Sheema Classic Is Next For Alenquer

Alenquer | Racingfotos.com

Saturday's G3 Winter Derby hero Alenquer (Fr) (Adlerflug {Ger}) exited the race in good order and will target the $6-million G1 Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan on Mar. 26. Trainer William Haggas was pleased by the 4-year-old colt's performance, which broke the Lingfield course record for 1 1/4 miles. A winner of the G3 Classic Trial S. at Sandown in April and the G2 King Edward VII S. at Royal Ascot, Alenquer then completed the trifecta in the G1 Grand Prix de Paris in July and went one better in the G1 Juddmonte International S. on Aug. 18. Unplaced in the G1 Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, the Winter Derby was his first start back.

“I was very pleased with him,” said Haggas of the M M Stables-owned winner. “He had been training nicely and he won very nicely. He is obviously a talented horse who has run in a couple of Group 1s but he hasn't won one yet. We are hoping this will be his year.

“I was very much worried by the drop back in trip in Saturday and the nature of the track, but it fell right for him–he got a nice lead and he didn't make his own running, which we would have done if we'd had to.

“He picked up really well at the right time and possibly caught a really good horse [Lord North (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire})] on a rusty day. Maybe. He has run now three of his better races over this trip, but he is very capable over a mile and a half.

“The plan has always been to go to Dubai for the mile-and-a-half Sheema Classic, so I don't see why that would have changed.”

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