Yibir out to get back to winning ways

Breeders’ Cup winner Yibir attempts to get back to winning ways as he features among the six runners declared for the Princess Of Wales’s Close Brothers Stakes that headlines the opening day of Newmarket’s July Festival.

Charlie Appleby’s four-year-old was a winner of the Bahrain Trophy on this card 12 months ago, which was one of four victories for the son of Dubawi in 2021 and culminated in a heroic triumph in the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Del Mar in November.

However, he has had no such luck in 2022 as a neck defeat in the Dubai Sheema Classic has been followed by further narrow loses in the Jockey Club Stakes at Newmarket and Man o’War Stakes at Belmont.

It was Living Legend who claimed the scalp of Yibir on the Rowley Mile in April and features amongst the sextet engaged as he attempts to give the Mark and Charlie Johnston stable their third win in the last four runnings of the race. In the absence of Joe Fanning the six-year-old will be partnered by Ryan Moore.

The Kingsley Park team are also represented by West End Charmer, while Royal Ascot runner-up Mostahdaf, the Frankie Dettori-ridden New Mandate and Godolphin second-string Global Storm are the others set to line up in the one-mile-four-furlong contest.

Coventry Stakes runner-up Persian Force will be bidding to go one better when he takes part in the Close Brothers July Stakes that both Richard Hannon and his father have enjoyed plenty of success in over the years.

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Newbury Races – Saturday May 14th
Persian Force, here winning at Newbury, lines up in the July Stakes at Newmarket on Thursday (David Davies/PA)

However, he could face stiff competition in the form of Windsor Castle scorer Little Big Bear, who moves up to six furlongs in search of a hat-trick in the Group two contest.

Brave Nation was caught up in the carnage in the latter stages of the Norfolk Stakes and will be seeking compensation representing Michael Bell, while Mysterious Night skipped the Royal meeting and is also of interest from the eight going to post for the £56,000 first prize.

In the Group Three Bahrain Trophy it is Masekela that heads the six declared as he attempts to build on his encouraging fourth in the Derby at Epsom last month. Narrow Queen’s Vase runner-up Zechariah could prove the biggest danger in the one-mile-five-furlong event.

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