21 April 2023

In-form Amo team mount dual assault on Fred Darling prize

21 April 2023

Olivia Maralda and Magical Sunset will try to keep up the momentum of Kia Joorabchian’s Amo Racing as they line up in the Dubai Duty Free Stakes at Newbury on Saturday.

From 20 runners, the purple colours have been carried to success on seven occasions in the last 14 days, victories that have included Mammas Girl in the Nell Gwyn and Indestructible in the Craven Stakes at Newmarket.

In what appears to be a hugely competitive, yet open renewal of the seven-furlong Group Three contest more familiar as the Fred Darling, Magical Sunset and Olivia Maralda both appear to have plenty going for them.

Magical Sunset, trained by Richard Hannon and ridden by Kevin Stott, won three of her five races last season, signing off with victory over course and distance.

Tom Pennington, Amo’s racing manager, said: “To beat Sakheer on debut on quick ground at Windsor was impressive and she was a bit unlucky not to win the Goffs Million at the Curragh, she suffered some really bad interference at halfway.

“To then have the guts to run on and finish fourth, we were delighted with that.

“She obviously came back and won well at Leicester under James Doyle and then backed it up with the good win in the Radley Stakes at Newbury.

“We thought she would run well at Newbury but we didn’t think she would win by five lengths, so we were delighted by that.

“Richard is very happy with her and she has been showing him all the right signs at home.”

I thought she was going to win the Debutante Stakes. She was sort of the last filly off the bridle and travelled into it very well

The Roger Varian-trained Olivia Maralda is drawn one, next to her stablemate. It will be her first run for the yard, having earned one win and three runner-up berths in five outings for Michael O’Callaghan last season.

Her sole success came in a maiden over course and distance before she was touched off by Meditate in the Group Two Debutante Stakes at the Curragh in September.

She was last seen finishing ninth of 14 to Commissioning in the Rockfel at Newmarket in September and makes her three-year-old debut against 13 rivals.

Pennington added: “I thought she was going to win the Debutante Stakes. She was sort of the last filly off the bridle and travelled into it very well.

“Then it was perhaps a bridge too far at Newmarket – she was just beginning to turn in her coat and it was probably just one race too many, she was over the top.

“Roger is very happy with her which is the main thing and she hasn’t missed a day this spring.”

Two fillies, who have each won their sole start, head the market.

Ralph Beckett’s Remarquee, a daughter of Kingman, took a seven-furlong Salisbury novice in fine style from Bresson last September, while Godolphin’s Bridestones, by Teofilo, scored with ease on her Yarmouth debut for John and Thady Gosden in October.

Beckett said: “She has done well this winter. She will need the run, but she is training well.”

Thady Gosden hopes Bridestones will continue the yard’s excellent form as she drops back a furlong.

He said: “She is a nicely-bred filly and has done well over the winter. It is a hugely competitive race, but we are looking forward to it. We will learn a bit more about her, I’m sure.”

Karl Burke, fresh from his Craven success with the Amo-owned Indestructible, saddles Swingalong, who won the Lowther at York in August before finishing four lengths behind Lezoo in the Cheveley Park at Newmarket on her last juvenile run.

“She is in great form and has been training very well,” said Burke of the Showcasing filly, who steps up to seven furlongs for the first time.

“I’m confident she’ll stay the seven and we’ll make the decision about the mile after that.

“It is a competitive race, no doubt about it. There looks to be some very nice fillies in it, so it is going to be tough, but she is in good form.

“She’s matured really well and wintered very well and she looks great.”

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox