Andre Fabre hoping Persian King can show star potential in Autumn Stakes
Top billing for Saturday's Future Champions meeting may go to the Dubai Dewhurst Stakes, but there could be more than one star juvenile lurking among the rest of the card, such as Persian King in the Group 3 Masar Godolphin Autumn Stakes at 2.25.
Well regarded by trainer Andre Fabre, Persian King, a best-priced 20-1 for the Qipco 2,000 Guineas, has plied his trade at lower levels, winning two races at Chantilly after a debut defeat to Anodor, who finished third in the Group 1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere last weekend.
Fabre said: "I didn't want to run him at Longchamp and you have seen the two-year-olds in France are weak this year. So we'll see if he's in the same league, or maybe a bit better.
"On top of that it's a chance to see how he handles the track. He's a laid-back horse who is easy to train, very healthy and sound, and he's in good shape."
Among Persian King's rivals is Kadar, whose trainer Karl Burke can barely contain his excitement with races like the 2,000 Guineas and Vertem Futurity Stakes already mentioned as potential targets.
Burke said: "He's a lovely horse and we think a hell of a lot of him. I'd have preferred some more rain but hopefully there'll be no jar in the ground.
"He's a big, scopey, powerful galloping horse and the sky's the limit for him."
Aidan O'Brien has three chances in the race, led in the betting by Naas maiden winner Magna Grecia.
The trainer said: "Magna Grecia won nicely on his debut. He was a bit green there but we've been happy with him since and think he will progress.
"Circus Maximus came forward from his first run to win his maiden at Gowran Park where he was quite green. He should have learned from the experience and we're happy with him."
O'Brien's trio is completed by Western Australia, who was fourth in a Group 2 at Leopardstown last time out.
Kadar defeated Waldstern on his debut at Haydock, and John Gosden's runner heads the betting for the Listed Godolphin Flying Start Zetland Stakes at 1.50.
Gosden said: "He didn't really like the soft ground at Haydock where he was trying to give 6lb to a nice horse and the quicker ground should be better for him."
Norway and Sydney Opera House represent O'Brien, who won the race last year with subsequent St Leger hero Kew Gardens.
O'Brien said: "Norway won his maiden nicely and came out of the race well. He's going up in trip and we think he has every chance of staying.
"Sydney Opera House won his maiden over a mile and ran very well when second in the Royal Lodge. He's been in good form since and we think he will stay."
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