Dubai Duty Free International Weekend kicks off with competitive seven-race card at Newbury
The Dubai Duty Free International Weekend arrives at Newbury Racecourse this week for the traditional end of the Flat season at the track with a bumper two-day card.
Saturday sees the Group 2 Mill Reef Stakes as the highlight of the weekend but there is still plenty of competitive action on day one of the meeting on Friday.
Racing gets underway at Newbury at 1.50 and is the start of a seven-race card on day one, with all races shown live on Racing TV.
The Henry Ponsonby Memorial Stakes gets the action underway on Friday, a 6f sprint for two-year-old horses making their way in their early careers.
Hurricane Power has the best form on show in this race, having finished second and third in his last two starts, both at Windsor, earlier this season over the same distance. Rebaatt is an interesting newcomer from the William Haggas yard, and will have Tom Marquand on board the 185,000gns purchase for the Shadwell ownership.
Race two on the card at 2.25 is a Fillies’ Conditions Stakes where Serene Saph looks the one to beat having placed on both of her starts in her career so far for the Richard Hannon yard. Lokana has finished third in consecutive races heading into this one and should be in the frame here, appreciating the step up in trip last time out at Leicester to 7f.
The third race of the afternoon at 3.00 looks a very competitive Nursery over 7f sees Pink Satin among the favourites to take the win but needs to bounce back from a disappointing effort at Goodwood last time out, trailing home fourth of five runners. However, a winning run at Windsor earlier this season is promising.
Race four at 3.35 sees the promising Defiance take to the track for a second time for trainer Roger Varian, having got off the mark in fine style at Sandown on August 10. Houston is the most exposed horse in the field and should have a role to play, arriving here off the back of a second at Salisbury on his last run.
The feature race on the card is race five (4.10) - the Dubai Duty Free Cup - with £22,000 up for grabs to the winner. The powerhouse yards all feature here, with Haggas sending Aldaary, a winner of the Summer Mile at Ascot. The consistent Popmaster for Ed Walker arrives with two seconds on the spin while Streets Of Gold, third in the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot, holds solid claims too.
The penultimate race of the afternoon arrives at 4.45 with a Fillies’ Handicap over 1m4f. Market Value will be hoping she is just that for connections but the smart money appears to be siding with Esmeray, a winner at Ffos Las last time out and stepping up in trip here.
Finally, the card is rounded off at 5.20 with a nine-runner handicap, which sees a Godolphin star in Dubai Souq make his way to Newbury. Sayf Al Dawla looks the one to beat however, arriving off a fine win at Sandown on heavy ground last time out and with expected rain this week, will be a major player.
Newbury selections - Friday
1.50 - Rebaatt
2.25 - Serene Seraph
3.00 - Pink Satin
3.35 - Houston
4.10 - Streets Of Gold
4.45 - Market Value
5.20 - Sayf Al Dawla
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