Botti sweet on Moohaajim
Marco Botti believes the Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes represents a "good opportunity" for Moohaajim to get back on the winning trail.
The two-year-old looked particularly smart when making a winning debut at Ascot in July, giving connections confidence to throw him straight into Group One company for the Prix Morny at Deauville.
The son of Cape Cross performed with enormous credit to finish fifth following a troubled passage, beaten a little over two lengths by the unbeaten Reckless Abandon.
Botti feels his youngster will be a little more street-wise for the experience and is anticipating a prominent showing at Newbury this weekend.
"He's in good form and the ground is going to be fine. We're looking forward to the race and it looks a very good opportunity for him," said Botti.
"He ran very well in France and he has probably come on for the experience as well, as he was going for a Group One after just one run.
"He was still a bit green and he got trapped behind the other horses and had to switch wide, so I think he will have learnt quite a lot from that.
"He's by Cape Cross, so we know that he will get a mile eventually, but we're not in a hurry to step him up as he has shown plenty of pace."
Mark Johnston's Heavy Metal is probably the most solid yardstick in the race having won the Richmond Stakes at Glorious Goodwood before being narrowly beaten in York's Gimcrack Stakes.
The Middleham trainer expects his charge to run another good race, but admits giving 3lb to each of his opponents will not be an easy task.
"You would expect him to run his race. He had to carry a penalty on his last start and this start, which is not ideal, but he takes his racing very well," said Johnston.
"The target is the Middle Park, but who knows what the ground will do between now and then? We thought we might as well get him out while the ground is on the fast side."
Joint top-rated with Heavy Metal is the Mick Channon-trained Cay Verde.
He was behind Johnston's juvenile at Goodwood and York, but subsequently won with his head in his chest at Chantilly.
David Redvers, racing manager for owners Qatar Racing, said: "He seems to be in top form and I'm glad the race looks suitable for him. We're looking forward to it.
"He seems to have got a bit of confidence from winning in France, where he bolted up.
"That was in softer ground, but prior to that, we'd convinced ourselves he wanted it fast.
"We'll just have to watch and see, but we don't think the ground will inconvenience him."
Champion trainer Richard Hannon is represented by Master Of War, who was half a length behind Heavy Metal at Goodwood and ran creditably in the Solario Stakes at Sandown last time.
He told his website www.richardhannonracing.co.uk: "Master of War is a good solid horse. He is weighted to get his revenge on Heavy Metal from their running together in the Richmond at Goodwood, and he has since run another blinder in the Solario at Sandown.
"Six (furlongs) or seven doesn't bother him - he has plenty of speed and he won't be far away."
Charlie Hills fires two bullets in Funk Soul Brother and Lucky Beggar.
He said: "Funk Soul Brother hasn't run since Royal Ascot in the Coventry Stakes as he's been suffering with sore shins.
"His work has been good since, however, and we've always liked him.
"Lucky Beggar has been consistent this season although he maybe didn't quite run up to form last time out.
"I think he possibly had an excuse that day, though, as he maybe wasn't quite right.
"It looks an open race with no standout contender so it's worth taking a chance."
The eight-runner field is completed by David Wachman's Irish challenger Cougar Ridge and John Gosden's Yarmouth maiden winner Taayel.
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