Brian Meehan has Newmarket’s Group 1 races as his end of season target for his very useful juvenile Barraquero, who won the Group 2 Richmond Stakes at Goodwood earlier this month.
Barraquero is one of 78 entries received for this year’s newly termed Darley Dewhurst Stakes, renamed to align with other top-quality contests, such as the Darley July Cup, which are also associated with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s global stallion operation.
The Fillies’ Mile, the highlight on the card for day one of Dubai Future Champions Festival on Friday, 13th October, received 52 entries. Both races are worth £500,000, making them Europe’s joint richest Group 1 two-year-old events.
The Darley Dewhurst Stakes has been won by the following year’s QIPCO 2000 Guineas hero three times in the last seven years including Churchill last season. Aidan O’Brien’s powerful Ballydoyle stable is naturally well represented with 24 entries including proven Group performers such as Gustav Klimt, The Pentagon and US Navy Flag alongside promising types such as Amadeo Modiliani. He has also put in four fillies including Clemmie, Happily and September.
The ante-post favourite for the QIPCO 2000 Guineas, Expert Eye, has been entered by Sir Michael Stoute. Owned by Mr K Abdullah, he was a very impressive winner of the Group 2 Vintage Stakes at Goodwood.
Aidan O’Brien (pictured top) has won the last three renewals of the Fillies’ Mile with Rhododendron, Minding and Together Forever. This year it features 12 entries from Ballydoyle including September, favourite for the QIPCO 1000 Guineas after her win in the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot and group winners Clemmie – victorious in the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes at Newmarket’s Adnams July Course – and Happily.
Mark Johnston has entered Nyaleti – winner of the Group 3 Princess Margaret Juddmonte Stakes at Ascot – whilst Michael Bell has nominated Roulette who won the same Goodwood maiden as last year’s winner Rhododendron.
Brian Meehan, trainer of Barraquero, said: “We’re not running Barraquero in the Prix Morny now and we’ll make plans on a week by week basis, he’s in lots of good races. However all roads lead to Newmarket and I want him to end up in either the Darley Dewhurst Stakes or the Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes. They are definitely his end of season targets.”