Blue Bunting leads UAE stampede
Godolphin's Blue Bunting spearheads a large entry of UAE-owned horses for the St Leger at Doncaster on September 10.
The Godolphin filly heads a bumper list of six representing the region as 17 horses stood their ground at the latest declaration stage for the world's oldest Classic.
Blue Bunting, trained by Mahmood Al Zarooni, could be joined in the race by stablemate Genius Beast. The Dubai Royal family could also be represented by Dordogne and Namibian, trained by Mark Johnston and owned by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, while Princess Haya of Jordan has left in Buthelezi, trained by John Gosden, who also has Thimaar in the race, which is owned by Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid.
Other notable runners are Sea Moon, owned by Prince Khalid Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, Seville, from the Aidan O'Brien stable, Masked Marvel, owned by Bjorn Nielsen of ABBA, and Brown Panther, owned by Michael Owen.
Blue Bunting has picked up three Group 1 races this season, including the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket in May and the Irish Oaks at the Curragh in July. She also won the Yorkshire Oaks earlier this month, defeating Vita Nova, owned by Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa.
Blue Bunting will have to improve if she is to beat Sea Moon despite the 1.5kgs she will enjoy in weight allowance. Sea Moon put in a deeply impressive performance winning a Group 2 contest by eight lengths at York the day before Blue Bunting's victory.
Godolphin have won the St Leger five times, all through horses trained by Saeed bin Suroor, who will not have a runner.
Yesterday was also the scratching stage to the Park Stakes, a Group 2 contest run on the same card in which Godolphin's Delegator stood his ground. The five year old, who has had a luckless campaign this season by continually encountering soft conditions that are not in his favour, will be joined by Balthazaar's Gift, owned by Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa.
Published: August 25, 2011 04:00 AM