It has been an outstanding year on the track for His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, with the likes of BATTAASH, MOHAATHER, NAZEEF and TAWKEEL carrying his famous blue silks to victory in Group 1 races.
He also leads the owner standings in Britain, with earnings of nearly £2 million at the time of writing.
There is plenty more to look forward to for Sheikh Hamdan as autumn approaches, too. Here are ten of the brightest hopes for the Shadwell operation during the last months of the Flat season.
This son of WOOTTON BASSETT made all and stormed to a four-length victory in a hot-looking Ascot novice stakes on debut.
Trainer Brian Meehan was full of praise for the two-year-old, saying after the race: “He’s a lovely colt and has always been a favourite at home. He’s a big boy and very much a three-year-old in the making. My instinct would tell me that we go softly for a while and look at maybe one more run this year.”
Owen Burrows’ colt holds entries in the Royal Lodge and Dewhurst Stakes and should be a force to be reckoned with wherever he turns up as he has some excellent form in the book.
The son of SHAMARDAL from Sheikh Hamdan’s wonderful HEIGHT OF FASHION family won a Doncaster novice stakes by six and a half lengths on debut and finished a length second to the exciting CHINDIT in the Group 2 Champagne Stakes on his only other start.
Weeks after superstar miler MOHAATHER was retired due to a bone bruise, his trainer Marcus Tregoning looks to have come up with another top-class colt by the same sire, SHOWCASING.
ALKUMAIT broke his maiden in impressive fashion at Glorious Goodwood and made his first start in stakes company a successful one, with a decisive victory in the Group 2 Mill Reef Stakes. A Group 1 assignment might be next and judging by the evidence of his Newbury run he could be well up to it.
The John Gosden-trained son of LOPE DE VEGA carried the silks of Hissa Hamdan Al Maktoum when scoring comfortably in a competitive three-year-old handicap at the Doncaster St Leger meeting.
The colt made it three wins from five starts and was put up 9lb in the ratings for that success. But he still looks the sort to excel in one of the valuable autumn handicaps.
Owen Burrows’ charge is bred to be good, being by Nunnery Stud-based champion sprinter MUHAARAR out of multiple Group 1-winning mare ALEXANDER GOLDRUN.
The three-year-old suggested he is very talented indeed by getting off the mark by four lengths on his second start in a Chelmsford novice stakes recently. He is another who could make his mark in handicaps before going on to bigger and better things.
This CABLE BAY two-year-old colt, trained by Roger Varian, has done little wrong in two starts and could be one to follow in stakes races.
He took an Ascot maiden by three lengths on debut and finished a close second to NEW MANDATE in the Listed Flying Scotsman Stakes at Doncaster on his next run, being headed only on the line with the pair pulling well clear of the rest of the field.
The Owen Burrows-trained son of MEHMAS could hardly have been more impressive in winning the Group 2 Gimcrack Stakes at the York Ebor meeting, scoring by two lengths while barely having to break sweat.
MINZAAL looks a sprinter out of the very top drawer and his next chance to prove he is just that looks likely to come in the Middle Park Stakes.
The Sun Chariot Stakes looks the most likely port of call for John Gosden’s filly, who has been a revelation this year with victories in the Listed Snowdrop Fillies’ Stakes, Group 2 Duke of Cambridge Stakes and Group 1 Falmouth Stakes.
The daughter of INVINCIBLE SPIRIT, who also finished third in the Nassau Stakes, was a little disappointing in the Prix Jean Romanet last time out but a return to Newmarket could see her at her best again.
Jean-Claude Rouget has made no secret of the high esteem in which he holds the daughter of SEA THE STARS, who finished a close fourth in the Prix de Diane and won the Group 3 Prix de Psyche by a wide margin.
The filly was expected to endorse her ticket to the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in the Prix Vermeille but could not reel in TARNAWA. That race was run at a crawl, though, and Sheikh Hamdan’s colour bearer ran on strongly from an unpromising position, so hopes of a Group 1 success, whether in the Arc or elsewhere, are still very much alive.
This two-year-old filly ran a quite extraordinary race in a Beverley novice stakes last time out. She was slowly away and veered left at the start, but travelled strongly and zoomed past her rivals in the closing stages to win by a widening two and three-quarters of a length.
The daughter of TAMAYUZ was carrying a 4lb penalty, having won on her other start at Chelmsford, and she looks an intriguing prospect for trainer Roger Varian.