Ascot’s Jim Barry Cumberland Lodge Stakes has been a happy hunting ground for Shadwell down the years and they have a strong hand again this Saturday.
The likes of Mutamam, Nayef, Mubtaker, Mawatheeq, Laaheb, Hawaafez, Laraaib and Hukum have carried the famous blue and white silks to victory in this mile-and-a-half contest since the turn of the century.
Angus Gold, racing manager for Shadwell, said: “It’s a very good race for older staying horses and it comes at a nice time in the calendar, so we’ve always kept it in mind.”
This term, Jim Crowley has opted to partner the William Haggas-trained Al Aasy, who followed up a Haydock victory at this Group Three level by chasing home Irish Derby runner-up Adelaide River at Leopardstown when giving away 11lb.
“He ran very well at Leopardstown,” commented Gold. “He had to come from a long way back and the winner had already kicked on well.
“This horse is in good form and hopefully he can put in another good performance at Ascot.”
Benoit De La Sayette will get the leg-up on Israr for John and Thady Gosden in the same colours.
He was an impressive scorer in the Princess of Wales’s Stakes at Newmarket before faltering behind Bay Bridge at Kempton last time out.
“Everyone was of the same opinion that he just didn’t handle the all-weather; he just looked miserable on it,” stated Gold.
“It was a hot day, the surface got very sticky and he just hated it, so we’ll get him back on the turf and he should enjoy that a lot more.”
Stablemate Fortino, a multiple Group One winner in Chile, also struggled to get into the September Stakes and finished a well-beaten last of seven on his debut for the yard.
Al Qareem returned from 175 days off when bravely battling back to beat Bluestocking in the Listed-class Stand Cup Stakes at Chester last month.
“He’s come out of the race at Chester well and he will improve fitness-wise for that run,” said Nick Bradley, managing director of owners Nick Bradley Racing.
“It is obviously a slight step up in grade and this will tell us if we go for another Group Three in three weeks’ time or think about the Prix Royal-Oak.”
L’Astronome was two and a half lengths back in third in that Roodee race on his first start for Hugo Palmer since switching from France, where he was a Group Two scorer at ParisLongchamp last summer.
Claymore has a Group Three course success in last season’s Hampton Court Stakes to his credit but has been hit by setbacks since then.
On his only start this term, the son of New Bay was tailed off behind Hukum in the Brigadier Gerard at Sandown back in May, when it was reported that he bled from the nose.
Jane Chapple-Hyam is hoping her charge is back fit and well, though, and commented: “We’ve got to try and he’s been off the track a while.
“I would prefer it to be over a mile and a quarter, but he’s back on his winning track. There wasn’t much else for older horses.
“Neil Callan came in and rode him and liked what he rode and was pleased with him.
“He’s just had little niggles here and there, but we feel we have ironed them all out and he’s ready for a run.”
Euchen Glen took top honours in the 2020 renewal of this race when it was rerouted to York after the original Ascot fixture was abandoned due to waterlogging.
The 10-year-old was sixth behind Hamish in it 12 months ago for Jim Goldie and makes the long trip down from Scotland again.
Postileo earned this step up in class by landing the Lanark Silver Bell Handicap, Hamilton’s richest-ever prize, when fitted with cheekpieces for the first time.