Sir Michael Stoute has Across The Stars back in the groove at Newbury
Friday 19 May 2017
Watch Betting Lab experts Tony Calvin and Nick Lightfoot guide you through Newbury's Al Rayyan Stakes
By Racinguk.com staff
Connections of Across The Stars are hoping it will be third-time lucky as the colt makes his seasonal bow in the Group Three Al Rayyan Stakes at Newbury on Saturday.
The four-year-old had been due to run at the Dubai World Cup meeting in March, but that plan was abandoned after the colt spiked a temperature, with a trip to Newmarket at the beginning of this month nominated as the new target.
However, Across The Stars was withdrawn from the Jockey Club Stakes due to another minor issue, meaning he will be having his first run since finishing third in last year's Great Voltigeur at York.
As he won the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot last year on good to soft ground, Bruce Raymond, racing manager to owner Saeed Suhail, is happy enough with the likely easy conditions.
He said: "It seems every time we get going, he runs up a temperature. It's only for a day and then the next day he is fine.
"We've had a good run with him - he's been working with all his usual zest - so we're looking forward to running.
"He's got form on soft ground so that isn't a worry. He disappointed in the Voltigeur last year, but he came back with a little bit of a temperature, so we had excuses that day."
Midterm gives Sir Michael Stoute a second string to his bow, but the one-time Derby favourite is on something of a recovery mission after finishing fifth in the John Porter at this track last month.
Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager for owner Khalid Abdullah, said: "After Newbury he has come on a fair bit, but he needed to because he was a bit lacklustre there.
"It looks a very strong race for a Group Three, unfortunately from our point of view.
"We wanted to go to Chester and I suppose after this rain there's got to be some cut in the ground so I just hope it's suitable.
"He has been working quite well recently which is encouraging because he's not a good work horse usually."
My Dream Boat was a surprise 16-1 winner of the Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot last season for trainer Clive Cox but could not quite recapture that form in the Eclipse, Irish Champion Stakes or the Champion Stakes back at Ascot.
He finished third in the Gordon Richards Stakes on his return at Sandown last month.
Jason Maguire, racing manager for owners Paul and Clare Rooney, said: "He ran well at Sandown the other day and was staying on nicely at the finish. He should come on a bit for the run.
"I am looking forward to stepping him up to a mile and a half. His pedigree doesn't scream a mile and a half but it doesn't scream 10 furlongs on soft ground, either.
"All his races last year, particularly at the backend, suggests it will be in reach.
"Clive and Adam (Kirby) think he will have no problem and, given the way he likes to be ridden, it would be nice to think it might bring out a bit more improvement."
Charlie Appleby expects to see an improved performance from Hawkbill, who finished fifth in the Prix Ganay at Saint-Cloud at the beginning of the month.
He said: "He has come out of the Ganay well. It just felt they went a French pace in the Ganay and it turned into a sprint, which is one thing that doesn't suit our lad.
"He's a good galloper and does that well.
"Stepping back up to a mile and a half is going to suit and the ground is there to suit. It is a very good Group Three on paper.
"If he brings his A-game to the table he will be bang there."
Ralph Beckett's Chemical Charge and likely outsider To Be Wild, trained by Hugo Palmer, complete the field.