Ascot hero Afaak poised for Bahrain bid

Five-year-old one of six British raiders.

  • Tuesday 19 November
  • News
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Royal Hunt Cup winner Afaak is among six British challengers chasing the £100,000 first prize in a maximum 14-strong field for the inaugural running of the Bahrain International Trophy in the Arabian Gulf on Friday.

The Charlie Hills-trained five-year-old was last seen finishing in midfield in the Cambridgeshire at Newmarket in September, and will be searching his first success at a mile and a quarter.

That was the Sheikh Hamdan-owned Afaak’s fourth run in successive months, but connections were keen to support the new event.

“They asked us to send a horse and Sheikh Hamdan agreed to let him go over there,” said racing manager Angus Gold.

“The trainer says he’s still in good form. He’s had to travel and get there in one piece.

“He’s not travelled abroad to race before, but he’s an older horse so he should be able to take it OK.”

John Smith’s Cup scorer Pivoine continues his globetrotting adventures for the Andrew Balding stable, after finishing fourth in the Canadian International at Woodbine last month.

Completing the British raid are Aquarium (trained by Jane Chapple-Hyam), Mountain Angel (Roger Varian), Coolagh Forest (Paul d’Arcy) and Turgenev (John Gosden).

Fabrice Chappet’s Intellogent, winner of last year’s Group One Prix Jean Prat, and the Fawzi Nass-trained Group Three winner Euginio, formerly with Richard Hannon, are among the other runners.

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