Five horses charge into Euro­pean sea­son with UAE’s hopes.

UAE in­ter­ests in Europe’s best races this sum­mer could un­earth some real tal­ent, writes Geoffrey Rid­dle

The National - News - Sport - - FRONT PAGE - sports@then­ational.ae

UAE own­ers have started the Euro­pean turf sea­son very strongly, and pow­ered by the twin en­gines of Saeed bin Suroor and Char­lie Ap­pleby it is Godol­phin that have led the way.

Both New­mar­ket train­ers are op­er­at­ing at a strike-rate of over 20 per cent this sea­son, with Bin Suroor fir­ing in the win­ners at 38 per cent over the past two weeks. With Da­ban and Dabyah pro­vid­ing UAE busi­ness­man Ab­dul­lah Saeed Al Na­boodah with a pair of Guineas dreams af­ter their strik­ing vic­to­ries in Eng­land last week, this is a promis­ing open­ing stanza to what is al­ways a long and drawn out campaign. Horses such as Dubai Sheema Clas­sic win­ner Jack Hobbs and Sheikh Mo­hammed Obaid’s Postponed gen­er­ally pick them­selves, but the brief is to delve a lit­tle deeper and here are five young horses to keep an eye on over the next few months.

Bar­ney Roy – Godol­phin

James Doyle did not ex­pect to be riding much on his re­turn from his stint in Aus­tralia, but Bar­ney Roy has the po­ten­tial to turn the jockey’s malaise at Godol­phin around.

Bar­ney Roy saw off Saeed bin Suroor’s Dream Cas­tle in style at New­bury Race­course on Satur­day, and it is his tremen­dous stride that sets him out from many oth­ers. Trainer Richard Han­non had said be­fore the race that there is some­thing a lit­tle dif­fer­ent about the son of miler Ex­cel­e­bra­tion and stud­ies have shown that he can cover nearly sev­e­nand-a-half me­tres with his low, rak­ing stride.

When his legs get whirring, it means he can cover more ground, and very quickly so in some re­spects there is a bit of the freak about the three-yearold colt. He is en­tered in the English 2,000 Guineas at New­mar­ket next Satur­day.

Talaayeb (Sheikh Ham­dan bin Rashid)

We have not had the op­por­tu­nity to see the Min­ster of De­fence’s Talaayeb in com­pet­i­tive ac­tion yet this sea­son, but she un­der­went a race­course gal­lop last week at New­mar­ket Race­course and re­mains very much on course for the English 1,000 Guineas next Sun­day. Owen Bur­rows is not in pos­ses­sion of many three-year-old fil­lies, but Talaayeb ad­ver­tised how good she might be by beat­ing English Oaks hope Nesh­meya at New­mar­ket in Septem­ber, her only start, and the lack of quan­tity in his sta­ble is made up for her likely qual­ity. Talaayeb han­dled New­mar­ket’s un­du­la­tions with lit­tle fuss last week, and is a straight­for­ward and un­com­pli­cated ride. Jim Crow­ley was all smiles af­ter the work­out, and for­mer in­cum­bent, Richard Hills, who rode work com­pan­ion Midhmaar, was equally beam­ing.

Brian The Snail (Godol­phin)

Fans of the chil­dren’s tele­vi­sion pro­gramme The Magic Round­about will smile fondly at the rec­ol­lec­tion of the feisty mol­lusc. His name­sake, by the sire Zebedee, is no slouch, how­ever, and has ac­cu­mu­lated three vic­to­ries in his bur­geon­ing sprint­ing ca­reer.

Trainer Richard Fa­hey has never hidden his ad­mi­ra­tion for the big, burly speed­ball, who needed the run when suc­cess­ful at Pon­te­fract Race­course two weeks ago. Brian The Snail was bought by Godol­phin last sea­son, and will be seen next in the Pav­il­ion Stakes at Ascot Race­course on May 3. From there, he is be­ing aimed at the Com­mon­wealth Cup at Royal Ascot, where he could run into a few other of Godol­phin’s youth­ful sprint­ers in John Gos­den’s Dream­field and Ap­pleby’s Blue Point.

Graphite (Godol­phin)

Graphite over­turned his bet­ter- fan­cied sta­ble com­pan­ion at An­dre Fabre’s yard when suc­cess­ful in the Group 3 Prix de La Force at Chan­tilly nearly three weeks ago.

Franz Schu­bert was con­sid­ered the over­whelm­ing favourite, but he did not hit the right chord and he could fin­ish only third. Graphite looked bet­ter the fur­ther he went, and is a real can­di­date for the best prizes over at least 2,000 me­tres, much like his fa­ther Shamardal who won two French Clas­sics in 2005.

Swiss Storm (Godol­phin and Lord­ship Stud)

Swiss Storm is a son of the mighty Frankel, the high­est-rated horse to have ever trod­den the turf. He looks to have in­her­ited some of his fa­ther’s tal­ent, too, and has deeply im­pressed David Elsworth.

The vet­eran han­dler, who will be 78 in De­cem­ber, has re­peat­edly stated that Swiss Storm is “a very good horse”. Owned by Lord­ship Stud, Godol­phin bought a share in the pow­er­fully built colt in Fe­bru­ary.

Stud­ies have shown that Bar­ney Boy can cover nearly sev­e­nand-a-half me­tres with his low, rak­ing stride

Getty Im­ages (3); Rac­ing­fo­tos.com

Clockwise from above: Godol­phin’s Bar­ney Roy will lead the UAE’s charge in Europe. Also wear­ing Royal Blue silks are Brian The Snail and Graphite (not pic­tured). Swiss Storm is owned by Lord­ship Stud but Godol­phin bought a share in Fe­bru­ary, and...

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