The Haydock Sprint Cup looks a sub-standard affair, and a formality for Owington on his favoured ground. And for all German racing's desire to get back into the mainstream, the Grosser Preis von Baden has a parochial look to it, with Verte Amande the only foreign challenger to ubiquitous names like Monsun, Lando and Kornado.
Tomorrow will be Sayyedati's second crack at East Of The Moon in three weeks, having finished a length and a half second to Francois Boutin's brilliant filly in the Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville. East Of The Moon herself has a family tradition to maintain in the Moulin; her dam Miesque won the event in 1987, as did her half- brother Kingmambo last year.
Sayyedati's other five rivals include last year's placed horses, Ski Paradise and Bigstone, and Green Tune, winner of the Poule d'Essai des Poulains (French 2,000 Guineas). Clive Brittain, her ever-optimistic trainer, feels she is perfectly entitled to her chance to turn the tables on East Of The Moon in what should be as good a contest as the competitive and entertaining mile division has produced this summer. The four- year-old flies to Paris tomorrow morning, and Walter Swinburn will be in the saddle.
'She's in tremendous form,' Brittain said yesterday, 'and the ground, on the fast side of good, is right for her. At Deauville she went to the front at sprinting pace, but it was perhaps 200 metres too soon and the other filly, who is very, very good, make no mistake, had a target to aim at.
'But I feel Sayyedati has an equal turn of foot, and it may come down to who makes the move first. We'll maybe try to hang on a bit longer this time.'
Lord Huntingdon, no stranger to French provincial raids, has sent Country Lover, his Cambridgeshire entry, for the Grand Prix de Bordeaux today at the pretty La Teste course. The trainer has a perfect record at Bordeaux, with three winners from three previous runners, and there will be a consolation even if Country Lover cannot make it four. 'This is a chance to pick up some black type for the pedigree,' the trainer said yesterday, 'and if things do go wrong, in France there is always a very nice lunch.'
Haydock has escaped the recent rain, and the going is likely to be on the fast side of good today, which will suit Owington, the July Cup winner, ideally. His eight declared rivals are likely to be reduced by one, as Risky will only run if there has been overnight rain.
Kempton's feature race, the September Stakes, has cut up to five runners, but remains a competitive heat nonetheless. One of the most improved middle-distance horses in training, Urgent Request, faces Wagon Master and Alriffa, third in the King George and French Derby respectively, and Yorkshire Oaks runner-up Dancing Bloom, the pick of Michael Stoute's four entries. If he comes through this test well, Reg Akehurst could find himself with a live Arc challenger on his hands.
The four-year-old would have to be supplemented, but his owner, retired casino boss Stuart Aitken, knows a little about taking a chance. He said: 'He could be a seriously exciting horse. We'll know more after this race.'
An hour before the September Stakes one of Kempton's specialists lines up for the Chiltern Supergold Conditions Stakes. Docklands Express may feel the run to the first is a little longer than usual, but will at least be assured of picking up prize money as he prepares for a valuable steeplechase in Italy later this month.Reuse content