Britain’s ‘wonder girl’ Hollie Doyle heads for the Bahrain International Trophy on 20 November, powered on the success of duel Group 1 success at the British Championships.
‘Lady luck’ may have deserted Hollie at the recent Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland when unplaced in the Juvenile Turf Sprint, but it was the British Champions Day that gave her initial Group 1 glory.
In winning the Championships open event the 2mile Long Distance Cup on the Alan King trained Trueshan, Hollie claimed the Group 1 British Champions Sprint Stakes of 6f on Glen Shiel.
Prevailing by a ‘nose’ for trainer Archie Watson at 16/1, Hollie had previously run second on Glen Shiel in the Haydock Sprint Cup, and finished with a season career best of 129 winning rides.
In being honoured by Japanese trainer Mitsuru Hashida, Hollie accepted the ride on his great mare Deirdre for the Bahrain International Trophy, being the first female to ride in the race.
The 23-year old will be the 12th individual jockey the ride the multiple Group winner Deirdre, who was unplaced to Sottsass in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at her previous start.
However it will be Coolmore’s 2019 Irish Derby winner Sovereign, trained by Aiden O’Brien, who will head another four international Group 1 winners challenging Deirdre and Holly Doyle.
In fact, Sovereign was supplemented for this year’s running as ‘he is a mile and a quarter horse who is a very strong galloper likes to go forward in his races.’
North Yorkshire based David O’Meara has last year’s Queen Anne Stakes winner Lord Glitters entered, with trainer David Simcock running his duel Canadian International winner Desert Encounter.
Godolphin will be having a two-pronged attack headed by Saeed bin Suroor’s former Jebel Hatta winner Dream Castle, with the Royal Hunt winner Dark Vision being trained by Mark Johnston.
Frankie Dettori will ride the HH Shaikh Isa bin Salman Alkhalifa owned Global Giant for John Gosden, while King Power Racing and Andrew Balding will have duel stakes winner Bangkok.
Also from Britain, it’s Mike Channon with the Strensall Stakes winner Certain Lad, and the Charlie Hills with the 4yo Gr1 placed stakes winner Pogo, owned by Gary and Linnet Woodward.
Representing Ireland is the James Stack Newmarket Darley Stakes winner Lady Wannabe, with the Sarah Steinberg trained Baded-Baden Gr2 winner Quest The Moon representing Germany.
In both Bahrain runners being owned by Victorious Stable, it’s the Fawzi Nass trained Port Lions who looking for six straight wins, while What A Welcome is trained by Hesham Al Haddad.
In being termed ‘Where Champions Meet’ the Bahrain International Trophy is conducted by the Rashid Equestrian and Horseracing Club at their Sathir Racecourse.
Last year it was the French raider Royal Julius who took out the initial running of the International Trophy, ridden by Stephane Pasquier for trainer Jerome Reynier and owned Jean-Jacques Biarese.
In running a time of 2:0.4sec on a good rated track, Royal Julius overwhelmed the John Gosden trained favourite Turgenev to score by ¾ length, with the locally trained Rustang in third.
In no changes to inaugural race conditions, the Bahrain International Trophy will be run over 2000m on turf with 4yo and upwards on 58kg and Northern Hemisphere 3yo’s weighted 56.5kg.
Fillies and Mares receive a 2kg allowance, and Group 1 winner in 2020 will carry a 1.5kg allowance, with two race positions reserved for locally trained horses in the 14 horse field.