Israr among strong raiding party on Bahrain Trophy

This year’s Bahrain International Trophy looks like being the strongest to date with a strong international contingent lined up.

The contest has been upgraded to Group Two level following last season’s renewal and the prize money, which has been increased to $1million, has attracted runners from five different countries.

Among them is John and Thady Gosden’s Israr, a Shadwell owned and bred colt who has been in good form all year.

The four-year-old was second in a Group Three at Newbury and the Listed Ebor trial at York before winning the Group Two Princess of Wales’s Stakes at Newmarket in July – beating 2021 Derby winner Adayar.

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He finished his domestic campaign with another second-placed run, this time in the Cumberland Lodge at Ascot, and now heads out to Bahrain in hope of collecting more prize money there.

Israr winning the Princess of Wales’s Stakes
Israr winning the Princess of Wales’s Stakes (Tim Goode/PA)

John Gosden, who trains Israr alongside his son, Thady, said: “We are confident Israr will run a really nice race over the mile and a quarter, it’s a very competitive field but so it should be.

“It’s an exciting, lovely race, well timed in the calendar and the prize money has been increased so that makes it even more attractive. We’ve been second in it, so we are itching to win it one day.”

Of Shadwell’s fortunes throughout the season, Gosden added: “They have had an incredibly successful year. It is a huge achievement on the part of everyone at Shadwell to be leading owner and a lot of that success has been down to the older, homebred horses, such as Israr.

“Since Sheikh Hamdan died, his daughter Sheikha Hissa has taken hold of the operation and her father would be extremely proud of her.”

Also set to represent the UK in the race is Richard Fahey’s Spirit Dancer, co-owned and bred by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and the winner of the Group Three Strensall Stakes at York.

Spirit Dancer at York
Spirit Dancer at York (Mike Egerton/PA)

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Daniel and Claire Kubler have an entrant in Astro King, twice a winner this season including in the 34-runner Cambridgeshire at Newmarket in late September.

Above The Curve has been entered by Joseph O’Brien whilst his father Aidan could saddle Point Lonsdale, with Noel Meade putting forward a further Irish runner in Layfayette.

There are two French-trained horses on the list in Andre Fabre’s Birr Castle and Andreas Schutz’s French 2000 Guineas winner Marhaba Ya Sanafi, whereas the home team is represented by Fawzi Nass’ Calif and Qaader.

Finally, there is a significant Godolphin challenge for the race as Charlie Appleby intends to run Canadian International winner Nations Pride and Highland Avenue and Saeed bin Suroor will saddle last year’s winner Dubai Future and Real World.

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