Sun Chariot The Feature On Stellar Saturday

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Snow Lantern looks to emulate her dam by winning the Sun Chariot | Tattersalls

As October comes around again, so does one of the prime weekends of the European racing calendar and while Saturday's action is in part warm-up for the main event on Sunday, it has standout competition in its own right headed by the G1 Kingdom of Bahrain Sun Chariot S. Newmarket's July Course was the scene of the first clash between the star miling fillies in the G1 Falmouth S. and now the Rowley Mile hosts the rematch between that July 9 feature's first and second Snow Lantern (GB) (Frankel {GB}) and Mother Earth (Ire) (Zoffany {Ire}).

Rockcliffe Stud's 'TDN Rising Star' Snow Lantern, who bids to emulate her dam Sky Lantern (Ire) (Red Clubs {Ire}) who captured this in 2013, has since been third in the G1 Sussex S. at Goodwood July 28 and fourth in the Sept. 5 G1 Prix du Moulin de Longchamp.

Trainer Richard Hannon said, “She has beaten a lot of them, if not all of them before. I think the straight track will suit her and we can ride her however we want. She hasn't got to cope with a bend. If she takes a pull, Sean [Levey] said he might just let her roll and use her a little bit. Hopefully she can come back and redeem herself. After that, we might think about the Champion S. or the Queen Elizabeth II S. on Champions Day.”

Mother Earth, who excelled when beating Saffron Beach (Ire) (New Bay {GB}) and Fev Rover (Ire) (Gutaifan {Ire}) in the G1 1000 Guineas over this course and distance May 2, has also annexed Deauville's G1 Prix Rothschild Aug. 3 and arguably would have added the G1 Matron S. to her tally had she not met significant trouble in running. Eventually third behind the O'Callaghans' No Speak Alexander (Ire) (Shalaa {Ire}) in that Sept. 11 Leopardstown contest, her enthusiasm seems undimmed at this late stage of the season and if she can maintain her consistency it might be enough. Saffron Beach, who scoped dirty when 11th in the Falmouth, beat two subsequent black-type winners in impressive fashion in Sandown's G3 Atalanta S. last time Aug. 21 and is back over the course at which she won the G3 Oh So Sharp S. last October.

Saffron Beach will be partnered by William Buick, who interestingly has stayed in Newmarket rather than gone to ParisLongchamp to ride Godolphin's newcomer Al Nafir (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) in the opening MansionBet Best Odds Guaranteed EBF Maiden S. over a mile. The Charlie Appleby-trained €1.2-million 2019 Goffs November Foal Sale topper is a son of the G1 Irish 1000 Guineas heroine Nightime (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) and therefore a full-brother to the operation's Ghaiyyath (Ire).

Arc Weekend Kicks Off In Paris

One of the first of the stable's French raiders Buick has passed over is the exciting Manobo (Ire) (Sea the Stars {Ire}) in the 15-furlong G2 Qatar Prix Chaudenay, which is the first of the pattern races on ParisLongchamp's star-studded weekend fixture. The homebred denied Mojo Star (Ire) (Sea the Stars {Ire}) on debut at Newbury May 14 before recording a 4 1/4-length win in a June 2 Kempton novice and a 10-length follow-up in the 12-furlong Listed Prix Turenne at Saint-Cloud Sept. 10. He is joined by stablemate Kemari (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}), who took the G2 Queen's Vase at Royal Ascot June 16 before disappointing when last in the G2 Great Voltigeur S. at York Aug. 18 and they meet Ballydoyle's Sept. 11 G1 St Leger fourth Interpretation (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}).

“Manobo brings a nice, progressive profile into the race and I was very pleased with his latest win at Saint-Cloud,” Appleby said. “We feel that the step up in trip will produce further improvement and he ticks a lot of boxes–he has travelled over to France before and ease in the ground will suit. Kemari is on something of a recovery mission after disappointing at York. He won over a staying trip in the Queen's Vase and the drop back to a mile and a half on quicker ground at York may have worked against him. Stepping back up in distance on a softer surface can hopefully rekindle his Royal Ascot form, which will make him very competitive.”

Whether the ground deteriorates enough to rule Stradivarius (Ire) (Sea the Stars {Ire}) out of the G1 Qatar Prix du Cadran remains to be seen and it is to be hoped that the rain abates enough for the Gosden luminary to take part in the race for the first time. Without a Group 1 win this term, the 7-year-old has shown enough in winning the Aug. 20 G2 Lonsdale Cup at York and the Sept. 10 G2 Doncaster Cup that he retains all the ability required to notch an eighth at this level.

Ease in the ground obviously detracts from the chances of Stradivarius as much as it enhances those of the July 27 G1 Goodwood Cup hero Trueshan (Fr) (Planteur {Ire}) and last year's Cadran winner Princess Zoe (Ger) (Jukebox Jury {Ire}), who got nearest to Subjectivist (GB) (Teofilo {Ire}) in the G1 Gold Cup at Royal Ascot June 17 and who shaped with encouragement when second again in The Curragh's G3 Irish St Leger Trial S. Aug. 13.

France's main hopes of a Cadran win may rest with Le Haras De La Gousserie's progressive 5-year-old Skazino (Fr) (Kendargent {Fr}), who has racked up a trio of successes in the country's leading staying contests, the G3 Prix de Barbeville and G2 Prix Vicomtesse Vigier here in May and Deauville's G2 Prix Kergorlay Aug. 22.

Following the Cadran is the G1 Qatar Prix de Royallieu, where The Aga Khan's Valia (Fr) (Sea the Stars {Ire}) bids to provide her legendary trainer Alain de Royer-Dupre with at least one more top-level success before he heads into retirement. Having beaten the aforementioned Skazino in the G2 Prix Maurice de Nieuil over this 14-furlong trip and track July 14, last year's G1 Prix Royal-Oak heroine was third under a penalty behind the Arc protagonist Raabihah (Sea the Stars {Ire}) in the 12 1/2-furlong G2 Prix de Pomone at Deauville Aug. 22.

Splitting Raabihah and Valia in the Pomone was the Aug. 1 Listed Grand Prix de Clairefontaine winner Joie de Soir (Ire) (Fastnet Rock {Aus}), who represents the Coolmore-Andre Fabre axis. She was getting 11 pounds from Valia there and only seven here, but as an unexposed 3-year-old from this stable rates as a genuine threat. Britain's leading contenders are the June 17 G2 Ribblesdale S. winner Loving Dream (GB) (Gleneagles {Ire}) and the July 8 G3 Stanerra S. scorer Believe In Love (Ire) (Make Believe {GB}), with the latter wanting as much rain as can fall having won Saint-Cloud's G3 Prix Belle de Nuit on heavy ground over this trip last October.

Also on the card is the G2 Qatar Prix Daniel Wildenstein, where Al Asayl France's G1 Queen Elizabeth II S. hero The Revenant (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) looks for a third consecutive renewal en route to defending his crown at Ascot. Last seen finishing fourth in the G2 Prix du Muguet at Saint-Cloud May 1, he faces a stiff task taking on Godolphin's Aug. 21 G3 Strensall S. winner Real World (Ire) (Dark Angel {Ire}) and dual Group 1 winner Victor Ludorum (GB) (Shamardal) who returned to form last time when third in the Sept. 5 G1 Prix du Moulin de Longchamp.

Godolphin's Lisa-Jane Graffard said, “Victor Ludorum comes here after arguably a career-best performance in the Prix du Moulin, when he recorded incredible splits having missed the break and a top-speed of over 70km/h. He won the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere as a 2-year-old over this course and distance and on heavy ground. His trainer reports that he is a picture of health and expects a good run.” Saeed bin Suroor has yet to commit Real World and added, “Real World worked well earlier in the week and heads to France in good form. There is a question mark over the going being too soft and we will check the ground before he runs, but he is ready to go again.”

In a competitive renewal, The Aga Khan's Dilawar (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) also comes into the mix having won the Aug. 29 G3 Prix Quincey impressively at Deauville, while Katsumi Yoshida's Coeursamba (Fr) (The Wow Signal {Ire}) is back over the same course and distance of her victory in the G1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches May 16. The G2 Qatar Prix Dollar sees Mohamed Obaida's Aug. 14 G2 Prix Guillaume d'Ornano scorer Dubai Honour (Ire) (Pride of Dubai {Aus}) tackle The Aga Khan's Sept. 5 G3 Prix du Prince d'Orange winner Saiydabad (Blame) and Anthony Oppenheimer's Aug. 12 G3 Sovereign S. scorer Megallan (GB) (Kingman {GB}).

Top Two-Year-Old Returns

Ascot's four pattern races include the Listed Oakman Group Rous S. over five furlongs, where Shadwell's Minzaal (Ire) (Mehmas {Ire}) makes his belated seasonal bow having secured his place among the elite of the 2020 juveniles with a win in the G2 Gimcrack S. and third placing in the G1 Middle Park S. Also representing that operation is the triple Group 3 winner Hukum  (Ire) (Sea the Stars {Ire}) in the G3 Cumberland Lodge S., who bids to get back on track after a surprise defeat in the G3 September S. on Kempton's Polytrack Sept. 4.

Owen Burrows trains both and said, “We've never run Minzaal over five furlongs, but he's not short of speed. He's not run for over a year, so we thought with the ground getting a little bit soft it would make sense to try him over a shorter trip. He's really been pleasing me at home in his work, so we hope he'll go well. Hukum seems to have been in good form since Kempton. He has to give away a penalty again, but we're happy with him and this will probably be his last run of the year.”

The fields for Sunday's supporting races at ParisLongchamp were finalised on Friday, with Juddmonte's unbeaten 'TDN Rising Star' Raclette (GB) (Frankel {GB}) due to face eight fillies in the G1 Qatar Prix Marcel Boussac and the same number tackling Al Shaqab's G1 Phoenix S. hero Ebro River (Ire) (Galileo Gold {GB}) in the G1 Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere. There are 15 engaged in the G1 Prix de l'Opera Longines including Alison Swinburn's GI Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf heroine Audarya (Fr) (Wootton Bassett {GB}) and also in the G1 Prix de l'Abbaye de Longchamp Longines, where the 3-year-old fillies Suesa (Ire) (Night of Thunder {Ire}) and Winter Power (Ire) (Bungle Inthejungle {GB}) square up again. Godolphin's 'TDN Rising Star' Space Blues (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) will have to overcome stall 10 in the seven-furlong G1 Qatar Prix de la Foret, for which 16 line up.

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