Land Of Legends bids for Heritage Handicap at Ascot - GulfToday

Land Of Legends bids for Heritage Handicap at Ascot

Horse-Race

Land Of Legends, trained by Saeed Bin Suroor, is drawn in stall 20 for the International Heritage Handicap race.

Improving three-year-old Land Of Legends, winner of his last two races, runs in the £150,000 International Heritage Handicap over seven furlongs at Ascot on Saturday.

The Iffraaj colt, trained by Saeed Bin Suroor, has 8st 7lb, second to bottom weight, among the 29 runners and is drawn in stall 20.

Callum Shepherd, who partnered Land Of Legends to victory in a Newmarket handicap over the same distance on June 27, keeps the ride.

Land Of Legends also won a seven-furlong novice easily on Polytrack at Kempton Park last month.

His first two starts came at a mile, with a debut novice race second to King Of Comedy at Yarmouth in April and fifth in a similar contest at Newmarket in May.

Suroor remarked: “Land Of Legends is doing well and came out of his most recent race in good order. “He worked nicely on the watered gallop at Newmarket and is improving all the time.

“He just needs to sit handy in the field and should have a good chance in the race.”

Progressive two-year-old filly Summer Romance, unbeaten in two starts, moves up in class for the G3 Princess Margaret Stakes over six furlongs.

The grey daughter of Kingman, trained by Charlie Appleby, triumphed pleasingly by two lengths on debut at Yarmouth on June 13 and was very impressive when the six-length winner of the Listed Empress Fillies’ Stakes at Newmarket last month, both over six furlongs.

Summer Romance is drawn seven of the 12 runners and partnered again by James Doyle. Her rivals include very easy Newmarket maiden winner Ultra Violet, dual scorer Good Vibes, impressive Polytrack winner Dark Lady and So Sharp, who beat Dark Lady a length on their respective debuts.

Appleby commented: “Summer Romance has progressed with each of her runs and was very impressive on her last start.

“She is versatile about the ground, the trip of six furlongs is ideal for her at the moment and stall seven looks good – there are no negatives going into the Ascot race.

“Summer Romance is an exciting filly for Godolphin going forward.”

Appleby and Doyle team up with another two-year-old, Dubawi colt Al Dabaran, later in the afternoon at Ascot in the Listed seven-furlong Wooldridge Group Pat Eddery Stakes.

Drawn three of the seven participants, Al Dabaran made a successful start to his racing career in a Newmarket novice over seven furlongs on 29 June, forging clear by two and a half lengths despite a slow start.

Appleby added: “Al Dabaran pleased us at Newmarket and has come out of the race well, learning plenty. He deserves this step up in class and hopefully his run will determine what type of races to aim at.”

Meanwhile, Godolphin is represented by Caribbean Gold and Lyric Drama in the G3 Hokkaido Shimbun Hai Queen Stakes at Sapporo, Japan, on Sunday.

Both runners in the nine-furlong contest on turf for fillies and mares are five-year-old mares by Stay Gold.

Caribbean Gold, a three-time scorer from 21 starts, has a 100 per cent record at Sapporo, winning the 10-furlong Hidaka Tokubetsu in September, 2018 on her only start at the course.

Trained by Ippo Sameshima, Caribbean Gold has run three times in allowance races this year, finishing fifth and eighth in mile contests at Hanshin and Kyoto before showing improved form over 10 furlongs last time out at Hakodate on July 6, when being pipped on the post by a nose.

Her best performance was back as a three-year-old when the nose runner-up to Deirdre in the G3 Shion Stakes at over 10 furlongs at Nakayama in September, 2017.

The Inao Okada-trained Lyric Drama is also a three-time winner and was successful on her most recent start on June 16, when making all in a nine-furlong Hakodate handicap. She steps up to a G3 race for the first time.

Yuichi Shibayama takes the ride on Caribbean Gold, who is drawn 14, while Yuji Hishida again partners Lyric Drama, who emerges from stall two. They face 12 rivals, including Mikki Charm, a G2 winner this year and G1 runner-up in 2018.

Harry Sweeney, the President of Godolphin in Japan, commented: “We will have two runners in the G3 in Sapporo on Sunday, but I am not entirely sure which in fact has the best chance.

“In theory, it is Caribbean Gold, who on her best run finished second to Deirdre in a G3. But while Deirdre progressed to win a G1 on her next start, the Godolphin mare seems to have regressed considerably. Nevertheless, hope was rekindled with a gallant second on her last start and I will watch her run with great interest.

“Lyric Drama, though making her debut in Graded company, is the most consistent of the two on recent form and deserves her chance on the main stage.

“Mikki Charm is the standout in the field and, in truth, we will be delighted if our runners make the frame.”