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Alkumait seeking Greenham gold

Mill Reef winner Alkumait will reappear back at Newbury on Sunday in the Watership Down Stud Too Darn Hot Greenham Stakes.

In the absence of the retired Mohaather, the three-year-old carries Marcus Tregoning’s main hopes for the forthcoming season.

Having failed to handle soft ground in the Dewhurst when last seen, Tregoning is looking forward to getting him back on a quicker surface.

“I’m very pleased with Alkumait, he’s wintered well and seems in good form at home,” said Tregoning.

“Having won the Mill Reef in September, I’m looking forward to returning to Newbury with him.

“The ground really didn’t suit him last time out (in the Dewhurst) and I think he’s a proper top of the ground horse.

“Condition-wise, he’s in the same position as we were with Mohaather when he won the race in 2019. Mohaather was a six-furlong horse dressed up as a miler, and his speed helped him win some very good mile races. Alkumait would be similar – he’s very speedy and we’re looking forward to finding out more about him.”

Richard Hannon has a major player in Chindit, who had been among the favourites for the Craven Stakes at Newmarket on Thursday.

“Chindit is going for the Greenham, that’s certainly the plan at the moment,” said Hannon.

Also among the 16 entries are Clive Cox’s Coventry Stakes winner Nando Parrado, The Lir Jet and Richard Fahey’s Rhythm Master.

Chindit work has Hannon excited ahead of strong-looking Dewhurst

Richard Hannon hailed a piece of work completed by his Darley Dewhurst Stakes hope Chindit last week as “one of the best” he has seen for years on his Herridge gallops.

Hannon sends two unbeaten colts to Newmarket this weekend, with Solario Stakes scorer Etonian set to join Champagne Stakes winner Chindit on the Rowley Mile.

Pat Dobbs had the choice of mount and will partner the latter – who heads Coral’s market at 5-2 ahead of the Joseph O’Brien-trained Thunder Moon at 11-4 – with Tom Marquand taking the ride on Etonian.

“On Thursday morning Chindit did an extremely good piece of work, probably one of the best pieces of work we have seen at Herridge for a lot of years,” Hannon told Unibet.

“We are hopeful that both will run very well, but I think Pat Dobbs was particularly pleased with Chindit and he had the choice of rides.

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“On Tuesday morning Etonian did a very nice piece of work, he has never been that much of a showy horse, but he worked well and he is on target for the Dewhurst, Tom Marquand is going to ride.”

Impressive Mill Reef winner Alkumait has been supplemented for the Group One feature.

Alkumait was an impressive winner of the Mill Reef
Alkumait was an impressive winner of the Mill Reef (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Trained by Marcus Tregoning, the Showcasing colt was a taking victor in the Group Two at Newbury last month.

Owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum already had the Owen Burrows-trained Albasheer, runner-up in the Champagne Stakes, engaged, but connections have opted to further strengthen their hand.

Tregoning said: “He runs on Saturday and I’ve been very happy with him since Newbury.

“Obviously we don’t know what the ground is going to be like yet, and we don’t know how many of the Irish horses are coming over.

“Most Showcasings go on soft ground anyway and as he’s in good form, we thought we had to go for it.

“It’s been a while since I won the Dewhurst (with Sir Percy) in 2005, but we’ve had nothing good enough to run in it since. Hopefully this is a good horse, he’s looked it so far.

“The fact Sheikh Hamdan had another horse already entered didn’t come into the reckoning really.”

Thunder Moon, who made a splash when winning the National Stakes in good style, is one of three possibles for O’Brien along with Snapraeterea and State Of Rest.

His father, Aidan, has left in Royal Ascot winner Battleground, who was a late defector from the National Stakes, Wembley, who was second in the National, and St Mark’s Basilica, who was due to run in France on Sunday but was caught up in the contaminated feed situation.

A total of 18 juveniles remain in the mix.

Mill Reef hero Alkumait added to Dewhurst field

Impressive Mill Reef winner Alkumait has been supplemented for Saturday’s Darley Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket.

Trained by Marcus Tregoning, the Showcasing colt was a taking victor in the Group Two at Newbury last month.

Owner Hamdan Al Maktoum already had the Owen Burrows-trained Albasheer, runner-up in the Champagne Stakes, engaged, but connections have opted to further strengthen their hand.

Tregoning said: “He runs on Saturday and I’ve been very happy with him since Newbury.

“Obviously we don’t know what the ground is going to be like yet, and we don’t know how many of the Irish horses are coming over.

“Most Showcasings go on soft ground anyway and as he’s in good form, we thought we had to go for it.

“It’s been a while since I won the Dewhurst (with Sir Percy) in 2005, but we’ve had nothing good enough to run in it since. Hopefully this is a good horse, he’s looked it so far.

“The fact Sheikh Hamdan had another horse already entered didn’t come into the reckoning really.”

Joseph O’Brien’s Thunder Moon, who made a splash when winning the National Stakes in good style, is one of three possibles for Joseph O’Brien along with Snapraeterea and State Of Rest.

His father, Aidan, has left in Royal Ascot winner Battleground, a late defector from the National Stakes, Wembley, who was second in the National, and St Mark’s Basilica, who was due to run in France on Sunday but was caught up in the contaminated food situation.

Richard Hannon’s Chindit, winner of the Champagne Stakes, stablemate Etonian, successful in the Solario, and Jessica Harrington’s Cadillac are other major contenders among the 18 left in.

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.

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“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.”