Bahrain International Trophy: Mostahdaf plus six G1 winners on cosmopolitan entry list

Horse Racing Simsir
Lee Newman celebrates after Simsir’s victory in the second running of the Bahrain International Trophy. Photo: Rashid Equestrian & Horseracing Club

Bahrain: Darley Stakes winner Mostahdaf features amongst a list of 78 entries for the third running of the Bahrain International Trophy at Sakhir racecourse on Friday, November 19.

Ten different nations are represented among possibles for the £500,000 contest, due to be run as a G3 for the first time in 2021. Britain leads the way with 26 entries, followed by Ireland (10), France (10), UAE (10), Bahrain (8), Saudi Arabia (8), Norway (3), Sweden (1), Qatar (1) and Germany (1).

Trained by John & Thady Gosden, Mostahdaf guaranteed his place in Bahrain’s headline race by winning a guaranteed place via his victory under Jim Crowley in the G3 Darley Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday, when he took his career record to five out of six,

“Mostahdaf hasn’t done a lot wrong,” said John Gosden. “He got boxed in during the St James’s Palace Stakes and that was the end of it. We’ve always thought of him as a 1m2f horse. 

“His half-sister [Nazeef] won two Group 1 races at a mile,” added the trainer. “She was by Invincible Spirit, and he is by Frankel, so we are pretty confident a mile and a quarter is his best trip. He is a classy horse.”

And what about Bahrain? “We will talk about it with everybody, and we will see how we want to play it,” said Gosden.

Six G1 winners hold the Bahrain entry, namely Desert Encounter, Lord Glitters and Thundering Nights, the Godolphin pair Barney Roy and Royal Marine plus Nao Da Mais, who secured four top-level victories in South America.

Godolphin have ten entries altogether, with Barney Roy and Royal Marine joined by Real World, Dubai Future, Soft Whisper, Zakouski, Bedouin’s Story, Algiers and Dubai World Cup third Magny Cours.

Other notable entries include Dubai Honour, supplemented for Saturday’s Qipco Champion Stakes after a pair of G2 wins in France, and the Aidan O’Brien pair The Mediterranean and Amhran Na Bhfiann. Another possible is Scandinavian star Square De Luynes, who has won seven out of nine in Sweden and Norway.

Shaikh Salman bin Rashed al Khalifa, executive director of the Rashid Equestrian & Horse Racing Club, said: “We are incredibly proud of the progress in quality from year-to-year in the Bahrain International Trophy. 

“To have gone from 46 entries in 2019, to 61 in 2020 and now 78 in 2021 proves the confidence that connections have in racing in Bahrain. More importantly, the calibre of horses entered from ten different countries is also very high. To have some high class and progressive horses who have won multiple Group races in 2021, entered is very exciting.”

He went on: “The feedback we have received from trainers, owners and jockeys about racing in Bahrain means a huge amount and that is reflected by the entries we have received from some of the best trainers in the world. We are thrilled that the race has been elevated to Group 3 status and we firmly believe that the race is now a key date in the international racing calendar.”

Eight locally trained horses have been entered, with at least three guaranteed a space in the race. Simsir won the 2021 renewal for Fawzi Nass.

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