Thu, 16 Apr 2015
EUROPEAN champion Two-Year-Old Belardo heads a top-class field for Saturday's £60,000 Group Three AON Greenham Stakes at Newbury on the second day of the Dubai Duty Spring Trials Meeting.
The seven-furlong contest is a leading trial for the QIPCO 2000 Guineas and last year's renewal saw Kingman in imperious form to beat Night Of Thunder.
Belardo will carry the famous Godolphin silks for the first time and is set to face eight rivals, headed by Richard Hannon's air of Ivawood and Estidhkaar, who were both dual Grade Two winners last season.
As well as Estidhkaar, owner Hamdan Al Maktoum is represented by the unbeaten Fannaan and Group Two Gimcrack Stakes scorer Muhaarar, trained by Charlie Hills and ridden by Frankie Dettori.
The fillies' equivalent of the AON Greenham Stakes is the £60,000 Group Three Dubai Duty Free Stakes, also over seven furlongs.
Trainer Ralph Beckett is bidding for a third win in six years with Redstart, who was last seen out when taking a seven-furlong maiden at Kempton Park in November.
Said Beckett: "Redstart is training well and looks well. She is a very different type to our previous winners. Puff was a tough, precocious two-year-old and Moonstone Magic came in on the back of a debut win eight days earlier. Penkenna Princess was also a good two-year-old.
"Redstart had two runs last year and then we put her away. It is a big step up and will tell us where we are with her, but she has shown up well in her work and we think it is worth a shot."
Redstart's 12 opponents are headed by joint Champion Two-Year-Old Filly Tiggy Wiggy under Richard Hughes, who successful on six of her eight starts last term culminating with a comfortable success in the Group One Cheveley Park Stakes in September, and the highly-regarded maiden scorer Jellicle Ball.
Russian Punch (James Given/Graham Lee) landed a Listed prize over the course and distance in October, while Royal Razalma (Jonathan Portman/Richard Kingscote) ended the campaign with victory in the Group Three Cornwallis Stakes over five furlongs at Newmarket.
The older horses take centre stage in the £60,000 Group Three Dubai Duty Free Finest Surprise Stakes (1.45pm, eight runners) over 12 furlongs.
Romsdal (John Gosden/James Doyle) ended last season with a second to Kingston Hill in the St Leger and made a winning return to action in the 10-furlong Listed Magnolia Stakes at Kempton Park on March 28.
Newbury's eight-race programme also features competitive handicap action courtesy of the £50,000 Be Wiser Spring Cup over the straight mile.
The Dubai Duty Free Spring Trials Meeting gets underway on Friday with another eight-race card and Elm Park and Room Key, trained by Andrew Balding and Eve Johnson-Houghton respectively, will both work after racing as they continue their preparation for the QIPCO 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on May 2.
The two days also feature the Racecourse's Real Ale and Cider Festival.