By Nicholas Godfrey
Bahrain: Five G1 winners headed by Japanese star Deirdre, the mount of Hollie Doyle, and last year’s Irish Derby winner Sovereign feature among a strong-looking field of 14 finalised for the second running of the Bahrain International Trophy on Friday, November 20.
Also set to run in the £500,000 event at Sakhir racecourse are last year’s Queen Anne Stakes winner Lord Glitters, dual Canadian International hero Desert Encounter and Dream Castle, a G1 winner in Dubai for Godolphin.
On the other hand, four-time G1 winner Barney Roy has had a minor setback and will not be travelling to Bahrain but the Dubai team will still be doubly represented with Mark Johnston-trained Royal Hunt Cup winner Dark Vision joining Dream Castle.
Sovereign has been supplemented to the race at a cost of £10,000 by the Coolmore team. “He is a strong mile-and-a-quarter horse,” said Aidan O’Brien. “He is a very strong galloper who likes to go forward in his races and we think the Bahrain International Trophy will suit him.”
John Gosden saddled Turgenev to finish second to France’s Royal Julius in the inaugural event 12 months ago. He runs Global Giant, who carries the colours of Shaikh Isa bin Salman Alkhalifa and will be ridden by Frankie Dettori.
The two spots in the field are guaranteed for locally trained horses will be taken by Saudi winner Port Lions and What A Welcome.
Shaikh Salman bin Rashed Al-Khalifa, executive director of Rashid Equestrian & Horseracing Club, said: “We are absolutely delighted with the class of horses that we have attracted to this year’s Bahrain International Trophy.
“To have five individual Group 1 winners in the field compared to only one last year shows the leap in quality. We are very grateful to the trainers and owners for placing their trust in Bahrain and we very much look forward to welcoming them to Bahrain.”
Bahrain International field: Bangkok (Andrew Balding), Certain Lad (Mick Channon), Dark Vision (Mark Johnston), Deirdre (Mitsuru Hashida), Desert Encounter (David Simcock), Dream Castle (Saeed Bin Suroor), Global Giant (John Gosden), Lady Wannabe (Fozzy Stack), Lord Glitters (David O’Meara), Pogo (Charlie Hills), Port Lions (Fawzi Nass), Quest The Moon (Sarah Steinberg), Sovereign (Aidan O’Brien), What A Welcome (Hasham Al Heddad).
• More about racing in Bahrain at the Bahrain Horse Racing Authority website