Cowell hoping rain stays away for Goldream’s Dash for the cash

Robert Cowell is hoping the rain stays away from Ascot as he prepares to saddle Goldream in the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Dash at Ascot today.

Cowell hoping rain stays away for Goldream’s Dash for the cash

The five-year-old appears to hold leading claims in the five-furlong heat after chasing home Muthmir over a furlong further at York last month.

With that horse since going on to finish fifth in the Stewards’ Cup at Goodwood, Cowell has high hopes of Goldream upholding the form.

He said: “I don’t think dropping down to five furlongs with him is an issue.

“He’s got every chance, but we hope the rain doesn’t come as he likes nice, fast ground.

“He’s been knocking on the door of late and it would be nice to see him get another big one. He’s probably just short of Listed class and this is his level.”

Marco Botti fields Masamah, who showed up well in two similar events over course and distance last month.

The Newmarket handler said: “I think he’s got a good chance as his best form is over five furlongs and the ground shouldn’t be too quick for him.

“He’s getting older now so good ground is better for him than fast ground. I think he has a reasonable chance.”

Masamah will be partnered by Canadian rider Emma Jayne Wilson, with Steffi Hofer on Kingsgate Choice and Hayley Turner on Ballesteros representing the Girls team.

Annunciation claimed the Shergar Cup Sprint 12 months ago for Richard Hannon snr and he is back for more under the care of Hannon jnr.

However, he has not got his head in front in seven subsequent starts, although Hannon jnr has not totally lost faith.

He told “Annunciation is a decent sprinter on his day and came good for Gary Stevens on this card 12 months ago, so, hopefully, he can do the business for Tom Queally in the Dash.”

Meanwhile Brendan Powell believes the step back up in trip will serve Dark Emerald well in the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Mile, also at Ascot.

The four-year-old ran in what has turned out to be a red-hot five-runner race at Haydock last time out and was just beaten by Heavy Metal.

Mark Johnston’s winner followed up in the International at Ascot and nearly doubled up in the Betfair Mile at Goodwood, two of the toughest handicaps in the calender.

Third at Haydock was Alejandro, who won a decent event at York next time out, and even Laffan, last of the five on Merseyside, struck on his next start.

That means Dark Emerald needs to defy a 5lb higher mark, but Powell could not be happier with his stable star, or with the fact Olivier Peslier rides the gelding.

“It was obviously a very hot race at Haydock as three have come out and won since,” said the Berkshire trainer.

“I’ve purposefully given him a break since then as he does go well fresh and the step back up to a mile, rather than seven furlongs, is definitely in his favour.

“Olivier Peslier’s not a bad jockey, either.

“He’s very laid-back, which is half why I thought he’d be suited to hurdling, but he clearly didn’t stay when we tried him. I thought he’d be a Triumph Hurdle horse.

“I trained him pretty poorly last year, to be honest. He won first time out and then I was running him over 10 furlongs.

“It would be great to get a big winner on a Saturday at Ascot.”

Richard Hannon’s Magic City has the assistance of Tom Queally, with South Africa’s S’manga Khumalo on top weight Tenor.

Marco Botti fields Energia Flavio in the £40,000 contest and the four-year-old will be having his first British start after formerly being trained in Brazil.

Hayley Turner teams up with the Agnes Gold colt, although Botti believes the handicapper may have rated him a touch too high for his first European outing.

He said: “He came from Brazil and it is difficult to place this kind of horse as, in my opinion, he is too high in the handicap.

“We need to start somewhere and this is probably a suitable race for him.

“I’ve been pleased with his work but we need to find out a bit more about him and I just think he might be a bit high (in the weights) right now.”

More in this section


Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox