Mostabshir looks a colt sure to go on bigger and better things following a dominant display on day three of the Dante Festival at York.

An impressive victory on his debut at Kempton in November earned the Shadwell-owned youngster a place in last month’s Craven Stakes at Newmarket with a view to a potential 2000 Guineas bid, but he could finish only fifth of seven runners.

Perhaps as a result, Mostabshir was passed over on this occasion by Shadwell’s retained rider Jim Crowley, who instead elected to partner Wood Ditton runner-up Kathab.

The latter was the 6-4 favourite on the strength of that fine effort behind Thursday’s luckless Dante Stakes third Passenger, but he was ultimately unable to lay a glove on John and Thady Gosden’s highly impressive winner.

With William Buick in the saddle, the son of Dark Angel set his own fractions in front and once asked to go about his business quickly put daylight between himself and his rivals. His stablemate Ziryab finished best of the rest, pipping Kathab to the runner-up spot, but was a full five lengths behind Mostabshir.

Gosden senior said: “He’s like a lot of ours – the grass gallops were closed in Newmarket, so they had to train on the all-weather and then when they went to the races they ran in a bog and he didn’t like it. This was the first summer ground we’ve had this year and it’s a different result.

“William gave him a great ride from the front and said he gave him a lovely feel. What was nice was that William said he quickened twice, and when they do that you’ve got to take note.”

Coral cut Mostabshir to 8-1 from 50-1 for the St James’s Palace Stakes a Royal Ascot, a Group One contest Gosden has previously won with Kingman (2014), Without Parole (2018) and Palace Pier (2020).

The Clarehaven handler was non-committal regarding future plans, though, adding: “He was giving 6lb to the opposition so it was a decent performance, but we’re in a complete muddle now as we don’t know if we’ll go to the Britannia or the handicapper will make it impossible – the other option is to go in at the deep end.

“What he’s shown today is that on genuine summer ground he’s a decent horse.”

Shadwell’s racing manager, Angus Gold, walked into the paddock with a rather puzzled look on his face.

He said: “I’m delighted to see him quicken like that, I didn’t expect it.

“He looked a galloper when he won at Kempton and it didn’t work out for him in the Craven for whatever reason – course, ground, needed the run, whatever.

“William said he quickened twice and under a penalty that was a handy enough performance today.

“Timing-wise you’d love to run him in a Listed race somewhere and if that went well then go St James’s Palace, but there isn’t the time to do it. We’ll have to see how he is and see what John thinks.

“We ran in the Craven to see if he was a Guineas horse, it fell in a hole so we thought we’d come back down to bring him back up but to do that with a penalty in that style – that’s why I was a bit puzzled, I was surprised to see the speed.

“As for Kathab, Jim says he probably needs 10 furlongs, if anything.”

The three-match ODI Series between UAE and the West Indies will now begin a day earlier with the two teams playing the opener on Sunday, 4 June at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

The first match was originally scheduled for Monday, 5 June. The West Indies Men’s team will arrive in Dubai on Thursday, 1 June.

The second match will be played on Tuesday, 6 June with the third and final match scheduled for Friday, 9 June.

All three day-night matches will start at 4:30pm with the toss at 4pm at the iconic Sharjah Cricket Stadium. Both teams will depart for Zimbabwe at the end of the series for their World Cup qualifying campaign which begins on 18 June.

The all-important tournament will confirm the remaining two spots for the 10-team ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, India.

UAE vs West Indies ODI series, matches to start at 4:30pm (8:30AM Caribbean/7:30AM Jamaica)

4 June – UAE vs West Indies, Sharjah Cricket Stadium, UAE

6 June – UAE vs West Indies, Sharjah Cricket Stadium, UAE

9 June – UAE vs West Indies, Sharjah Cricket Stadium, UAE

Full squad: Shai Hope (captain), Brandon King (vice captain), Alick Athanaze, Shamarh Brooks, Yannic Cariah, Keacy Carty, Roston Chase, Dominic Drakes, Kavem Hodge, Akeem Jordan, Gudakesh Motie, Keemo Paul, Raymon Reifer, Odean Smith, Devon Thomas.


Karl Burke will target Royal Ascot with both Got To Love A Grey and Dorothy Lawrence after the stablemates finished first and second in the Clipper EBF Marygate Fillies’ Stakes at York.

The Middleham Park Racing-owned Got To Love A Grey was a visually impressive six-length winner when a warm order for her racecourse debut at Nottingham last month and was sent off at 5-2 to follow up in Listed company on the Knavesmire under Sam James.

Dorothy Lawrence, second to reopposing 13-8 favourite Persian Dreamer at Newmarket last month, was a much bigger price at 9-1 but raised her game to run an excellent race in defeat.

Got To Love A Grey raced on the speed from the start over the straight five furlongs and while Dorothy Lawrence moved into her slipstream looking a huge threat, the leader kept finding for pressure and was half a length to the good passing the post.

Gaiden came from further back to finish third, with Persian Dreamer only fourth.

Burke said: “It’s been a frustrating week, we’ve had about five seconds and picked up nearly £100,000 I think in two days, all without having a winner. To get the winner was needed.

“I thought the second filly would be the winner, she’s very quick and she travelled very strong there and didn’t quite see it out as well as the winner. Take nothing away from the winner though, she’s so honest and such a lovely filly.

“Sam said she was first in the stalls and they were all messing about for ages. She just jumped out and away she goes.”

When asked about plans, the trainer added: “The Queen Mary or the Albany (for the winner), she’s shown us on a fast track that she’s quick enough and you need to stay well at Ascot so it probably makes sense to go for the Queen Mary.

“I’d be quite happy to send her (Dorothy Lawrence) there as well, Ryan (Moore) thought we should give her a chance so we’ll see.

“I think that’s our eighth or ninth two-year-old winner so we’ve got off to a great start and there’s some lovely Dubawis and Frankels and Galileos to come later on, there’s a nice team.”

The winning rider said: “I’m just pleased to be on her. I won on her at Nottingham, but the connections didn’t have to leave me on her.

“I thought the ground might be on the quick side as she seemed to like the soft at Nottingham, but she’s very versatile.

“I think she’ll get six furlongs. The speed I was able to travel at up in class, I wouldn’t be averse to going up in trip, but Karl knows more than I do. She wasn’t stopping at the line.”

William Haggas concedes a mile is probably not My Prospero’s optimum trip as he returns to action in Saturday’s Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes at Newbury.

Tom Marquand’s mount has won three of his six starts, including the Group Two Prix Eugene Adam at Saint-Cloud in July.

However, he has been twice unfortunate not to break his top-class duck, having been beaten a neck in the St James’s Palace over a mile at Royal Ascot and then on his return to the same track when a half-length third behind Bay Bridge in the 10-furlong Champion Stakes in October.

Haggas is convinced that while a Group One will fall his way sooner rather than later, it may not come at the eight-furlong trip he tackles this weekend, and his return to action will determine his Royal Ascot target next month.

“I hope he’s got a big season ahead of him,” said Haggas, who was triumphant 12 months ago with the magnificent Baaeed.

“I wanted very much to run him in the Paradise Stakes at Ascot, but his scope wasn’t very good.

“The reason I wanted to run there was to see if he was quick enough for the Queen Anne, or the Prince of Wales’s Stakes. I’m pretty sure he’s Prince of Wales’s.

“So, having missed that, we are then a bit on the back foot, and it was either this or the Prix d’Ispahan (May 29), and I thought the d’Ispahan was a bit too close to Ascot for his first run, so we’re coming here.

“I’m pretty sure a mile is not his best trip, but he’s fresh and well and I think he’ll run a nice race.

“He is a good horse, but I think he’s more of a 10-furlong horse and I think he’ll end up in the Prince of Wales’s, but I think he deserves a crack at a Group One anyway.

“I don’t see the point in going for a lesser race at this stage now. The Paradise was right, but that didn’t happen, so there we go.”

Laurel was a late-maturing three-year-old, who did not race until July last year.

The John and Thady Gosden-trained daughter of Kingman looked a high-class filly in the making when she won two novice races over a mile before being beaten narrowly by Fonteyn in the Group One Sun Chariot on her third and final start.

She opened her four-year-old campaign with an easy Listed success on the all-weather at Kempton and as the only filly in the 13-strong line-up receives a 3lb allowance.

Barry Mahon, racing manager for owner Juddmonte, added: “Laurel is very unexposed. It’s a big jump up again into Group One company and taking on colts, but John and Thady are happy with her and it looked a nice fit for her on a nice track with good ground.

“Last year we threw her in the deep end after two easy wins and it looked for a minute like she was going to pull it off in big style.

“That day there was a little bit of bias towards the stands’ side and I think a combination of greenness and the other horse just getting a nice run up the rail saw her just get run out of it late on.

“Her comeback win at Kempton was good and blew away the cobwebs, and hopefully that will set her up to run a good race in this. She’s training nicely so we’re hopeful of a nice run.”

In a deep and open Lockinge, Jim Crowley will sport the same Shadwell silks the brilliant Baaeed carried to success.

He rides Mutasaabeq for Charlie Hills, whom he partnered to defeat Irish Guineas winner Native Trail on his return in the bet365 Mile at Newmarket earlier this month.

Shadwell’s racing manager Angus Gold said: “It was a nice performance last time. I was obviously really pleased with him and he did it under a penalty.

“Charlie has been really pleased with the way he has come out of the race and he’s looking fantastic.

“He has a good record at Newmarket, but there’s no obvious reason why he shouldn’t be just as effective at Newbury.

“The difference with him is that he appears to have matured a bit. On the evidence of that one run, his behaviour was much better and he appears to be a more relaxed horse.

“I don’t think Charlie feels he needs blinkers, as he never wears them at home, but they might help him concentrate a bit more. I don’t think he’d be afraid to take them off him as time goes by.

“Let’s hope he turns up in the same sort of form as he did at Newmarket, as it will take a good one to beat him.”

Last season’s Prix Jacques le Marois runner-up Light Infantry has three lengths to make up on Mutasaabeq on that run at Newmarket.

Trainer David Simcock said: “It was a satisfactory return. We got a bit of freshness out of him and we’re looking forward to Saturday.

“He’s proven he’s a Group One performer. He’s rated 119 and he’s a very decent horse. It is very open Lockinge – the betting suggests that – and I should think everybody thinks they’ve got a little shout, so it just shows how open it is.”

Ed Crisford, who co-trains Jadoomi with his father, Simon, is hoping the recent spell of dry weather breaks in time.

A Group Two winner at Goodwood and Leopardstown last season, he was last seen when a close-up third in the QEII at Ascot in October.

He said: “He’s in great order and we’re looking forward to it. We don’t want the ground to dry out too much for him, but he’s in really good form and I expect a big run from him. The way he’s training, I’m hopeful and there could be more to come from him, I’m sure.”

The Lockinge is one of the few big domestic races to have so far eluded Charlie Appleby, but in dual Breeders’ Cup hero Modern Games he has an obvious chance.

“Hopefully, this will be the opportunity for Modern Games to win a Group One in the UK,” the Moulton Paddocks trainer told the Godolphin website.

“We know that he is a crack miler and he goes here with the benefit of a run under his belt. Conditions at Newbury should suit, especially with the drying ground, and he is going to be a big player.”

West Indies ‘A’ was forced to settle with a draw against Bangladesh ‘A’ as the first unofficial Test concluded at the Syhlet International Stadium on Friday.

Bangladesh ‘A’, who were bowled out for 264 in their first innings, following on, resumed from their overnight score of five without loss still trailing the tourists’ score of 427-7 by 158 runs.

Opener Shadman Islam top scored with 64 and Mahmudul Hasan Joy, 20, but the hosts would eventually stare defeat in the face as the West Indies ‘A’ attack reduced them to 132-7, still 32 runs shy of making the tourists Indies bat again.

However, as has often been the case with West Indies teams in recent years, the attack seemed to run out of steam and was repelled by a late-innings rally that saw wicketkeeper Jaker Ali Anik, score an unbeaten 36 and Rishad Hossain, 20, in an unbroken eighth-wicket stand of 55 that led Bangladesh ‘A’ to safety.

Gudakesh Motie took 2-13, Jair McAllister 2-48 and there was a wicket each for Raymon Reifer, Akeem Jordan and Kevin Sinclair.


Desert Crown enjoyed a gallop in Newmarket on Friday morning as he put the finishing touches to his Brigadier Gerard Stakes preparations ahead of his eagerly-anticipated return next Thursday.

The Sir Michael Stoute-trained colt has been off the track since scorching to victory in the Derby just shy of 12 months ago, but has sportingly been kept in training by his owner Saeed Suhail in a bid to secure more middle-distance riches this term.

Partnered on the Limekilns by regular jockey Richard Kingscote, connections were delighted to be able to get the son of Nathaniel on grass before his Sandown reappearance and with the tuning-up process all but complete, excitement is now building ahead of a contest Stoute has won 11 times in the past – including last year with Desert Crown’s stablemate Bay Bridge.

“We were very pleased to get him on the grass on the round gallop on the Limekilns and he worked very nicely and finished in front of his lead horse,” said Bruce Raymond, racing manager for the owner.

“I’m not sure if he does too much at home now, but he shouldn’t need to, he will be in good shape going into the Brigadier Gerard.”

Desert Crown is one of eight in the mix for the Sandown Group Three and could be joined by stablemate and regular gallops partner Solid Stone.

Also on the comeback trail is Owen Burrows’ Hukum who has been on the sidelines for virtually the same amount of time as Desert Crown having not been seen since landing the Coronation Cup the day before the latter’s Epsom triumph.

Group One-winning filly Nashwa is one of two in the mix for John and Thady Gosden alongside Francesco Clemente, while the David Simcock-trained Cash was beaten a short head by subsequent Irish Derby champion Westover over track and trip in the Classic Trial last term and could make just his second start at the distance.

Jane Chapple-Hyam’s Royal Ascot winner Claymore and Keith Dalgleish’s Chichester complete the list of entrants.

Ralph Beckett’s Haskoy will bid to begin her season with a bang in the Al Rayyan Stakes at Newbury.

The Golden Horn filly was twice a winner as a three-year-old, taking a novice on debut and then the Listed Galtres Stakes at York in August.

Her next outing was the final Classic of the season, the St Leger at Doncaster, where she ran a fine race to cross the line in second place but was later demoted to fourth as she was deemed to have caused interference.

Her run at Newbury will be her first of the season in a career that seems to be following an upward trajectory.

Barry Mahon, general manager for owners Juddmonte, said: “She’s a star.

“To jump up from winning a maiden on the all-weather, to then win a stakes race at York days later and then be thrown in at the deep end into a St Leger and finish second past the post.

“She’s a good filly, but she’s just taken a bit of time to come to hand.”

Godolphin run a well-fancied duo, with multiple Group winner Yibir at the head of the market for Charlie Appleby.

The five-year-old has not been seen since winning the Princess of Wales’s Stakes at Newmarket in July, prior to which he was internationally campaigned and only narrowly beaten in the Sheema Classic, the Jockey Club Stakes and the Man o’War Stakes at Belmont.

Appleby’s second runner is Kemari, another five-year-old gelding but a horse who was more recently seen when finishing fourth and second in the Nad Al Sheba Trophy and the Dubai City Of Gold respectively at Meydan.

The trainer told “Yibir suffered a setback after winning in July but his preparation has gone well. He went for a racecourse gallop at Newmarket a couple of weeks ago and we were very pleased with how he went.

“If he can bring the level of form he showed as a three-year-old and what we saw last year, he is going to be the one they all have to beat.

“Kemari showed great consistency over the winter in Dubai and the ground should be lovely for him. He is a very straightforward horse in terms of his running style and will hopefully be very competitive if he can replicate his Meydan performances.”

William Haggas is represented by Gaassee, a four-time winner who returns to the track for the first time since August and since being gelded.

The trainer said: “That is a very strong race for what it is. It’s a Group Three race with lots of good horses in it.

“He has got talent – we’ve had a few issues with him, but he’s ready to go and he’ll enjoy some decent ground.

“We gelded him at the end of last season. I think he’s OK.”

John and Thady Gosden’s Israr, Andrew Balding’s Old Harrovian, Aidan O’Brien’s Bolshoi Ballet also feature.

Elsewhere there are two Listed races, the first of which is the opening BetVictor Carnarvon Stakes over six furlongs.

Godolphin and Appleby have a strong hand once again through Noble Style, winner of the Gimcrack last term and sixth in the 2000 Guineas when last seen.

Appleby said: “Noble Style goes into this in good order on the back of a pleasing run in the 2000 Guineas, when he was trying a mile for the first time on soft ground.

“We came out of that race with the mindset that sprinting was going to be the way forward.

“Working back from the Commonwealth Cup, we felt getting him back into a sprinting frame of mind here was the right thing to do. This looks a nice springboard onto Royal Ascot and we are very much looking forward to seeing him back over this trip.”

The other Listed contest is the Haras De Bouquetot Fillies’ Trial Stakes, a 10-furlong event for likely Oaks types.

Juddmonte and Beckett run Bluestocking, a daughter of Camelot who won on debut in September when taking a Salisbury novice by a length and a quarter.

“She won her maiden well. Unfortunately we missed Lingfield (last weekend), which was where we wanted to go, and she has taken time to come to herself like a lot of fillies this spring,” Mahon said of the bay.

“Lingfield was our initial plan and the filly was probably not ready to run there anyway, so the switch to the all-weather didn’t really matter to us.

“We’re just waiting for her to come and bloom and she’s coming.

“Everyone is happy with her, she’s not 100 per cent there yet, but she’s coming and just about ready to start.

“She’s a nice filly, full of potential but there is still the unknown until we see her on track and that is where we will find out what her level is.”

Fedrick Dacres threw a season’s best 68.57m to win the men’s discus at the 2023 Tucson Elite Classic on Thursday.

The 2019 World Championship silver medalist had three throws over 67m (67.84m, 68.27, 68.57) that exceeded the 2023 World Championships qualifying standard of 67.20m and makes him the third Jamaican behind Roje Stona and Traves Smikle to achieve the standard this season.

Samoa's Alex Rose, who has thrown over 70m this season, finished in second place with 66.91m with Sam Mattis throwing 64.64m to snag third place.

It was a welcome performance from Dacres, who delivered his best performance with the disc since he threw 69.67m at Excelsior High School in Kingston in February 2020.

The 29-year-old Dacres, the 2018 Commonwealth Games, NACAC and Diamond League champion, who boasts a personal best of 70.78m, a national record, has been hampered by injury and have undergone surgeries on his knees and wrist in the past few years.

Thursday’s performance makes him the sixth-best thrower in the world this year supplanting his training partner and friend, Smike, whose achieved his personal best of 68.14m in Kingston in February and just behind Stona, whose personal best effort of 68.64m came on May 13 in Baton Rouge.

The mark was also more than two metres better than his previous season-best of 66.32m in February.


Cricket West Indies (CWI) today announced a significant change in the travel and accommodation policy for the West Indies Senior Women’s team. With immediate effect, the members of the West Indies Women’s squad will travel business-class for all long-haul international flights and be accommodated in single rooms for all international assignments, bringing it in line with the policy for West Indies Senior Men’s tours.

These decisions were made at the first CWI Board of Directors meeting following the election of the new President Dr. Kishore Shallow in March. Dr. Shallow said the decision represented more progress for the women’s game in the region as the organisation continues its investment to ensure further growth and development. Achieving equality in women’s cricket is a key initiative in CWI’s strategic plan, and this new investment will contribute to increasing the appeal of the women’s game. CWI has worked closely with the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) to put the new policy in place.

Dr. Shallow said: “On International Women’s Day earlier this year, Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley and I, among other things, deliberated over the inequalities in sports. Today, it is pleasing to support champions like Prime Minister Mottley to tilt the scales in leveling the playing field.”

Dr. Shallow added: “The women’s game in international cricket continues to evolve, and CWI must keep apace and, where possible, lead. Introducing these policies and adding a second female to the board as an independent director are monumental strides in the right direction.”

Wavell Hinds, President and CEO of WIPA said: “We welcome this move by CWI in the quest to achieve greater equality within our work environment among our cricketers. We look forward to achieving similar goals in our ongoing negotiations on the renewal of our MOU for another four-year period.”

As part of the commitment towards achieving equality for Women’s players, a new committee has also been approved by the CWI Board of Directors – the Women's Cricket Transformation Committee. This Committee will act in an advisory capacity to CWI’s Director of Cricket and the wider organization.

The Committee’s remit will include but not be limited to recommending strategies geared towards increasing the interest and participation of women and girls in the sport, as well as proposing cricket competitions, events, and pathways that foster competitive women’s and girls’ cricket.

The West Indies Women will be playing their next international fixtures against Ireland in June and July with the schedule to be announced shortly. Following this, they will have a tour of Australia in October where they will play three One-Day Internationals and three T20 Internationals.

In recent years, CWI has committed significant resources towards the development of women’s cricket at all levels and especially the High-Performance pathway.  CWI has also hosted several skill-specific camps to develop the women’s talent pool and is due to launch the Women’s Academy later this year to ensure the next generation of players have a world-class system in place to aid their professional development on and off the field. 


Cuban Thunder looks another Royal Ascot-bound juvenile for Amo Racing having won the Frank Whittle Partnership Maiden Stakes at York.

The Profitable colt was second on his debut at the Craven meeting to James Tate’s Blue Storm and the third, Hugo Palmer’s Hackman, came out and won well at Chester.

Sent off a heavily backed 5-4 favourite, Dominic Ffrench Davis’ youngster had to battle hard to gain the upper hand but eventually saw off a pair of newcomers in Charlie Appleby’s Impressive Act and Kevin Ryan’s We Never Stop by two lengths and a head.

The winner earned a 25-1 quote for the Coventry Stakes with Paddy Power, a race for which Kevin Stott looks likely to have the choice of a few.

Ffrench Davis said: “He ran a blinder at Newmarket and he’s such a laid back individual he was half-asleep that day.

“Today he was very different and I did think York might do that to him as they have to walk over the track and can get a little bit on their toes. I knew he’d cope with it, but he got a little bit warm.

“He was very professional in the race. Halfway through he switched off and Kevin wondered how well he was going, but he asked him to quicken and he was straight back on the bridle.

“He’ll get seven furlongs and he’s a lovely horse going forward. The team will have to decide about Royal Ascot, but he’d have to be in mind for the Coventry if there was bit of juice in the ground.”

Croupier (7-1) will head for the Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot after putting a disappointing effort in the Lincoln well behind him when clinging on to win the Sky Bet Hambleton Handicap.

Simon and Ed Crisford’s four-year-old had got bogged down at Doncaster but was much more at home on ground which was quickening up all the time.

William Buick arrived on the inside travelling well at the two-furlong marker but was all out in the end to hold off Point Lynas and Thirsk Hunt Cup winner Northern Express by a head and a nose.

The Sir Michael Stoute-trained favourite Assessment burst through the stalls and had to be withdrawn.

Ed Crisford said: “It’s nice to see him bounce back as we ran him in the Lincoln on terrible ground. We probably shouldn’t have done that, but he’s bounced back today in good style.

“He’s a lovely horse. They went quite hard up front and William sat just off the pace and I thought he rode a very nice race.

“He travelled into it so well. I thought they were coming after him, but he kept finding more.

“We can head to the Hunt Cup now – that’s the plan. It should be a good race for him as a strong pace and a big field should suit.”

The Crisfords doubled up when 3-1 favourite Chesspiece won the Collective Green Energy Handicap under Ryan Moore.

“He did it very well. It was just the third race of his life and we always felt he wanted a step up in trip,” said Ed Crisford.

“We were a little worried about the ground but he went on a fine and he’s got a big future. I’d say the Queen’s Vase would be the plan as an extra two furlongs would suit him well.”

Regional continued trainer Ed Bethell’s excellent run of form with victory in the Lindum York Handicap.

The Middleham-based trainer had enjoyed winners at Nottingham, Haydock and Leicester in the past seven days and Regional was a 5-1 shot to add to his tally on his seasonal reappearance.

Ridden by Callum Rodriguez, the five-year-old was in front racing inside the final furlong and had enough up his sleeve to repel the slow starting but fast finishing Korker by half a length.

Bethell said: “It wasn’t the plan to make the running, but he’s a decent horse and always has been ever since we’ve had him.

“He came third in the Stewards’ Cup and has been unlucky in other handicaps. I’m just delighted for the guys that own him and he’s a fun horse for the summer.

“He ran off 100 in the Stewards’ Cup, I think that’s his mark in handicaps and I would think he will go to 104 or 105 after today. That makes life difficult, but there is the City Walls back here (a Listed race in August) and he’s shown me he’s electric today, which is something I didn’t think he was.

“I thought he would miss the break and finish, but he’s not missed the break, he’s made the running and shown me that he’s quick enough and talented enough to do it.”

Great State completed a hat-trick in fine style under Oisin Murphy to lift the laurels in the Listed British EBF 40th Anniversary Westow Stakes at York.

Michaela’s Boy set a furious clip under Freddie Larson, having broke smartly from the stalls in the five-furlong contest.

He was still in front with a furlong to race and despite drifting right, he stuck on well but had no answer to the Richard Fahey-trained winner (13-2), who picked up smartly on the stands rail.

The three-year-old grey, who had won at Southwell and Thirsk on his previous two starts, powered home to score by two and a half lengths from Pillow Talk, who pipped the long-time leader for third.

Fahey said: “We had a long discussion whether we kept this horse back for the sprint at Ascot (the Palace of Holyroodhouse Stakes) because we do like the horse and it’s not very often you have a horse rated in the 90s that you think is well handicapped.

“He won’t be well handicapped any longer, but I’m delighted for Sheikh Sultan.

“He’s a real dude, very laid back and easy to deal with, he’s a pleasure to train and I’m delighted to have him.

“I was a little bit worried because he’d been running on the all-weather and won on very soft ground last time and it was quick ground today, so I had the excuse ready if he did get beat.

“He’s a talented horse, I’ll talk to Sheikh Sultan and decide where to go.”

Murphy was on board due to a suspension being served by Fahey’s stable jockey, Oisin Orr.

“Oisin Orr would have usually ridden him but unfortunately he’s suspended today, so I stepped in,” said Murphy.

“He’s a horse that I’m sure everyone at Musley Bank is very excited about. He’s an improver and he’s a lovely horse.

“He probably would enjoy more juice in the ground and he’d stay a little bit further as he was on his head in the middle part of the race, but he got going when they slowed down.

“He’s definitely a horse on the up.”

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, fans of regional cricket were used to a first-class season consisting of each team playing ten games in a home and away format.

Since the return of the West Indies Championship in 2021, the format has been changed drastically.

Now, teams play each other only once, significantly reducing the amount of first-class cricket players around the region are getting to play.

CWI director of cricket, Jimmy Adams, is aware of the concerns raised about the amount of first-class cricket being played in the West indies in comparison to the rest of the world

“The format and structure of the First-Class regional tournament is something that is going to be reviewed coming out of this year,” said the former West Indies batsman.

“We do want to play more First-Class cricket but we also made a commitment to try to play as much higher standard first-class cricket as possible, which is the reason behind the Headley Weekes concept,” he added.

As stated by Adams, the Headley Weekes Tri-Series was introduced this year, with the West Indies Academy coming out victorious.

“We will be reviewing that addition to the season to see if there’s merit in continuing with it. We’re also considering whether we can add more teams to our regional tournament based on the performance of the Academy team in that tournament,” Adams said.

Another solution Adams offered up was the increase in the number of “A” team tours in the future. The West Indies “A” team are currently touring Bangladesh.

“We are conscious of building up more First-Class cricket. A large part of that is also going to revolve around “A” team tours and we have a commitment from CWI to adding regular “A” team series, home and away, for the next cycle which is about three to four years,” Adams said.

“It’s not something that you can put on paper and get a sign-off immediately, it’s ongoing negotiations with board to find windows where we can see teams or send teams away. Again, we are conscious of building up First-Class cricket but the priority is to make sure the standard of it is as high as possible,” he added.



Roger Varian will use Friday’s Boodles Yorkshire Cup as a stepping stone for Eldar Eldarov’s Ascot Gold Cup bid.

Last season’s St Leger winner takes on six rivals in the Group Two contest as he bids to bounce back from a sub-par run in his sole start since, when beating just one rival home in Ascot’s Long Distance Cup.

He won the Queen’s Vase and the Doncaster Classic in both starts over a mile and three-quarters, and returns to that trip on the Knavesmire.

“He’s really doing well of late and has obviously been very good at both tries over this distance,” said Varian.

“We do see him being very effective when he races over Cup distances, but I think a mile and six furlongs is a good distance to start his season off at, and we hope he runs a good, solid race on Friday that means we can then take aim at the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot.

“We’ve got to see how he runs, but we would love to see a positive performance, win or lose. It looks a strong race, but he’s a horse we are looking forward to running and hopefully he can come out of the race giving us the collective opinion he can be a Gold Cup horse.”

In an interesting renewal, 2021 Ebor runner-up Quickthorn returns to the scene of last season’s 14-length Lonsdale Cup success for Hughie Morrison.

His trainer is hoping he can start to garner the plaudits he feels the Nathaniel gelding deserves, with Oisin Murphy retaining the ride as regular partner Tom Marquand is unavailable.

“It was a Flightline-type performance, but he didn’t get the Flightline-type recognition,” said Morrison.

“It might have been a once-in-a-lifetime performance, but I do think it was exceptional, and the disappointment was that neither Stradivarius nor Trueshan ran that day, because we’d have got the credit then.

“Coltrane obviously didn’t run to his best, but Quickthorn absolutely dominated him and I think if you look at the sectionals, he went fast all of the way.

“The ground had gone when he went to Longchamp, and it was the same story at Ascot. The year before he’d had enough by October, and I think that was probably a factor again, too.”

Morrison is keen for the habitual front-runner to replicate that form back down in distance after a somewhat disappointing sixth when taken on early in the Dubai Gold Cup at Meydan in March.

“As for Dubai, it wasn’t easy getting him out of a field in December to have him ready for a fast-ground race in Dubai that looked like a Group One three months later,” he added ahead of a race that forms part of the Qipco British Champions Series.

“He ran well, but the Godolphin team knew what they were up to and we weren’t going to get an easy ride. My concern is that I might have left my year behind in Dubai, but I’ve been perfectly happy with him at home.

“Tom Marquand couldn’t commit himself, so I made the decision to go for Oisin at the weekend.

“Oisin knows Quickthorn well and rode him in Dubai, as well as when he won twice two years ago, including at Royal Ascot.”

Broome flashed home to win the Dubai Gold Cup for trainer Aidan O’Brien and jockey Ryan Moore, beating Godolphin’s reopposing Siskany, who was favourite for the principal staying race on World Cup night.

Siskany was successful at the 2022 Dubai Carnival and third in the Group One Grosser Preis von Bayern in Germany at the end of the season.

The Charlie Appleby-trained five-year-old easily won the Group Three Nad Al Sheba Trophy in February before being nabbed close home by Broome last time.

“Siskany put up a couple of decent performances at Meydan over the winter,” Appleby told

“We felt that the two miles of the Dubai Gold Cup was right at his limit and dropping back to a mile and six furlongs will help. He brings a nice profile into the race and conditions look there to suit, so we are expecting a big run.

Giavellotto, who was promoted to third in the St Leger after being badly hampered two furlongs out, has a bit to find with Broome and Siskany after subsequently finishing ninth in Meydan.

Trainer Marco Botti said: “I felt he was a bit unlucky in the St Leger. He’s a horse with a big stride and he was checked twice. For me he’d have been much closer otherwise.

“His preparation has gone well since Dubai, where things didn’t really pan out for him from a really wide draw and he ended up a bit too far back. It looks quite a competitive race but he stays well and he’s in good form. He’s in good shape and I’m pleased to see that the ground is drying out as I didn’t want to run him on really soft ground.

“He’s not in the Gold Cup, as that trip might stretch him and we don’t see it as the right race for him, but he has plenty of options.”

Last season’s Yorkshire Cup third Tashkhan is the only runner from a year ago to appear again, while Get Shirty completes the line-up.

Free Wind defied a 320-day lay-off to land the Group Two Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Middleton Fillies’ Stakes at York under a fine ride from Frankie Dettori.

The John and Thady Gosden-trained four-year-old had been absent since winning the Lancashire Oaks at Haydock in July, but was a warm order for her return in the extended 10-furlong event.

Sent off the 6-5 favourite, she settled well and when asked to lengthen approaching three furlongs to run, she did so effortlessly.

As the run from long-time leader Aristia – carrying a Group One penalty – petered out, Free Wind hit the front soon enough and outsider Rogue Millennium loomed large on the outside under Jack Mitchell.

Though the pair came close when Free Wind edged right, Free Wind kept finding and after a stewards’ inquiry, the result – a half-length victory – stood.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.