A star-studded entry of 31 fillies and mares has been received for the Group 1 Kingdom of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile Racecourse on Saturday, 5th October.
No less than four Classic winners and eight different individual Group 1 winners are engaged in this £250,000 contest, which is run over a straight mile and is the penultimate leg in the Fillies & Mares category of the 2019 QIPCO British Champions Series.
The defending champion, Laurens; the recent Group 1 Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes heroine,Veracious; and last year’s Group 1 QIPCO 1,000 Guineas winner, Billesdon Brook, head the home team.
But this race has long been a magnet for the best fillies from overseas, with five French victories in its last 11 runnings and three more of the winners during the same period travelling from Ireland, so it is no surprise that 18 of the 31 entries hail from outside Britain.
Obligate, the winner of the Group 2 Prix de Sandringham who lost her unbeaten record when finishing third to Laurens in last month’s Prix Rothschild, is part of an eight-strong French contingent alongside Watch Me, successful in the Group 1 Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot, and the Group 1 Poule d’Essai des Pouliches winner, Castle Lady.
Triumphant in both this year’s Group 1 QIPCO 1,000 Guineas and its Irish equivalent, Hermosa is one of 11 potential Irish runners alongside two more dual Group 1 scorers, Magical and Iridessa.
Pascal Bary, trainer of Obligate, said: “I have never previously had a runner in the Kingdom Of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes but it is under strong consideration as a possible target for Obligate.
“The other likely race for her is the Prix du Moulin [at ParisLongchamp on 8th September] but I need to talk through her programme with Teddy Grimthorpe [racing manager to Obligate’s owner-breeder, Prince Khalid Abdullah].
“Obligate ran very well in the Prix Rothschild, which was her first try on a straight course, only losing out to two crack four-year-olds. Travelling to Newmarket is very easy and I would also not be worried about her handling the Rowley Mile’s undulations.”