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Linngari heads British challenge at Veliefendi


Veliefendi: Topkapi Trophy (Group 2) 1m (8.45pm)

LINNGARI leads a strong British assault on day two of the lucrative Turkish International Racing Festival on Sunday night at Veliefendi racecourse in Istanbul.

Half the field for Europe's richest mile, the Topkapi Trophy, have travelled from Britain, headed by the Sir Michael Stoute-trained six-year-old, who will be ridden by stable jockey Ryan Moore.

Linngari crosses swords with Pressing on a foreign field for the second time inside six weeks, the pair having filled the first two places in the Group 1 Bayerisches-Zuchtrennen in Munich on July 27.

Linngari prevailed by two lengths then and ought to be better suited by this drop back from 1m2f.Pressing has run only once over this kind of trip in the past two years, finishing fourth behind Archipenko in the Summer Mile at Ascot earlier in July.

Linngari, by contrast, has done most of his winning over a mile or shorter,including when breaking his Group 1 duck in Milan last October.

The rest of the British contingent for this $1million event are all three-year-olds - two proven Pattern-race performers trying a different trip in Stimulation and Collection, and a top handicapper on the upgrade in Fifteen Love.

Stimulation is perhaps the most intriguing of the trio, as he posted a career best when runner-up to Paco Boy, clear of the remainder, in the Group 2 Lennox Stakeslast time out.

His only other try at a mile came when he was seventh in the 2,000 Guineas, but the initial reaction that he failed to stay has not been entirely borne out by subsequent events, as he has recently been running on stoutly at the end of seven furlongs.

Frankie Dettori's mount Collection is dropping down from 1m2f, over which he landed the Hampton Court Stakes at Royal Ascot prior to a slightly below par effort when sixth in the Group 2 PrixEugene Adam in France.                                                                      
Fifteen Love deserves this step up in class after a trio of fine performances in hot mile handicaps, his two victories, in the Brittania at Royal Ascot and the Totesport Mile at Glorious Goodwood, coming at the expense of the same rival, Masaalek.

The remaining overseas challengers in a field of ten both hail from France, while last year's winner Sabirli is the pick of the three home-trained candidates.

Coral: 11-4 Linngari, 4 Pressing, 5 Stimulation, Sabirli, 13-2 Collection, 9 Fifteen Love, 12 Gris De Gris, 14 Kurtiniadis, 25 In Chambers, 500 My Sacrifice


Alex Smith, spokesman for Highclere, owners of Collection
"Collection travelled over very well and is in good from. The ground should be goodto firm which will suit him as he didn't act on the softer ground last time in France.

"We don't think the drop back in trip will bother him, and William Haggas won this race with Brunel so he knows what it's all about."

Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to Khalid Abdullah, owner of Fifteen Love. "It's over a mile which seems to be his best distance. It will also be fast ground which will he relishes. Obviously he's taking a big step up from handicaps now."

Hughie Morrison, trainer of Stimulation
"We've been attracted by the prize-money which is sizeable and it would be great if he paid his way - anything extra would be a bonus. He's inpretty good form and the fast ground will suit.

"He has only tried a mile once but thatwas in the Guineas so his run can be forgiven a bit. He has some pretty good form behind Paco Boy who improved from that race, and hopefully we have a bit too."             


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