Luca’s looking for a perfect pick-me-up at the Dubai Fillies’ Mile

Emotionless gallops at The Rowley Mile, Charlie Appleby's Dewhurst hope works under jockey William Buick.'Picture Mark Westley ANL-150930-145727009
Emotionless gallops at The Rowley Mile, Charlie Appleby's Dewhurst hope works under jockey William Buick.'Picture Mark Westley ANL-150930-145727009

Newmarket handler Luca Cumani will be hoping that Beautiful Morning will provide him with the ideal pick-me-up by winning the Dubai Fillies’ Mile tomorrow.

Cumani’s stable star is set to line-up for Europe’s joint most valuable Group 1 two-year-old race at the two-day Dubai Future Champions Festival.

Luca Cumani.

Luca Cumani.

It has been a tough few weeks for the Italian trainer who has had a parting of the ways with Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum, whose horses have been transferred to fellow Newmarket handler Roger Varian.

A disappointed Cumani said: “Obviously we’re all very shocked, I especially feel very sorry for the staff who’ve worked hard on these horses all year.

“We’ve been told not to run any more horses and when big-race targets were coming up it’s very sad for the staff, they work hard and look after the horses and care a lot about their horses.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank Sheikh Obaid for 20 years of support and many, many good horses.

“I’ve been privileged to train them for him and I hope he was satisfied with the races they won.

“Thank you very much.

“We turn the page and move on.”

Varian confirmed the owner’s horses will now be part of his Kremlin House string.

A statement on his website,, said: “Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum has asked Roger to train his string of horses, previously in training with Luca Cumani.”

The two-day festival is set to provide the mouthwatering highlight of the gold season at racing’s headquarters.

It is also regarded as one of Europe’s finest autumn racing festivals with more than £2 million in prize money on offer.

The festival combines world class two-year-old races with premier older age contests on Newmarket’s Rowley Mile Racecourse.

Tomorrow sees another three Group races, including the only other £500,000 juvenile Group One contest, the Dubai Dewhurst Stakes and the 177th renewal of the £250,000 Betfred Cesarewitch Handicap.

In the Dubai Dewhurst Stakes (Group 1), Charlie Appleby’s Emotionless puts his unbeaten record on the line while John Gosden will be seeking more Group One glory with Tashweeq.

Later on Saturday afternoon, Low Key, who is likely to go off as favourite, could be one of two David Pipe-trained runners in the Betfred Cesarewitch.

The eight-year-old was an impressive winner of the trial for the heritage handicap on the course earlier this month and may be joined in the line-up by stablemate Alternatif.

Newmarket’s Sir Mark Prescott has a handful of entries in the same race, with recent Killarney winner High Secret and William of Orange two of three possible runners.

On High Secret, The Heath House handler said: “It was pleasing to win at Killarney, he should have won and he did.”

Steve Rogers is another horse carrying local hopes in the two-mile-and-two-furlong slog for Roger Varian.

More racing: Pages 78-79