Trainer John Gosden and jockey Frankie Dettori - the partnership of the moment following Golden Horn’s brilliant Arc win in Paris on Sunday – are out to grab more Group 1 glory when they team up with Nathra in a top quality 10-runner renewal of the Dubai Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile Racecourse tomorrow (Friday).
At £500,000, Europe’s joint richest Group 1 juvenile event alongside Saturday’s Dubai Dewhurst Stakes, the Dubai Fillies’ Mile is the first day highlight of the inaugural two-day Dubai Future Champions Festival.
A daughter of Iffraaj, Nathra has won both her starts to date, first beating Light Music by a length and three-quarters in a Salisbury maiden, then, ridden by Dettori, putting seven lengths between herself and her nearest pursuer in a conditions race at Newbury on 18th September.
Her nine opponents include two from the yard of Irish Champion Trainer Aidan O’Brien – the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes heroine, Minding, and the last time out Group 3 scorer, Coolmore.
Also in the field are the first and third from last month’s Group 2 Shadwell Rockfel Stakes, Promising Run and Hawksmoor, and the second and third from the Group 2 May Hill Stakes, Marenko and Opal Tiara.
The Group 1 Dubai Fillies’ Mile is the last of four consecutive Pattern Races at the Rowley Mile on Friday and is the highlight of what should be a superb afternoon’s sport with all seven races having attracted double-figure fields.
The action commences at 1.35pm with the Group 3 Dubai Cornwallis Stakes and runs through until 4.45pm when the Listed Dubai Pride Stakes comes under orders.
Gosden said; “Nathra has done very well since her last race, we are very pleased with her although we are aware that this represents a huge leap in class.
“The form of her maiden has worked out nicely (runner-up First Step won by 14 lengths at Leicester on Tuesday).”
“Frankie felt that she was ready for a race like this and his judgement is usually fairly good.
“He didn’t really want to run her in the Prix Marcel Boussac because he felt that the turning track might not suit her – you have to be a bit streetwise at Longchamp.
“The ground is currently on the easy side of Good which should be alright for everyone and it will probably be nearly Good by Friday.
“As for how the Rowley Mile’s undulations will suit her – you never know until you run down them.”
With over £2 million in prize money on offer, the Dubai Future Champions Festival combines world class two-year-old races with premier older age contests at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile Racecourse.
Friday will feature four Group races with top billing going to the £500,000 Dubai Fillies’ Mile, Europe’s joint most valuable Group 1 two-year-old race.
It will also be the Autumn Ladies Day featuring the Best Dressed Ladies Competition sponsored by the official Fashion Partner, the Spa at Bedford Lodge Hotel.
Saturday will bring another three Group races, including the only other £500,000 juvenile Group 1 contest, the Dubai Dewhurst Stakes, not to mention the 177th renewal of the £250,000 Betfred Cesarewitch Handicap.
The second running of the Vision Varsity Race will take place ahead of the high quality card on the Saturday.
Oxford and Cambridge Universities will continue their historic sporting rivalry as student jockeys from Britain’s top two academic institutions battle it out to see who can claim this year’s crown – will it again be the light blue of Cambridge or will the dark blues of Oxford take the Bearstead Perpetual Challenge Trophy for the first time?