Tag Archive for: Arion

Dreamloper aiming to continue on upward curve

Dreamloper begins her campaign in the Group Two Betfair Exchange Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket on Sunday.

The Ed Walker-trained five-year-old already has a Group victory to her name after landing the Valiant Stakes at Ascot over a mile in July.

Last year her season ended with an impressive run in the Sun Chariot at Newmarket, where the bay proved herself a match for the undulations of the Rowley Mile when finishing strongly to come home third at 25-1.

Now a step up in trip beckons, with this weekend’s assignment a furlong further than the horse’s most recent performance over a mile.

“We know she handles the track, the extra furlong we don’t think will be a problem,” Walker said.

Dreamloper winning at Redcar
Dreamloper winning at Redcar (Tony Knapton/PA)

“It’s her first run of the year and she’s been training well at home, we’ll see where we are.

“It’s certainly a very nice place to start her off.”

Among the opposition is Sir Michael Stoute’s Ville De Grace, winner of the Listed John Musker Stakes and the Group Three Pride Stakes last season – both run over a mile and two furlongs.

Francis-Henri Graffard will saddle Neom Cup third Ebaiyra, with William Haggas represented by Pride Stakes runner-up Lilac Road.

Andrew Balding’s Auria, Jessica Harrington’s Climate and George Boughey’s Romantic Rival complete the field of seven.

Another fillies’ race on the same card is the Pretty Polly Stakes, a 10-furlong Listed event that acts as an Oaks trial and has attracted a field of seven.

John and Thady Gosden’s Crenelle is an intriguing runner, a Juddmonte-owned grey who already has form at the track having won a one-mile fillies’ maiden in April.

The three-year-old is from the same family as St Leger winner Logician and jockey Frankie Dettori therefore believes she will have the necessary stamina when stepped up a quarter of a mile in trip.

“Crenelle is an exciting filly and we’re looking forward to stepping her up in distance in the Pretty Polly,” he told Sporting Index.

“We think the extra distance will suit, particularly as she’s related to Logician, and hopefully she can take another step forward.”

Also well-fancied is Godolphin’s With The Moonlight, trained by Charlie Appleby to two all-weather victories last season before a third-placed run on good ground in the Listed Montrose Fillies’ Stakes at Newmarket.

“She was last seen finishing third in the Montrose on ground that wouldn’t have suited her,” Appleby said on the Godolphin website.

“Back on a sounder surface this weekend we would be very confident she would put up a good performance.”

Hugo Palmer runs Arion, a filly who ran twice as a two-year-old when finishing second on debut at Newmarket and then winning a Chelmsford novice.

“We’ve been very happy with everything she’s done, Tom Marquand rode her and was very impressed with how she’d changed since she won her maiden,” Palmer said.

“We feel she’ll stay very well and she ran very well at Newmarket so the undulations of the Rowley Mile should pose no problem, but we’ll find out an awful lot more about her.

“This filly only had two starts last season, we really are going to an Oaks trial with her to try, we are trialling her and trying to find out where we are. She’s got the pedigree and she’s got the looks, now she just has to do the hard bit.”

Also engaged is Henry Spiller’s Mashaaer, an ex-Shadwell filly purchased from Richard Hannon’s yard during their dispersal in February.

Seen on track twice so far, the daughter of Muhaarar was the runner-up in a one-mile Ascot maiden and then went on to finish second again on the all-weather at Wolverhampton in April.

“She’s come on a huge amount, we’d only had her eight weeks at Wolverhampton and she was still very backward in her coat but she’s really blossomed now since that race,” Spiller said.

“She was short on work going there but she’s worked very well since and I’m very pleased with her progress and it looks an open race.

“I think she’ll be better on the grass and better with a little more distance, everything in her pedigree suggests a little more distance will help her.

“She’ll love the ground, which is a plus, I think it’s going to be pretty quick up there at the weekend.

“It’s a little bit of a shot in the dark for a filly that hasn’t won a maiden, but she’s got the ability and we think it’s worth taking a chance with her.”

Roger Varian’s Peripatetic represents Cheveley Park Stud, with the Haggas-trained Cet Horizon and George Scott’s Kick On Girl completing the field.

Ground key to Ebro River target

Hugo Palmer will seek softer ground for Ebro River after his fifth place in the Abernant Stakes on seasonal debut.

The colt was a three-times winner as a juvenile last season, landing a novice before taking the Listed National Stakes at Sandown and then the Group One Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh.

Amongst those victories were a series of outings in Group company that included a third-placed run in the Vincent O’Brien National Stakes, fourth-placed performances in both the July Stakes and the Richmond Stakes and a fifth in the Coventry Stakes.

Palmer felt Ebro River was unsuited by the good ground on his Newmarket return earlier this month and the three-year-old will now seek a sprint target on a surface with slightly more cut – with York, Haydock and Ascot all under consideration.

Ebro River following his Curragh victory
Ebro River following his Curragh victory (Niall Carson/PA)

“Ebro River was a busy two-year-old last year, he had nine starts and ran very well in a series of Group Twos before winning the Group One Phoenix in Ireland,” Palmer said.

“He’s a son of Galileo Gold, who won the 2000 Guineas for us. Terrifyingly, that was six years ago now. He’s from his first crop. Against everyone’s expectations Galileo Gold made a really good start to his stud career and he has been his leading light.

“He’s had one start this year and he was a tiny bit disappointing, but the ground was very quick at the Craven meeting. I thought we might get away with it first time out but if you’re going to try to get away with ground you don’t like, Newmarket is not the place to try.

“It was just too quick for him. I didn’t declare him for the Pavilion at Ascot on Wednesday, he definitely needs cut in the ground. He could go to York, he could go to Haydock, he could wait for Ascot. He could go almost anywhere.

“This being England and this being Europe, we will get soft ground sprints this year.”

Arion hails from the family of the great Ouija Board
Arion hails from the family of the great Ouija Board (Cathal McNaughton/PA)

Palmer is hopeful he has an Oaks prospect in Arion, a three-year-old Dubawi filly who finished second on her racecourse debut at Newmarket last season before winning a Chelmsford novice.

The bay is due to line up for the Listed Pretty Polly Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday and Palmer is keen to see if she can live up to the expectations that come with her impeccable pedigree.

“She’s probably one of the best bred horses in Europe, she’s by Dubawi and out of a winning full-sister to Australia, which makes her a granddaughter to Ouija Board,” he said.

“She raced twice last year, she was second on debut over seven furlongs at Newmarket and then won a Chelmsford maiden.

“She’s obviously bred to stay a mile and a half and we hope she will. She’s entered for the Pretty Polly at Newmarket on Saturday, a race that Ouija Board, her grandmother, won.

“We dream that she might make up into an Oaks filly. If she was the first foal of the mare I would be even more excited by her than I am, but she’s the third Dubawi out of this mare that I’ve had to train and she’s the only one that we’ve managed to win a race with.

“She is much the best that her dam has produced, but there is a big gap between being much the best and being the Oaks winner.”

Palmer inherited Brad The Brief when he took over the reins at Manor House Stables, a gelding owned by the yard’s previous co-owner Andrew Black.

The five-year-old was a prior Group Three winner when trained by Tom Dascombe and the weather will dictate when he first runs for his new handler.

“Brad The Brief is owned by Chasemore Farm, by Andrew Black. Andrew was, until recently, partners in the yard with Michael (Owen),” Palmer explained.

“He’s now just an owner here but an important owner. It’s great to have a lovely horse like this, he’s rated 108, he’s a Group Three winner and he just must have soft ground.

“He’s had endless entries but what rain has been forecast hasn’t come, he’s in really good order and it’s particularly frustrating.”