Dubai Honour to be supplemented for Champion Stakes but Skalleti misses out
Connections of the progressive Dubai Honour are set to pay £75,000 to add the recent Prix Dollar winner to the field for the Group 1 Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot next Saturday.
However, last year's runner-up Skalleti will not be among the opposition to the William Haggas-trained three-year-old, with trainer Jerome Reynier concluding there is insufficient rain in the forecast for him to take his chance.
Dubai Honour has been one of the quiet revelations of the season, doing his winning away from home since landing a competitive handicap at Newmarket in June.
He posted his most impressive performance to date when landing the Group 2 Dollar at Longchamp last Saturday, coming from last to first in the hands of James Doyle.
Prior to that, the son of Pride Of Dubai had also enjoyed a productive trip to France in August when bagging the Group 2 Prix Guillaume d'Ornano at Deauville.
Dubai Honour has been given an opening quote of 12-1 by Paddy Power for the Ascot showpiece in which Haggas already has last year's winner Addeybb in the line-up.
The Champion Stakes could well host a stellar cast, as among the other previous Group 1 winners in the mix include Juddmonte International victor Mishriff as well as Nassau Stakes heroine Lady Bowthorpe.
Philip Robinson, racing manager to Mohammed Obaida, owner of Dubai Honour said: "William Haggas suggested the Champion Stakes to the owner as an option for Dubai Honour and he was happy to go for it. The horse is in top form at the moment and we know he handles easy ground so there's plenty to like."
Skalleti found only Addeybb too strong on punishingly deep ground 12 months ago and has since graduated to Group 1 success with victories in the Prix d'Ispahan and the Grosser Dallmayr-Preis.
Reynier told the Racing Post: "We have built Skalleti's entire year around one race and unfortunately he won't be running as he won't have track conditions to his liking.
"In the next six or seven days the forecast is for at least 15 degrees and not much in the way of rain. I don't want to travel all that way to run on good ground against the likes of Mishriff or Love, and the conditions won't enable us to try for revenge against Addeybb."
The six-year-old, who has been a best-priced 8-1 for the Champion Stakes, will now be aimed at one of two races on November 7, with the ground dictating the choice between Germany and Italy.
Reynier said: "I'd rather go for the Group 2 Premio Roma over 2,000 metres [mile and a quarter] that he won two years ago, but if he doesn't get his ground in Italy then there is also the Group 1 Grosser Preis von Bayern, which is over 2,400 metres [a mile and a quarter].
"He's easy to train and keeps himself in good form so we'll try to pick up another Group race with him before the end of the year."
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