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Siyoushake in top trim for Sun Chariot Stakes

5 Oct 2017

Three French-trained fillies among bumper field for Kingdom Of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday

Roly Poly, pictured winning the Falmouth Stakes, is one of two Aidan O’Brien-trained runners in the Kingdom Of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes. Picture:

Siyoushake will form part of a three-pronged French raid on what is shaping up to be a red hot renewal of the £250,000 Kingdom Of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile Racecourse on Saturday.

The mile contest for fillies is the penultimate leg in the Mile Division of the QIPCO British Champions Series and has attracted its biggest field (13 runners) since it was elevated to Group 1 status in 2004.

It is a case of “Newmarket taking on the invading hordes” as eight members of the line-up are trained within a stone’s throw of the Rowley Mile, while the remaining five all hail from overseas – two from the yard of Irish champion trainer, Aidan O’Brien, and the rest from France, a nation which has a superb recent record in this race with five victories in the past eight years.

The French raiding party is a strong one. Jean Claude-Rouget’s Qemah is a dual Group 1 winner while Usherette, trained by 27-time French Champion Andre Fabre, has a pair of Group 2 successes under her belt.

It is completed by Siyoushake, a five-year-old mare in the form of her life at present having followed a third place in the Group 1 Prix Rothschild (a short head and a short neck behind the winner, Roly Poly) with a runner-up finish in the Group 1 Prix Jean Romanet.

Freddy Head, trainer of Siyoushake, said: “Siyoushake is still in great condition and I have been very happy with her work. We tried her over a mile and a quarter last time but I think that a mile is her best trip.”

“I think that she has improved since her fourth in this race last year. It’s been a very good season for her and she’s been placed in a couple of Group 1s.”

“I haven’t really talked with her owners about her staying in training in 2018 but there is a chance that this could be her last race. She’s a lovely filly who never puts a foot wrong and although she was a bit difficult to get in the stalls when she first joined me, that’s all finished now – she goes in like a lamb.”

“I haven’t trained a winner at the Rowley Mile yet [though Head has landed both the Falmouth Stakes and the Darley July Cup at the Adnams July Course] but I have fond memories of the course from when I was a jockey. I’m sure that first winner will come – maybe on Saturday!”

The home team is led by Persuasive, representing the Arc-winning combination of trainer John Gosden and jockey Frankie Dettori. Persuasive has been placed in each of the last two runnings of the Group 1 Matron Stakes at Leopardstown and will be coming here a fresh horse having raced just twice in the past 12 months.

Gosden also saddles last year’s Lanwades Stud Nell Gwyn Stakes heroine, Nathra, while Roger Varian is three-handed with Dawn Of Hope, Spangled and Tomyris.

Roly Poly stands out from the O’Brien pair. Although over three lengths behind Persuasive on her latest start, she would have outstanding claims on her midsummer form, including victory in the Group 1 Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket’s Moët and Chandon July Festival, and will be reunited with jockey Ryan Moore on Saturday.