Trainer William Haggas on why ‘bored’ Dubai Honour is ready for a run in the Sky Bet York Stakes
The six-year-old was last seen in the Sheema Classic at Meydan, finishing 10th of 15 on good ground over a mile and a half – a rare disappointing outing.
Skipton-born Haggas considered the going too quick for the gelding, who has not run since as dry conditions have meant his preferred softer ground has not materialised.
The Knavesmire turf is likely to be good to firm, much quicker than he would like, but Haggas feels he has to get him going again.
“He’s very well and ready to race, he was a bit battered and bruised after Meydan but he’s back in great shape,” said Haggas.
Regarding ground concerns he added: “Everything worries me! He’s better on soft and he needs it to rain, but we’ve been waiting for rain for some time and it hasn’t come.
“We’ve got to get on with it as he needs to run, he’s bored of galloping.”
Saeed bin Suroor saddles Dubai Future, a Dubawi gelding who won the Listed Wolferton Stakes by three lengths at Royal Ascot on his most recent outing.
Another Royal Ascot winner in the line-up is Jane Chapple-Hyam’s Claymore, triumphant over the Queen’s Reach For The Moon in the Group Three Hampton Court Stakes.
Newmarket-based Chapple-Hyam said: “David sat on the horse this morning (Thursday) – a get-to-know and everything went absolutely fine.”
Today’s race is the first of two possible appearances at York for Claymore as the colt is also in the £1m Juddmonte International on Wednesday 17 August, although he also holds an entry for a Group race in France just beforehand. It is worth noting that Twice Over landed that Knavesmire double back in 2011.
Chapple-Hyam added: “The Juddmonte’s very hot competition but we’ll see what he does on Saturday. He is in very good order.”
Also in action is William Knight’s Sir Busker and the field of five is completed by Kevin Ryan’s three-year-old Night Of Thunder colt, Dark Moon Rising.
But one horse who won’t be running in the Juddmonte is Dante Stakes and Derby winner Desert Crown who has been ruled out by trainer Sir Michael Stoute.
The unbeaten colt struck on the Knavesmire in May before an impressive win at Epsom in June, but was forced to miss today’s King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes when a foot problem emerged last week.
Stoute said: We are not going to issue any statements about it and not going to get into it. He is not going to York, though.”
Jump jockeys Sean and James Bowen are all set to tackle the challenge of the Sky Bet “Jump Jockeys’ Nunthorpe’ Handicap, which opens today’s seven-race card at York.
Sean, who heads the National Hunt championship, will partner the David O’Meara-trained Soul Seeker, while James will be aboard trainer Richard Fahey’s stable representative, Internationaldream. Twenty horses have been declared for the race with the likes of Scudamore, Sam Twiston-Davies, Brian Hughes and Aidan Coleman in action.
Sean said: “It’s something completely different. York is one of the best Flat tracks in the country, so it’s great that we can ride there.”