Flat Stars In Action This Saturday
The flat turf season is back in full swing this weekend with competitive cards taking place at Doncaster and the Curragh. There are also plenty of intriguing runners to look out for at Kempton and in Meydan, with the Dubai World Cup Meeting. Our editor has highlighted the runners to follow this Saturday on their return to action.
Chindit (3:00 Doncaster)
Unbeaten as a juvenile in two starts on Town Moor, CHINDIT will be expected to make a big impact in races over a mile this season for trainer Richard Hannon.
The son of Wootton Bassett returned for his three-year-old campaign with a narrow victory in the Group 3 Greenham Stakes before going on to run respectably when filling the same spot with fifth-place finishes in the 2000 Guineas and the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Although unable to add to that Greenham victory last season, Richard Hannon’s colt holds leading claims now returning as a four-year-old in Listed company and won’t find many better opportunities to regain the winning habit.
Lord North & Saffron Beach (3:20 Meydan – Dubai Turf Sponsored By DP World)
A return to Dubai was always going to be the plan for LORD NORTH, who took last season’s contest with a sweeping move from off the pace under jockey Frankie Dettori to run out a comfortable 3l winner at the line.
The dual Group 1 winner returned this season in Lingfield’s Winter Derby in February and lost little in defeat when chasing home William Haggas’ Alenquer over 1m2f. That latest runner-up effort should ensure the six-year-old is spot on to defend his crown on Saturday and will be fancied by many to retain his title.
The Newmarket Rowley Mile proved to be a particularly happy hunting ground for connections of SAFFRON BEACH last season, as the 1000 guineas runner-up returned to the venue with an impressive first victory at Group 1 level in the Sun Chariot Stakes last October.
That remarkable 3l victory was the first at the top level for trainer Jane Chapple-Hyam and whilst this is a big ask for Saffron Beach on seasonal return as a four-year-old, there should be plenty of improvement forthcoming and is entitled to take her place with only 5lb to find on official ratings.
Get Ahead (3:20 Kempton)
After an impressive debut win at Ascot on debut last year, GET AHEAD was pitched into deep company on just her second racecourse appearance when lining up in the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot.
The filly was sent off 16/1 for the Group 2 contest and ran with enormous credit to finish sixth when beaten just over five lengths at the line. Connections reported afterwards that the two-year-old had finished lame during the race and if Clive Cox’s filly retains her ability now returning for her three-year-old campaign, she could make up into a very smart performer and should be able to record a second career success.
Mujtaba (3:35 Doncaster)
William Haggas will look to extend his tremendous record in the Lincoln this weekend with MUJTABA who is yet to taste defeat for connections after some taking performances last season.
Back to back wins in novice events at Chepstow and Chester was followed by an effortless victory on handicap debut at Redcar from a mark of 90 and with Shadwell’s son of Dubawi drawing comparisons in recent stable tours to William Haggas’ former Lincoln winner Addeybb, it’s no wonder that the unbeaten four-year-old heads the betting for Doncaster’s weekend feature.
Mother Earth (3:41 Curragh)
Last year’s 1000 Guineas winner MOTHER EARTH will be expected to return with a win at the Curragh this weekend and although Aidan O’Brien’s talented filly has only won once since that Newmarket success, the daughter of Zoffany performed with great credit in some of the top-level races lasts season, including finishing third the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot and when second in the Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket.
Returning to Group 3 company for the first time since August 2020, the four-year-old filly should be difficult to beat if running to her current mark of 114 on seasonal return.