Tag Archive for: Sky Bet Stakes

Classy Dubai Honour back in domestic action at York

William Haggas is keen to get Dubai Honour back in action in the Sky Bet York Stakes on Saturday.

The six-year-old was last seen in the Sheema Classic at Meydan, finishing 10th of 15 on good ground over a mile and a half – a rare disappointing outing.

Haggas considered the going proved too quick for the gelding, who has not run since as dry conditions have meant his preferred softer ground has not materialised.

Having made giant strides last season, progressing from handicaps to finishing second in the Champion Stakes to Sealiway and a close fourth behind Loves Only You in the Hong Kong Cup, he arguably sets the standard.

The Knavesmire turf is likely to be good to firm, much quicker than he would like, but Haggas feels he has to get him going again.

“He’s very well and ready to race, he was a bit battered and bruised after Meydan but he’s back in great shape,” said Haggas.

Dubai Honour on his way to victory at Newmarket
Dubai Honour on his way to victory at Newmarket (David Davies/PA)

Regarding ground concerns he added: “Everything worries me! He’s better on soft and he needs it to rain, but we’ve been waiting for rain for some time and it hasn’t come.

“We’ve got to get on with it as he needs to run, he’s bored of galloping.”

Saeed bin Suroor saddles Dubai Future, a Dubawi gelding who won the Listed Wolferton Stakes by three lengths at Royal Ascot on his most recent outing.

A return to Group calibre now awaits, with the bay having previously been campaigned at the top level in the Middle East when finishing a place behind Dubai Honour in the Sheema Classic.

“He’s come back well from the win at Royal Ascot, he’s doing well and he’s in good condition,” Bin Suroor said.

Dubai Future during the Wolferton Stakes
Dubai Future during the Wolferton Stakes (Adam Davy/PA)

“I’m very happy with him, this is going to be a race where the trip will suit him again.

“I’m looking forward to running him, we’ll see how he goes but so far the horse has been in good form. After that (Ascot) run we have been confident to go again in Group races.”

Another Royal Ascot winner in the line-up is Jane Chapple-Hyam’s Claymore, triumphant over the Queen’s Reach For The Moon in the Group Three Hampton Court Stakes under Adam Kirby.

With his three-year-old allowance the colt will carry only 8st 13lb at York, a weight difficult for Kirby to attain and the reason for the decision to allocate the ride to David Egan instead.

Chapple-Hyam said: “David sat on the horse on Thursday morning – a get-to-know and everything went absolutely fine.

Claymore in action at Royal Ascot
Claymore in action at Royal Ascot (Adam Davy/PA)

“They went up Long Hill. David’s looking forward to riding him and said he’s a class horse, so that was nice to hear.”

Claymore is also entered in the Group One Juddmonte International at York in August, a race he could take up his entry in should this weekend go to plan.

“The Juddmonte’s very hot competition but we’ll see what he does on Saturday,” Chapple-Hyam said.

“He is in very good order. Everything is fine. He has pleased me on the gallops and he’s improved.”

Also in action is William Knight’s Sir Busker, an experienced six-year-old who will be tried at the 10-furlong trip for the first time in 36 starts.

William Knight's Sir Busker
William Knight’s Sir Busker (Megan Ridgwell/PA)

“We are trying a mile and a quarter for the first time. He went a mile and one over in Dubai – he seemed to like that extra furlong,” said Knight.

“It will just be interesting to see how he gets on. Now he’s got older I think he will just get that bit further.

“He likes York as a track, I think he could run a big race there on Saturday – he’s in very good form.

“My only concern is it’s not too quick at York, but hopefully it will just be on the easy side of good to firm.”

The field of five is completed by Kevin Ryan’s three-year-old Night Of Thunder colt, Dark Moon Rising.