Arab Spring bids to go up an important rung on the ladder when he runs in the Princess of Wales’s boylesports.com Stakes at Newmarket today.
The lightly-raced four-year-old is justifying the patient approach of his trainer Michael Stoute and has earned the right to go for Group Two honours with an impressive victory at Royal Ascot.
That came in the Duke if Edinburgh Handicap in which he sailed away from the opposition to score by two lengths from Salutation.
Connections are optimistic the colt will prove up to the mark over this mile and a half on the July Course before hopefully going on to even greater things with the Irish Champion Stakes and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe possible targets later in the year.
“It’s a major step up from handicaps, but hopefully he’ll be good enough,” said Peter Reynolds, manager of owners Ballymacoll Stud.
“I hope the ground doesn’t change too much.
“He’s a lovely horse, he has a lovely character. He’s very popular in the yard and I hope he does the business.
“We last won it a couple of years ago with Fiorente and Sir Michael also has Hillstar in as well this time.
“We’re looking forward to it. ”
Stoute’s other runner Hillstar is a regular at this level and chased home stablemate Telescope at a respectable distance in the Hardwicke Stakes at the Royal meeting and gives the trainer strong claims of winning this race for a 10th time.
In sixth place that day was Dandino, one of two runners from the Marco Botti stable along with Seismos.
The Newmarket-based Italian reports both his runners to be in tip-top shape, though he wouldn’t the ground too soft for Dandino.
“They are both in good form. Dandino needed his recent run at Royal Ascot – he was a bit rusty and lack of fitness caught him out,” he said.
“But he did a nice piece of work at the weekend and I am confident that he retains all his ability.
“We are monitoring the ground with him as, if the showers hit, he would not want it too soft.
“We are happy with him, the trip is fine, and though it is a tough race he is definitely good enough.
“Seismos ran a good race at Sandown considering that was a two-miler and his best trip is probably either a mile and a half or a mile and three-quarters – he was a Group One winner at the shorter trip last August.
“He was a bit light when he came to us from Dubai but he has regained all the condition that he lost. He has settled in nicely and is a straightforward horse who has been working well.”
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved