Smart Call to fly flag for South Africa in Kingdom of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes
2 Aug 2016
36 fillies and mares stand their ground for the Group 1 Kingdom of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes
Champion South African mare Smart Call leads a huge international contingent among a total of 36 fillies and mares for the Group 1 Kingdom of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes run at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile Racecourse on Saturday, 1st October.
Unraced since thrashing many of the best South African horses (of either sex) by three and a half lengths in the Grade 1 J & B Met at Kenilworth in Cape Town back in January, Smart Call is one of 21 foreign-trained entries for this £250,000 one mile contest, which will be the sixth of seven races in the Mile category of the QIPCO British Champions Series.
This initial entry includes a remarkable ten individual Group or Grade 1 winners of no less than 23 top level races.
The QIPCO 1000 Guineas and Epsom Oaks winner, Minding, heads a sextet of potential Irish challengers while the French, who have run this race five times in the last seven years, are responsible for no less than 14 candidates including last year’s winner, Esoterique, and the 2015 Classic heroine, Ervedya.
The Hugo Palmer-trained German 1000 Guineas winner, Hawksmoor, and John Gosden’s unbeaten Royal Ascot winner, Persuasive, are the pick of the home team.
Alec Laird, trainer of Smart Call, said:“Smart Call has been in Newmarket for around a month now and is doing quite well – I will find out more when I’m am over there again in a week or so’s time when she will be doing a couple of gallops.”
It will be a big adventure for us but she has nothing more to prove in South Africa and if we didn’t try we would never find out just how good she is. She is definitely the best filly that I have trained and after she won the Met I began to think that she might even be better than London News, who I sent over to finish third in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot in 1997.
“It’s quite exciting as she will be my first true runner in Europe – London News was officially trained by Barry Hills. I couldn’t ask to travel with a nicer horse as she has a very good nature and seems to have taken all the various flights in her stride.”
It’s extremely exciting just to be on the world stage and it’s a real thrill for her to be in Newmarket – the home of horse racing.”
“She spent three months in Mauritius to fulfil quarantine regulations so she was only at 50 per cent of her full fitness when she got to Newmarket. The Kingdom Of Bahrain Sun Chariot will be her first run in nine months so it will be really tough as the top European horses are scary good.”
“We are using it as part of her preparation for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf [on 5th November]. It’s a bit daunting the length of time that she’s been off but, barring any hiccups, we should have just enough time to get her ready.”