Charlie Appleby, who grabbed his tenth Group 1 success of the year when Wild Illusion won in France on Sunday, is going for more Group 1 glory with Beyond Reason when the bet365 Fillies’ Mile kicks off the Dubai Future Champions Festival at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile Racecourse on Friday (12th October).
This £500,000 event, which is Europe’s joint richest Group 1 two-year-old race alongside Saturday’s Darley Dewhurst Stakes, has attracted a high class field of eight runners.
Beyond Reason looked like she would go right to the very top when she pulled three lengths clear of her rivals in the Group 2 Prix du Calvados at Deauville in August. However, she failed to follow up when stepped up to Group 1 company for the Moyglare Stud Stakes over seven furlongs at The Curragh four weeks ago, finishing sixth behind Skitter Scatter.
Her opponents on Friday will include Pretty Pollyanna, who, like Beyond Reason, has to put a below par effort on her latest outing behind her, in her case when finishing fourth, beaten just under two lengths, in the Group 1 Juddmonte Cheveley Park Stakes at this course less than two weeks ago.
Now stepping up two furlongs in distance and due to be ridden for the first time by Danny Tudhope, Pretty Pollyanna will be bidding for a second Group 1 triumph having already prevailed in the Prix Morny at Deauville.
Irish Champion Trainer Aidan O’Brien will be represented by both Hermosa and Zagitova as he bids for a sixth bet365 Fillies’ Mile success, equalling the record number of victories set by the late Sir Henry Cecil.
The Ballydoyle pair both finished in front of Beyond Reason in the Moyglare, in third and fourth places respectively, and Hermosa has franked that form by subsequently scoring in Group 3 company at Naas.
The other Pattern Race winner in the field is Ralph Beckett’s Antonia de Vega, successful in the Group 3 Prestige Stakes at Goodwood when last seen in August.
She is unbeaten in two career starts, as is Shambolic, representing the Arc-winning trainer-jockey combination of John Gosden and Frankie Dettori, who will arrive here on the back of victories at Newmarket’s July Course and at Ascot.
Other highlights of the first day of the Dubai Future Champions Festival include Henry Candy’s Limato going for a second consecutive victory in the Group 2 £120,000 Godolphin Stud And Stable Staff Awards Challenge Stakes; Karl Burke’s True Mason bidding to end a run of big race near-misses in the Group 3 £60,000 Newmarket Academy Godolphin Beacon Project Cornwallis Stakes; and the O’Brien-trained Frosty, a full-sister to the four-time Group 1 heroine, Winter, leading a field of eight for the Group 3 £60,000 Godolphin Lifetime Care Oh So Sharp Stakes.
Charlie Appleby, trainer of Beyond Reason, said:
“Beyond Reason will be back on a sound surface in the bet365 Fillies’ Mile and I think that the step up to a mile will suit her.”
“As a proven Group 2 winner she was a little disappointing in Ireland last time but William [Buick, her jockey] said that the ground was riding dead and felt she wasn’t very comfortable on it.”
“She has freshened up well since then and we are hopeful that she will be very competitive on Friday.”
“The Dubai Future Champions Festival is a very important event, it’s where you see the stars of the future and get a tremendous insight into where we are going to be next year, so it’s great to be part of it.”
Pat Cooney, bet365 spokesman, said:
“We’re delighted to have so many high class fillies in the line-up and would love the winner to go on to be as successful as last year’s winner, Laurens.”
bet365 Fillies’ Mile – sponsors bet:
100-30 Antonia de Vega
9-2 Pretty Pollyanna
12-1 Beyond Reason
Non Runner No Bet, Each-Way 1/5 Odds A Place 1-2-3