Sun Chariot: Gosden and Dettori Newmarket challenge looking Persuasive

Fri 6 Oct 2017

By staff

Another week, another Group One race dominated by a John Gosden and Frankie Dettori filly.

Persuasive gets one final chance to claim an elusive first victory at the top level in the Kingdom of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday.

The Cheveley Park Stud-owned four-year-old was runner-up to Alice Springs on her first outing in Group One company in last season's Matron Stakes at Leopardstown, but did not make another competitive appearance for over 10 months.

A positive showing on her long-awaited return in the Prix Rothschild at Deauville teed her up for a second Matron bid, but she had to make do with minor honours once more, this time finishing third.

With a career in the paddocks awaiting, connections are hoping Persuasive can increase her already significant broodmare value by striking gold over the Rowley Mile just six days after Dettori and Gosden struck in the Arc for the second time in two seasons.

A decision about whether this is Persuasive's final hurrah has yet to be made, but it is considered likely.

"Mr and Mrs Thompson (Cheveley Park owners) will make the final decision on whether this will be her final run, but I suspect it will be and it would be great if she can go out in a blaze of glory," Cheveley Park managing director Chris Richardson said.

"It's been a little bit frustrating with her, but she goes there in great form and we'll roll the dice."

Royal Ascot 2016 - Day Two - Ascot Racecourse Persuasive will be ridden by Frankie Dettori for the seventh time on Saturday (PA)

The Cheveley Park silks will also be carried by Spangled, one of three runners for Roger Varian along with Dawn Of Hope and Tomyris.

Spangled rounded off last season with a Group Three success at Doncaster, but has run just once this year, finishing down the field at York in August.

"She had an abscess in her foot earlier in the year, which unfortunately caused her to miss the first half of the season," Richardson added.

"I'm not sure how she'll get on over the mile, but, again, we're running out of time, so we'll give it a go for her last run and she'll head to the paddocks afterwards."

Aljazzi is a major contender for Newmarket-based Italian trainer Marco Botti.

Narrowly beaten by the reopposing Qemah, when a 40-1 shot for the Duke of Cambridge Stakes at Royal Ascot, the daughter of Shamardal proved that effort was no fluke with a decisive success in the Atalanta Stakes at Sandown.

Botti said: "The Sun Chariot has been the target for Aljazzi for some time and I am very pleased with her.

"She was very impressive at Sandown, that form is working out quite well and the way she won suggested she is on the up and entitled to step up to Group One company.

"The Duke of Cambridge was not officially a Group One but it had the quality of a Group One and I would be hopeful that Aljazzi can reverse those placings with Qemah.

"The going shouldn't be a problem as she has won on fast and soft and seems to handle anything."

The Jean-Claude Rouget-trained Qemah was a close-up fourth in the Prix Rothschild following her Royal Ascot triumph and was last seen finishing fifth in the Matron.

Harry Herbert, racing manager for owners Al Shaqab Racing, said: "It looks a tremendous race. It must be one of the most competitive Sun Chariots there has been for a few years.

"We know our filly is pretty good on her day and Jean-Claude is very happy with her.

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"She's a Group One winner, so these are the races she needs to be running in.

"She just seems to be one of those fillies that needs things to go her way on the day.

"We know she has the ability to be extremely competitive if the cards fall right."

Qemah is joined on the trip from France by Andre Fabre's Usherette and Siyoushake from Freddy Head's yard.

Head said of the latter: "She was fourth in the race last year and I think she is even better this year.

"She's run well in two Group One races in Deauville in the summer."

Aidan O'Brien saddles Falmouth Stakes and Prix Rothschild heroine Roly Poly, as well as outsider Alluringly.

Gosden's second string Nathra, the William Haggas-trained Muffri'Ha and Saeed bin Suroor's Arabian Hope complete the 13-strong field.

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