Shadwell's unexposed 3-year-old colt Hukum (Ire) (Sea the Stars {Ire}) takes on older, far more experienced rivals after his win in Royal Ascot's King George V S. over a mile and a half on June 17. Trainer Owen Burrows said, “He got struck into at Ascot and he had some stitches put in–the vets have done a great job with him. He has had a bit of time off to give the leg time to heal. He won first time up at Ascot after a break, so having the time off doesn't worry me. He is going up in trip, but he was strong at the end of his race at Ascot and was going away again at the line, so that should be fine. We will see what happens on Saturday regarding the St Leger–if it all goes well we will have the conversation with Sheikh Hamdan and see what he wants to do.”

Future Talent On Display In Denford

Having earned 'TDN Rising Star' status when winning on debut in a decent-looking novice contest on July 18, Lady Bamford's Guru (GB) (Kingman {GB}) comes back over the same course and seven-furlong distance in the Listed Denford S., or Washington Singer as it used to be known. This has played host to future stars Rodrigo de Triano, Lammtarra, Haafhd (GB) and Belardo (Ire) in the past and Thady Gosden said of the latest potential class act from Clarehaven, “He just got up to win what looked like a pretty hot race first time out at Newbury. We thought, as it is a shortened season, we may as well take him to a smarter race sooner rather than later. You would imagine he would have no problem handling a little bit of cut in the ground. He is a lovely horse, who goes about his business well at home and has a great attitude.”

Taking him on is Godolphin's Dhahabi (GB) (Frankel {GB}), the half-brother to Golden Horn (GB) who scored on debut over this trip at Newmarket on July 25. Charlie Appleby said, “Dhahabi has done well physically since winning at Newmarket. We feel that a mile is going to be his forte in time, but this looks a nice race to hopefully continue his education.” Another son of Frankel is in the line-up in the July 11 Salisbury novice scorer Francesco Guardi (Ire) and trainer James Ferguson said of him, “It looks a good race, probably a better renewal than we've seen in recent years. We're still quite inexperienced after only one run, but that goes for a few horses in the race. I think my horse has come on since Salisbury, I'm very happy with him and we're hoping for a big run. He won on fast ground and I think he might even benefit from a bit of cut, so I'm not too fazed about ground conditions.”

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