Dream Castle is all set to bid for glory in the Bahrain International Trophy on Friday, which you can watch live on Racing TV.
Saeed bin Suroor’s six-year-old is due to come up against Aidan O’Brien’s 2019 Irish Derby winner Sovereign, last year’s Queen Anne Stakes hero Lord Glitters and Charlie Appleby’s Loxley on Friday.
Loxley will be representing Godolphin, as will Dream Castle – a winner at the highest level in Dubai in 2019.
“Dream Castle is a nice horse who always tries his best,” said Bin Suroor. “The surface will suit him, so we’re looking for a good run from him.
Phil Smith, former top BHA handicapper, sets the scene for Friday's race and suggests a runner who he believes will run well
“So far he’s in good form. He won well the race before his last one, and he ran well last time out, so we’re looking forward to seeing him race again.
“He’s won a Group One in Meydan. He’s very good there – I think he enjoys being out there and he likes the track, (so) that’s why I think Bahrain might suit him.
“The horse is tough. He’s doing well, and this looks a good race for him over a mile and a quarter – he’s fine over anything from a mile to 10 furlongs.”
Andrew Balding’s Bangkok and John Gosden’s Global Giant are other notable runners, along with the Hollie Doyle-ridden Deirdre.
An historic Group One win in last year’s Nassau Stakes at Goodwood cemented Deirdre’s place in Japanese horseracing folklore.
Her win ended a 19-year wait for a second Japanese Group One in the UK, but the curtain now looks set to be drawn on a stellar career which has seen her surpass £4million in prize money.
Deirdre was last seen finishing eighth in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe on heavy ground at ParisLongchamp but her assistant trainer Yoshi Hashida believes that she was not seen to her best on that surface.
Hashida said: “Her condition going into the race was perfect, but the heavy ground went against her. The French horses coped with it better.”
He added: “Her two Group 1 wins came on right-handed tracks at Kyoto and Goodwood. The long straight at Sakhir will suit her. The track looks very fair and we like the firm ground that we will get. We are very excited to take part in the race.”
Deirdre will be ridden for the first time by Doyle, who herself has enjoyed a landmark season by winning her first Group One1, breaking her own record of winners ridden by a female jockey and riding in her first Breeders’ Cup race. She will break further new ground by riding in Bahrain for the first time.
Hashida is excited for Doyle and Deirdre to link up for the first time.
Watch last year's dramatic first renewal
He said: “We’ve seen that Hollie Doyle is one of the best jockeys in Britain this season. Deirdre is now six and she is a very clever horse, we need something fresh to energise her and that is why we feel that Hollie is an ideal jockey for her. We have found that when a female work rider rides her, that suits her better.”
Hashida confirmed that this will likely be her last start before retiring. Yoshi Hashida said: “Mitsuru has said that this will likely be Deirdre’s last race. We are emotional that this journey is almost over.”
Select any odd to add a bet