Marcel Boussac third Dabyah ‘working exceptionally well’
Dubai Duty Free Stakes (registered as the Fred Darling Stakes) | Group 3 | 7f | 3yo fillies | ITV/RUK
Dabyah, who races in the same colours as impressive Nell Gwyn winner Daban, will aim to give her owner and trainer John Gosden a foot in two fillies’ Classics when she goes on trial at Newbury.
By winning at Newmarket, Daban jumped the queue to represent Abdullah Saeed Al Naboodah in the Qipco 1,000 Guineas, leaving her stablemate to try out for a possible start in the French equivalent.
Already proven on the track where she was an emphatic winner in September, Dabyah then advanced her Classic potential when narrowly beaten in the Prix Marcel Boussac at Chantilly, finishing third, a length behind Wuheida, after attempting to make all.
Despite her Group 1 form Dabyah is not top-rated, with that honour claimed by Frankel filly Queen Kindly, last year’s Lowther Stakes winner who now steps up from six furlongs for the first time.
Six of the 11 declared are already engaged in the 1,000 Guineas: Dabyah, Pichola Dance, Promising, Queen Kindly, Rain Goddess and Urban Fox.
So last century
In the 1990s the Fred Darling was a magnet for star fillies, being won by Salsabil, Shadayid, Bosra Sham and Wince, who all went on to land the 1,000 Guineas, but this century not one winner has triumphed at Newmarket, although the Gosden-trained Lahan won the Classic in 2000 after running fourth at Newbury.
Newmarket stables have been shut out of the Fred Darling lately, with the prize having not gone back to Cambridgeshire since Rolly Polly scored in 2001.
What they say
Charlie Hills, trainer of Arwa
She’s been working really nicely this spring and looks great in her skin. She was well beaten on her final start of 2016 but we were probably running her over too far, so we’re back in trip. She’s got a lot to find on ratings, but she’s talented and is delighting me at home.
Bruce Raymond, racing manager to Abdullah Saeed Al Naboodah, owner of Dabyah
She’s working exceptionally well and showed her qualities at Chantilly last time. We’re very hopeful and she’s assured of getting the trip.
Aidan O'Brien, trainer of Rain Goddess
We were a bit disappointed with her at Leopardstown on her first start of the season but Seamus [Heffernan, jockey] came back and said she was green and would come forward for the run. She raced only once last year and we’re hoping she’ll show improvement.
David Simcock, trainer of Mystic Dawn
She did well as a two-year-old and is in great order. She’s showing loads of speed at home so the trip could be a concern in what looks a hot race.
Roger Varian, trainer of Pichola Dance
This looks a particularly strong renewal and she’s going to have step up, but I’m pleased with how she’s training. She ought to get a mile this year, but this is a good starting point and will point the way for the rest of the year.
Richard Hannon, trainer of Promising
She was beaten a neck in a Group 3 at Goodwood last August and is in good shape, working better on the grass than on the all-weather. She could go for the Guineas if things go well.
Bruce Raymond, racing manager to Jaber Abdullah, owner of Queen Kindly
She’s done exceptionally well. She was always a big filly but is much stronger and Richard [Fahey, trainer] says she’s working very well. It’s debatable whether she’ll get the distance. I think she may have gone off a bit by the time of the Cheveley Park – she sweated a bit that day, which is unlike her, and I felt it wasn’t her running. We feel she’s definitely trained on and it’s just a matter of whether she stays.
Brian Meehan, trainer of Think Fashion
The form from her last start is strong and she’s fully entitled to this step up in grade. She’s been working well this spring and I think she’ll justify her place.