Mostahdaf features amongst a stellar list of entries for the third running of the £500,000 Group Three Bahrain International Trophy at Sakhir Racecourse on Friday, November 19. There have been a total of 78 entries (up from 61 in 2020) from 10 different nations.
The John & Thady Gosden-trained Mostahdaf guaranteed his place in Bahrain’s headline race by winning the “Automatic Entry” Group Three Darley Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday under Jim Crowley. The three-year-old son of Frankel has now won five races out of six, with his only defeat coming in the Group 1 St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.
John Gosden said: “Mostahdaf hasn’t done a lot wrong. He got boxed in during the St James’s Palace Stakes and that was the end of it. We’ve always thought of him as a 1m2f horse. His half-sister (Nazeef) won two Group One races at a mile. She was by Invincible Spirit, and he is by Frankel, so we are pretty confident a mile and a quarter is his best trip. He is a classy horse. There is the Bahrain International Trophy as an option in November, but we will talk about it with everybody, and we will see how we want to play it”
Amongst the six Group One winners that have been entered, two have won Group One races in 2021. Thundering Nights won the Group One Pretty Polly Stakes at The Curragh in June, beating subsequent dual Group One-winning filly Santa Barbara by a neck. Lord Glitters built on his fifth-place finish in the 2020 Bahrain International Trophy to win the Group One Jebel Hatta in Dubai in March.
The remaining Group One winners entered are Godolphin’s globetrotting quadruple Group One sensation, Barney Roy, David Simcock’s Desert Encounter, a dual winner of the Group One Canadian International Stakes at Woodbine, Saeed bin Suroor’s Royal Marine, a winner of the Group One Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere as a two-year-old, and finally, Nao Da Mais, who secured four Group One victories in South America.
Godolphin had two runners in the 2020 renewal (Loxley and Dream Castle) and have entered eight further horses in addition to Barney Roy and Royal Marine in 2021. Their remaining entries are Real World, Dubai Future, Soft Whisper, Zakouski, Bedouins Story, Algiers, and Dubai World Cup third, Magny Cours.
William Haggas could be set to have his first runner in the Group Three Bahrain International Trophy. The rapidly improving Dubai Honour has won two consecutive Group Two races in France and has since been supplemented for the Group One QIPCO Champion Stakes at Ascot this Saturday, with an appearance in Bahrain afterward a possibility for the son of Pride Of Dubai.
Two further entries, Foxes Tales and Euchen Glen look set to take on Dubai Honour in Saturday’s Champion Stakes.
Aidan O’Brien finished 3rdwith Sovereign in the 2020 Bahrain International Trophy and the Ballydoyle trainer has once again strongly supported the race with The Mediterranean and Amhran Na Bhfiann both receiving entries. The pair are both entered to run at Ascot this weekend in the Group Two Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup.
Other notable entries include the Charlie Hills-trained Pogo who finished an excellent second behind Benbatl in the Group Two Joel Stakes at Newmarket last month, Jessica Harrington’s Cadillac who has Group Two and Group Three honours to his name and Square De Luynes who has won seven of his nine starts in Sweden and Norway, including six Group Three races for trainer Niels Petersen.
From the total of 78 horses nominated, there are a total of 25 individual Group winners. Collectively they have amassed a total of 58 Group wins, with 14 of those being Group One races.
Shaikh Salman bin Rashed al Khalifa, Executive Director of the Rashid Equestrian & Horse Racing Club, said: “We are incredibly proud of the progress in quality from year to year in Bahrain International Trophy. To have gone from 46 entries in 2019, to 61 in 2020 and now 78 in 2021 proves the confidence that connections have in racing in Bahrain. More importantly, the caliber of horses entered from 10 different countries is also very high. To have some high class and progressive horses who have won multiple Group races in 2021, entered is very exciting.”
He continued: “The feedback we have received from trainers, owners and jockeys about racing in Bahrain mean a huge amount and that is reflected by the entries we have received from some of the best trainers in the world. We are thrilled that the race has been elevated to Group Three status and we firmly believe that the race is now a key date in the international racing calendar.”
Eight locally trained horses have been entered, with at least three guaranteed a space in the race. Simsir won the 2021 renewal for local trainer, Fawzi Nass. A maximum field of fourteen will go to post.