Dewhurst enters Alkumait calculations

Connections of Alkumait will consider supplementing for the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket next month, following his impressive display in the Mill Reef at Newbury.

Marcus Tregoning’s juvenile faced a significant step up in class for Saturday’s six-furlong Group Two, after a comprehensive victory in maiden company at Glorious Goodwood in late July.

However, the son of Showcasing proved more than up to the task – and top-level assignments beckon.

Angus Gold, racing manager to owner Hamdan Al Maktoum, said: “We were absolutely thrilled with him. He showed a really nice turn of foot and won very nicely.

“The Mill Reef/Middle Park double has never really worked out for us, so we were never going to go down that route.

“His action would suggest he prefers top of the ground. That’s not to say he wouldn’t handle cut in the ground, but I certainly don’t think he would want it heavy.”

Tregoning said in the immediate aftermath of Alkumait’s weekend win that he would be keen to run him again this season – potentially over seven furlongs to see if he could be a contender for next year’s 2000 Guineas over a mile.

The Dewhurst appears an obvious option, although the owner already has a likely candidate for the Group One contest in the Owen Burrows-trained Albasheer, who was narrowly beaten by Richard Hannon’s Chindit in the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster recently.

Albasheer (right) is also in the mix for the Dewhurst
Albasheer (right) is also in the mix for the Dewhurst (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

However, Gold does not rule out the possibility of both horses lining up on the Rowley Mile.

He added: “Marcus would like to run Alkumait again this year – and as he said on Saturday, the only race for him really is the Dewhurst, which we didn’t enter him for because he’d only won a maiden at that stage.

“We’ll see how the land lies. We also have Albasheer as a possible for the Dewhurst – I think he was undone by his inexperience as much as anything at Doncaster.

“There would be a question mark over the trip for Alkumait – but if he settled well, like he did on Saturday, he’d give himself a chance. Seven furlongs at Newmarket is a different test to six at Newbury, so we’ll see.

“It wouldn’t be the end of the world if he didn’t run again this year, (but) the Dewhurst is the best two-year-old race in England, so if you can give yourself a better chance of winning it, maybe you should. ”

Alkumait completed a big-race double at Newbury for his leading owner, with Elarqam getting his career back on track in the preceding Dubai Duty Free Legacy Cup Stakes.

Mark Johnston’s charge had disappointed on his two previous starts in the Hardwicke at Royal Ascot and when defending his crown in the York Stakes, but he bounced back to form on Saturday.

Gold said: “I was delighted for the horse to get back winning again. He looked fantastic and clearly still has the enthusiasm for it.

“He’s probably a few pounds below the very best around, but he’s tough and genuine and will win his races.

“I’m not sure what Sheikh Hamdan wants to do with him. An obvious race for him would be something like the Canadian International – but whether that will be logistically possible, I don’t know, and Sheikh Hamdan might prefer to keep him at home.”

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