G3 John of Gaunt Stakes at Haydock Park, UK
Dutch Connection and D’bai both return to seven furlongs for the G3 John of Gaunt Stakes at Haydock Park, UK, on Saturday, 9 June.
Six-year-old Dutch Connection (Charlie Hills/James Doyle) drops back down in distance following an excellent run over a mile on his seasonal return in the G1 Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on 19 May, when he ran on in the closing stages to finish fourth of the 14 runners.
All five of his victories have been over seven furlongs, headed by an impressive display in the G2 Lennox Stakes at Goodwood in July, 2016.
D’Bai (Charlie Appleby/William Buick) moves up in trip after staying on to take second, beaten three-quarters of a length by dual G1-winning sprinter The Tin Man, in a Windsor Listed race over six furlongs on 21 May.
The four-year-old son of Dubawi readily won a seven-furlong turf handicap at Meydan, UAE, on his first start of 2018 in January and finished fourth to Jungle Cat over the same course and distance in the G2 Al Fahidi Fort the following month.
Charlie Hills commented: “Dutch Connection ran a blinder on his first start of the year in the Lockinge Stakes and we have been thinking about going for this race ever since.
“He has been fine since that run and should have a decent chance, providing the ground stays on the fast side.
“He travelled really well at Newbury, but there has always been a question mark over whether he truly stays the mile, so dropping him back to seven furlongs makes sense.”
Charlie Appleby said: “D’bai is stepping back up to seven furlongs following a very pleasing start to his European campaign at Windsor.
“He broke the track record over this distance at Meydan on his first appearance of the year and things didn’t quite pan out for him in the Al Fahidi Fort.
“Conditions at Haydock should suit him and he should be very competitive.”
Dutch Connection is drawn in eight, while D’bai will emerge from stall three. A field of eight for the John of Gaunt Stakes also includes Tabarrak, who took a Listed race over the same course and distance in May, and Leicester Listed winner Emmaus.
G3 Ballyogan Stakes at the Curragh, Ireland
Three-year-old filly Dawn Delivers reverts to six furlongs for the G3 Ballyogan Stakes at the Curragh, Ireland, on the evening of Friday, 8 June.
The Jim Bolger-trained daughter of Dawn Approach beat subsequent G2 scorer Magical in a maiden over the same course and distance in July before going on to finish third in the seven-furlong G3 Silver Flash Stakes at Leopardstown later the same month.
She has made two appearances so far this year, most recently when fading to ninth in the G3 1,000 Guineas Trial over a mile at Leopardstown on 13 May.
Kevin Manning again takes the ride on Dawn Delivers, who is drawn in stall two and opposes six fillies headed by Ascot Listed scorer One Master and recent Gowran Park handicap winner Sorelle Delle Rose.
Jimmy Hyland of Godolphin said: “Dawn Delivers won over the course and distance on good to firm ground last year and conditions should be in her favour again.
“She disappointed last time out, but we felt that she didn’t see out the mile. She is back over her preferred trip and we hope that she can gain some more black type.”
A polished winner of the Qipco Prix du Jockey Club (Gr1) at Chantilly on Sunday, the three-year-old colt Study Of Man (Deep Impact) could challenge for the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in the autumn. Although he has yet to tackle 2.400 metres, his connections believe this is within his compass as he matures. On this same topic, the colt’s trainer, the Chantilly-based Pascal Bary, has said that Study Of Man will certainly be aimed at either a big British or Irish race over ten furlongs, either the Juddmonte International Stakes (August) or the Irish Champion Stakes (September). This is so as to enhance the colt’s credentials as a future stallion – the Arc de Triomphe being the proverbial icing on top of the cake….
Another impressive winner on the card was the four-year-old Waldgeist (Galileo), who advanced his ‘Arc’ claims by cruising his way to victory in the Grand Prix de Chantilly (Gr2). The Andre Fabre-trained runner is owned by the German stud, Gestut Ammerland, and he posted a career best performance. He was a class act at two when he won the Criterium de Saint-Cloud (Gr1). The road to the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe continues at Chantilly on Sunday June 17, when the Prix de Diane Longines (Gr1) for three-year-old fillies takes pride of place. It is the fillies’ equivalent of the Qipco Prix du Jockey Club.
The Prix de Royaumont (Group 3) winning filly Pollara (Camelot) is also entered in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. Very much on an upward curve, this progressive type could yet establish herself as a bona fide ‘Arc’ candidate.