Sovereign joins stellar field for Bahrain International Trophy

Five Group One winners feature in a final field of 14 for this month’s £500,000 Bahrain International Trophy after the supplementary stage closed.

Aidan O’Brien is set to saddle 2019 Irish Derby hero Sovereign, last year’s Queen Anne Stakes winner Lord Glitters represents David O’Meara, dual Canadian International Stakes winner Desert Encounter runs for David Simcock – and Saeed bin Suroor calls on 2019 Jebel Hatta victor Dream Castle.

Adding further top-level interest on November 20 is the Japanese-trained mare Deirdre (Mitsuru Hashida), whose big wins include last year’s Nassau Stakes at Glorious Goodwood.

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Barney Roy has suffered a minor setback and will miss the race, but Godolphin will still be doubly represented – with Mark Johnston’s Royal Ascot winner Dark Vision joining Dream Castle.

Supplemented at a cost of £10,000, Sovereign will be O’Brien’s first ever runner in Bahrain.

The Ballydoyle trainer said: “Sovereign is a strong mile-and-a-quarter horse. He is a very strong galloper who likes to go forward in his races, and we think the Bahrain International Trophy will suit him.”

John Gosden saw Turgenev finish second in the inaugural race last year and will be hoping to go one better with Global Giant, who will be ridden by Frankie Dettori for owner HH Shaikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa.

Andrew Balding and King Power Racing were sixth with Pivoine in 2019 and are back this year with Bangkok – while Lady Wannabe (Fozzy Stack), Certain Lad (Mick Channon), Pogo (Charlie Hills) and Quest The Moon (Sarah Steinberg) complete the European challenge.

Two spots in the field are guaranteed for locally-trained horses, and the two Bahraini-based contenders are confirmed as Port Lions (Fawzi Naas) and What A Welcome (Hesham Al Haddad).

Shaikh Salman bin Rashed Al-Khalifa, executive director of Rashid Equestrian & Horseracing Club, said: “We are absolutely delighted with the class of horses that we have attracted to this year’s Bahrain International Trophy.

“To have five individual Group One winners in the field – compared to only one last year – shows the leap in quality. We are very grateful to the trainers and owners for placing their trust in Bahrain, and we very much look forward to welcoming them.”

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