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Alkumait stamina set to be tested to the full in Dewhurst Stakes

Alkumait: Mill Reef winner faces Dewhurst stamina test
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Alkumait will face a severe test of his stamina reserves when he tackles seven furlongs for the first time in the Group 1 Darley Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday, according to connections.

The 6-1 third favourite has been campaigned exclusively at six furlongs, most recently when landing the Group 2 Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury last month.

Since the Mill Reef Stakes was first run in 1972 no horse has gone on from victory at Newbury to land the Dewhurst but owner Hamdan Al Maktoum on Tuesday paid a supplement of £32,000.

Speaking at the Tattersalls Yearling October Sales, the owner's racing manager Angus Gold, said: "Alkumait came out of the Mill Reef very well and Sheikh Hamdan was keen to run him but the doubt is his stamina if it comes up very soft.

"He's not bred to stay seven furlongs but he settled very well in the Mill Reef which gives him a chance of getting it and he was the last off the bridle that day. Jim Crowley went down and sat on him this morning and was very pleased with him by all accounts."

The Shadwell team plan to have two runners in a race they last won with Mujahid in 1998 as they also field the Group 2 Champagne Stakes second Albasheer who will be reopposing his Doncaster conqueror Chindit.

Gold added: "We also plan to run Albasheer, who is a progressive type but still short on experience."

The ground on the Rowley Mile was riding heavy for last weekend's meeting but has dried up to soft despite a further deluge on Monday night. The sun was shining on Tuesday afternoon, although the local forecast for Thursday is not encouraging. The stands' side strip which comes in use for the two-day Future Champions Weekend has not been raced on since June.

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He's not bred to stay seven furlongs but he settled very well in the Mill Reef which gives him a chance of getting it
E.W. Terms