European challengers hoping to finish the Bahrain Turf Series in style

European challengers hoping to finish the Bahrain Turf Series in style
The final two £60,000 Bahrain Turf Series races of the season take place on Friday with a total of 12 European horses lining up across the two races.

There have been three international successes (Lucander, Nomadic Empire and King Of Conquest) in the eight races so far and hopes are high in the George Baker camp that Get It can bookend a successful Turf Series for Baker with victory in Al Sakhir Cup, run over 6f (1,200m).

Get It, who is one of four European challengers in the final sprint of the series, has raced almost exclusively over 5f in his career but Baker is hoping that he can see out the trip and finally get his head in front in Bahrain.

Baker said: “Get It has been a star for us. He was unlucky on his first run in Bahrain and I think he bumped into one in Mobaadel on his most recent start. It was a fantastic run and Andrea was very keen to get back on him on Friday. His work rider, Terry, said he is in great order. We couldn’t be happier with how we have him.”

George Baker, who has had three horses based in Bahrain this season, has already scooped £74,577 in prize money. He added: “They’re pushing £100,000 these horses and we’d struggle to get that at Wolverhampton, Southwell, Lingfield and places like that at this time of year. It’s been a great success. We will be back next year, we’re committed to Bahrain. Our owners have committed to it. We’ve had three horses here this year, if we came back with six or seven next year that would be absolutely wonderful.”

Meanwhile, Hugo Palmer is hopeful of a big run from Box To Box in The Vision 2030 Cup run over 1m 2f (2000m). The son of Kodiac ran a promising race on his Bahraini debut at the start of December but disappointed on his subsequent start. His trainer believes that the break has done him good.

Palmer said: “Despite a wide draw, we're happy with Box To Box. He does seem to be a horse who goes best fresh. He ran well on his first start out here and then perhaps bounced a bit at the end of December. We've deliberately given him a good break and we're hoping he can step forward off a lower mark.”

Box To Box is one of eight European runners in the race. Other notable contenders include What’s The Story (Keith Dalgleish), Marie’s Diamond (Roger Fell) and Inigo Jones (Jamie Osborne).

Al Sakhir Cup (6f/1200m) - 15:15 (Bahrain) & 12:15pm (UK)

1. Fighter Pilot (Hesham Al Haddad) - Ex-Kevin Ryan. A very capable sprinter who has run well twice over this trip in two previous Turf Series races. He has been dropped 1lb by the handicapper and he is likely to be there or thereabouts once again.
2. Ocean Star (Mohammed Hasan) - Ex-Archie Watson. Prolific sprinter who is now rated 28lbs higher than his lowest mark in Bahrain.He finished just ahead of Fighter Pilot and the pair are likely to be closely matched.
3. Get It (George Baker) - Through a combination of the draw and breaking badly from the stalls, Get It was an unlucky 5th on his Bahraini debut. His subsequent second behind an impressive winner confirmed that promise but he was raised 2lbs and this extra furlong isn’t sure to suit this speedy type.
4. Rebel At Dawn (Allan Smith) - Ex-Karl Burke. A smart sprinter in Bahrain who rarely runs a bad race. He has been passed over by the owner’s first jockey, however.
5. Wowzers (Hesham Al Haddad) - Ex-Clive Cox. He was raised 8lbs for winning over this trip two starts ago when ridden by 7lb claimer. He looked well held subsequently and remains exposed in a competitive field.
6. Dairerin (Jaber Ramadhan) - Ex-Jessica Harrington. He won well on his Bahraini debut before running a fantastic race in the most recent Bahrain Turf Series sprint. He has been raised a total of 10lbs for those two but he is only four and further progression can not be ruled out.
7. Pure Dreamer (Allan Smith) - Ex-Richard Hannon. The choice of Gerald Mosse after two promising efforts, the most recent of which was a third place finish behind Deep Intrigue and Dairerin. He is better off at the weights now and he rates as a big player.
8. Kinks (Hesham Al Haddad) - Ex-Mick Channon. Finished fourth behind Wowzers before struggling to lay a blow in the Turf Series. He is capable on his day and the 2lb drop in the weights will help but he’ll likely find a couple too good.
9. Ava Go Joe (Jaber Ramadhan) - Ex-Tim Easterby. He made an impressive start to life in Bahrain by winning on debut. An 8lb rise sees him get into this race but this is an altogether harder contest.
10. Amaan (Talal Al Alawi) - Ex-Simon & Ed Crisford. He got off the mark in Bahrain in great style at the third time of asking but was hiked 12lbs by the handicapper as a result. He ran respectably off that mark behind some of today’s rivals and he should be competitive.
11. Devaste (Hesham Al Haddad) - Ex-TJ Kent. He has won his first start in Bahrain, powering up the middle of the track to win by 1/2-length. He found the step up in class too hot to handle last time out but could bounce back to form with Callan electing to ride.
12. Dark Lion (Hesham Al Haddad) - Ex-Roger Varian who finished fourth in the 2020 Coventry Stakes. He has failed to win in nine starts in Bahrain but this is his first start at this trip since the Coventry at Royal Ascot.
13. Graphite Storm (Ali Jan) - Ex-Clive Cox. Nine-year-old who has failed to win in 13 starts in Bahrain. It’s hard to see him finding the improvement necessary to win.
14. London Look (Ali Nasser) - First run for new trainer. Eight-year-old has only made 11 career starts and hasn’t won since his debut in France in August 2017. Tough to make a confident case for him.
15. Warrior Brave (Ross O’Sullivan) - Irish raider who has been competitive in both his starts to date in Bahrain. The handicapper has dropped him 2lbs which will give connections hope he can finish in the money.
16. Herewegodandy (Niels Petersen) - Scandinavian challenger who finished 9th in the opening Turf Series sprint. This race is less competitive than that and he carries 3lbs less but big improvement is needed.
17. Laieth (Hesham Al Haddad) - No win in 21 starts since May 2019 and is unlikely to trouble the principals.
18. Khunan (Richard Fahey) - Useful on his day, including a second in the G2 Richmond Stakes at Goodwood, but he hasn’t shown much on three starts in Bahrain.

Predicted 1-2-3.
1. Pure Dreamer
2. Get It
3. Fighter Pilot

Vision 2030 Cup (1m2f / 2000m) - 15:45 (Bahrain) & 12:45pm (UK)

1. Classical Wave (Hesham Al Haddad) - Ex-Roger Varian. Successful in the Bahrain Turf Series last year and was last seen finishing an excellent second behind Godolphin’s King Of Conquest from a wide draw. He is up 4lb but he sets the standard.
2. Goemon (Haider Ebrahim) - Ex-Kevin Philipart De Foy. He beat a small albeit useful field on his Bahraini debut over 1m3f, before finishing a good sixth in the Crown Prince’s Cup two weeks ago. He was hit with a 6lb rise for that run but further improvement from this progressive four-year-old is possible.
3. Marie’s Diamond (Roger Fell) - Very likeable horse who just found the Listed Crown Prince’s Cup too hot. He has a plum draw and is sure to make a bold bid for connections.
4. Merlin’s Beard (Hesham Al Haddad) - Ex-Richard Hughes. All of his wins in the UK came over further than this and he looked a little one paced on his Bahraini debut. The choice of Neil Callan so can’t be completely ignored.
5. Taqaareer (Mohammed Hasan) - Ex-John & Thady Gosden. This son of Frankel won a weak conditions race earlier this season but has struggled in two runs since and this looks another tough task on paper.
6. Grigadale (Ali Abdulmajeed) - Ex-David Barron. Won his final two starts in the UK before winning twice in Bahrain. He has run respectably in two Turf Series but he has been bypassed by Neil Callan.
7. Massaman (Jaber Ramadhan) - Ex-Jack Davison. Four-time winner in Ireland who made a successful winning debut in a quality four runner race. He is a fascinating contender and could spring a surprise.
8. Mark Of Respect (Hesham Al Haddad) - Ex-Jonathan Portman. He has run well in all three starts in Bahrain and the handicapper hasn’t touched his mark following a good fourth behind King Of Conquest. He looks a big player.
9. Mission Boy (Jaleel Al Mallah) - Ex-Marco Botti. This son of Paco Boy won over this trip in January but failed to fire when finishing last of four behind Massaman. Needs to bounce back.
10. Longbourn (Ross O’Sullivan) - 7yo has failed to fire in two starts in Bahrain. The step-up in trip isn’t certain to suit but he’s certainly weighted to run better.
11. Chianti (Niels Petersen) - He hasn’t shown much in his two Turf Series starts to date and it’d take a big leap of faith to see him winning here.
12. What’s The Story (Keith Dalgleish) - Likeable nine-year-old ran a fantastic race to be third behind King Of Conquest two weeks ago. He has been leniently dropped 1lb and he should run well again.
13. American Flag (Allan Smith) - Ex-Ed Walker. He built on a promising Bahraini debut to finish a good second last Friday. Every reason to suggest he can progress again.
14. Box To Box (Hugo Palmer) - He ran a fantastic race to finish fourth on his Bahrain debut but then ran flat at the end of December. He has been freshened up for this and should be very competitive off a 2lb lower mark than his fourth-placed finish in December, despite a wide draw.
15. Knight Of Honour (Richard Fahey) - Ex-John & Thady Gosden. Richard Fahey-raider who won on his Bahraini & stable debut at the beginning of January. He subsequently finished 10th behind King Of Conquest and has been bypassed by both Neil Callan and Liam Keniry.
16. Mr Professor (Alice Haynes) - After being too keen on his Bahraini debut, he showed some promise on his second start before again being too keen to do himself justice last time out. Andrew Elliot takes the ride this time and if putting it all together, could be dangerous off a low weight.
17. Tafaakhor (Basem Mahdi) - Ex-Richard Hannon. He finished 12th on his sole Bahraini start and others are preferred.
18. Inigo Jones (Jamie Osborne) - He ran a brilliant race from the front to finish third behind The Covex Kid at the end of December over 1m2f. He subsequently finished 8th two weeks ago but has been dropped 2lbs. A further 4lbs is taken off by apprentice jockey Connor Planas and if he bounce back to form, he is a definite player.

Predicted 1-2-3:
1. Box To Box
2. Mark Of Respect
3. American Flag

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