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Monday, 10 December, 2018

Arc duo Dettori and Gosden hoping for more of the same

Richard Birch whets the appetite for another super Saturday

Persuasive represents Arc-winning team of Frankie Dettori and John Gosden at Newmarket
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Less than a week after Frankie Dettori and John Gosden teamed up to land Europe's richest race with racing's latest superstar Enable, the pair bid for further Group 1 glory with another smart filly in Newmarket's Kingdom Of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes.

Enable's stunning success in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe last Sunday – her fifth successive Group 1 triumph following wins in the Oaks, Irish Oaks, King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes and Yorkshire Oaks – attracted the plaudits that only the true giants of the turf receive.

And while Persuasive is clearly not in the same league as her illustrious stablemate, such is the strength of Gosden's Newmarket squad that the daughter of Dark Angel seems sure to start favourite for the Rowley Mile feature despite having yet to score in Group 1 company.

She has gone close, though, twice being placed in Leopardstown's Matron Stakes and finishing a close fifth to Roly Poly in the Prix Rothschild at Deauville. This rates a fine opportunity on ground she will enjoy.

It's a big day for O'Brien too

While it has been another memorable week in Gosden's glorious career – he also made the winning 4,000,000gns bid for a daughter of Galileo and Dank at Tattersalls on Thursday, the filly becoming the most expensive sold this year – another relentless high-achiever, Aidan O’Brien, is rapidly closing in on yet another milestone.

After landing four Group 1 events last weekend, the Ballydoyle maestro is on 22 Group 1/Grade 1 victories for the calendar year – three short of the world record set by Bobby Frankel in 2003.

With a plethora of opportunities available to O'Brien over the next few weeks in Europe, the United States, Canada, Australia and Hong Kong, bookmakers make him long odds-on to set new figures. He has two Sun Chariot chances in Roly Poly, the mount of Ryan Moore, and Alluringly, who will be partnered by Seamie Heffernan.

Roly Poly, already winner of a Newmarket Group 1, the Falmouth Stakes in July, was below her best at Leopardstown last time, but it would come as no surprise if she bounced back to put O'Brien one step closer to the record.

Ascot aperitif for Champions Day

With Champions Day just a fortnight away, Ascot hosts an aperitif for that gourmet feast with an interesting card featuring the Group 3 Gigaset Cumberland Lodge Stakes and a £180,000 seven-furlong handicap, the totescoop6 Challenge Cup.

Andre Fabre saddles likely favourite Waldgeist in the Cumberland Lodge, the three-year-old having been placed in the French Derby – when beaten a short head by Brametot – and Irish Derby earlier this season.

The Galileo colt faces eight rivals, including Great Hall, a seven-year-old who is in the form of his life at present as he bids for a fabulous four-timer.

Trained by former football star and now popular broadcaster Mick Quinn, dual course and distance scorer Great Hall fully deserves his place after unleashing an irresistible surge when coming from last to first under Fran Berry to land a mile-and-six-furlong handicap at Yarmouth last month.

Valuable Ascot handicaps continue to bamboozle even the best judges on a regular basis and plenty of burning of the midnight oil will be required to give punters a chance of finding the totescoop6 Challenge Cup winner, a race won 12 months ago by Librisa Breeze.

Fahey bids for breakthrough win

While Ascot is still preparing for its big autumn spectacular, Redcar stages its biggest day of the year with 23 runners set to go to post for the Listed totepool Two-Year-Old Trophy, a Listed contest offering £175,000 in guaranteed prize-money.

Won by subsequent dual Group 1 hero Limato three years ago, the six-furlong sprint does not always unveil a star but it always takes plenty of winning.

Somewhat surprisingly Richard Fahey has yet to get his name on the race's scroll of honour and he makes a concerted bid to put matters right this time with eight runners.

Richard Fahey: fields eight in the Two Year Old Trophy at Redcar

Last Saturday's Cheveley Park fifth Darkanna, beaten only four lengths by next year's 1,000 Guineas favourite Clemmie, captains his team under Barry McHugh and a reproduction of that Group 1 performance could well be good enough to provide the trainer with his breakthrough win.

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Such is the strength of Gosden's Newmarket squad that the daughter of Dark Angel seems sure to start favourite for the Rowley Mile feature
E.W. Terms
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