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 Sir Michael Stoute and has earned the right to go for Group 2 honours with an impressive victory at Royal Ascot. That came in the Duke of 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.”
Richard Hannon relies on Pether’s Moon, who was right behind Hillstar in third in the Hardwicke. Excellent Result, who successfully graduated from handicap company to win at Group 2 level in Dubai, heads a two-pronged attack by Godolphin. He will be accompanied by the eight-year-old Cavalryman, who has been a Godolphin stalwart for several seasons. Kieren Fallon is booked for the mount on Excellent Result but was stood down for the rest of the afternoon yesterday after winning on his first ride at Yarmouth.
The in-form Fallon, who is believed to be feeling unwell, missed three rides at the Norfolk track, and was booked for three more at Kempton.
He won the Guide Dogs For The Blind Selling Stakes on 7-4 favourite Angus Glens.