UAE horses look to seize British Champions Day

The UAE will be well represented at Ascot on Saturday, with 16 horses sporting silks of UAE-based owners standing their ground during the five-day declaration stage.
Vita Nova, left, may not have to face Blue Bunting, right, but Meeznah and Ferdoos could be on hand to challenge her.
Vita Nova, left, may not have to face Blue Bunting, right, but Meeznah and Ferdoos could be on hand to challenge her.

There were 16 horses sporting UAE-based owners to stand their ground at the five-day declaration stage Monday for the inaugural British Champions Day at Ascot on Saturday.

Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa's Vita Nova flies the flag for Abu Dhabi in the Fillies' and Mares' Stakes in which she could be challenged by Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid's Ferdoos and Meeznah, owned by Saif Ali and Saeed Al Tayer.

All three fillies clashed in May at Haydock Park when Ferdoos prevailed by a neck from Vita Nova, while Meeznah was over four lengths back in third.

Vita Nova has progressed the most out of the trio, having finished an unlucky second due to a slipped saddle in the Group 2 Lancashire Oaks before finding Blue Bunting too good in the Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks in August.

The four year old is due to have her final workout today after overcoming a slight training setback 10 days ago.

Meeznah has also been entered by David Lanigan, her trainer, in to the Long Distance Cup. If she lines up in the two-mile Group 3 she could clash with Godolphin's Darley Sun, Cavalryman and Opinion Poll, as well as Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed's Colour Vision, Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid's Nehaam and Fitri Hay's Ascot Gold Cup winner, Fame And Glory.

In the Champion Stakes, Godolphin provide Poet's Voice, Casamento and Dubai Prince. Wigmore Hall, a recent Group 1 winner, Twice Over, the dual Dubai World Cup challenger and So You Think also make the cut.

Poet's Voice was another horse to receive multiple entries and could line up alongside stablemate Rio De La Plata in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes with the remit of trying to defeat Frankel.

Dafeef, owned by Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid, is the only representative from the region in the British Champions Sprint.

Follow The National Sport on @SprtNationalUAE & Geoffrey Riddle on @Louchepunter

Published: October 11, 2011 04:00 AM


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