Vandeek demonstrated his class with a tremendously impressive victory in the Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket.

The Simon and Ed Crisford-trained Havana Grey colt came into the race unbeaten having landed a Nottingham maiden, the Richmond at Goodwood and the Prix Morny throughout the year.

He was the heavily-backed 5-4 favourite under James Doyle and left the stalls a touch slowly before being tucked in behind rivals in the early stages of the race.

When a gap appeared Doyle guided him through it and from there he accelerated readily to leave the whole field behind him and triumph by two and a quarter lengths from Task Force, with River Tiber a head further back in third.

Porta Fortuna came out on top for Donnacha O’Brien in the Juddmonte Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket.

A 9-2 chance under Oisin Murphy, the Caravaggio filly gravitated towards the centre of the track and travelled in the outer of the two groups throughout the six-furlong Group One.

The field spread across the course in the closing stages and from the middle Porta Fortuna – winner of the Albany at Royal Ascot – was able to accelerate past her rivals to emerge victorious by a length and a half.

Rogue Millennium will bid to give connections another day to remember when she lines up for the Prix de l’Opera Longines at ParisLongchamp on Sunday.

The Dubawi filly made dreams come true when landing the Duke of Cambridge Stakes for trainer Tom Clover and owners The Rogues Gallery at Royal Ascot in June and ran a brilliant race to finish second to Tahiyra in the Group One Matron Stakes at Leopardstown when last seen.

She now heads to France for the third time this season after a course and distance effort in Prix Allez France in April, where she finished third behind India and Mqse De Sevigne.

The former has won since in a German Group One and the latter has landed two French contests at the same grade, form that bodes incredibly well for Rogue Millennium’s return to both the track and the trip.

Clover said: “Rogue Millennium is in stall eight and she seems in really good form.

“Fingers crossed she can go well, that was a lovely run behind Tahiyra in the Matron and I’m looking forward to seeing her back up to 10 furlongs.”

Of her prior trip to Longchamp he added: “It’s strong form I’d say, Mqse De Sevigne has won two Group Ones and India won again about a week ago.

“This is a step up from that but I am excited to see her go further and run over 10 furlongs again.”

A key rival is Christopher Head’s Blue Rose Cen, winner of a string of Group races earlier in the term as she took both the French 1000 Guineas and Oaks.

Beaten in the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood, she was also out of luck when tried at a mile and a half in the Prix Vermeille at Longchamp.

She now reverts to a mile and a quarter for what is likely to be the final race of her campaign.

“She’s running in the Opera and I think that’s pretty much going to be the end of the season for her,” Head said.

“She’s going back to the 2,000 (metres), she’s a very interesting filly.

“She has had a tremendous season and we can’t wait to see her on the Arc de Triomphe weekend.”

Aidan O’Brien will be represented in the race by Jackie Oh, a Galileo filly last seen finishing second to Lumiere Rock in the Blandford Stakes at the Curragh.

The trainer said: “She was second at the Curragh last time, if any ease in the ground comes that will suit her.

“We thought that she was a little bit unlucky, she got back a little bit, but we’re looking forward to this race.

“She has form on better ground, but her performance would probably be a little bit better with ease in it.”

Lumiere Rock is in action again for Joseph O’Brien, whereas Al Husn is another fancied runner for Roger Varian after her Nassau victory ahead of Blue Rose Cen.

Clive Cox’s Ghostwriter remains unbeaten after a taking victory in the Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes at Newmarket.

The Invincible Spirit two-year-old was a wide-margin maiden winner at the July course on debut and then took an Ascot novice in convincing style in early September.

Stepped up to Group Two level on the Rowley Mile and ridden by Richard Kingscote, the bay was not hard pressed to ease ahead of eight rivals and prevail by a length at 100-30, in what looked a good renewal. Al Musmak and Capulet took second and third respectively.

The Jeff Smith-owned colt was subsequently given a 16-1 quote by Coral for next year’s 2000 Guineas.

Trueshan galloped to a peerless victory under Hollie Doyle in the Qatar Prix du Cadran at ParisLongchamp.

Alan King’s popular gelding first landed the marathon contest from Stradivarius in 2021 and was well-fancied to win again in a field of six, having made a winning return after a break in the Doncaster Cup.

Sent off the 6-5 favourite, he led the way throughout from Frankie Dettori and Emily Dickinson, and when asked to quicken in the home straight he was easily able to pull clear of his rivals to secure an easy win from Moon Wolf and Run For Oscar.

Highfield Princess will look to overcome a wide draw as she aims for 14th career success in the Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp on Sunday.

The sprinting star came within touching distance of a series of big races in the early part of the season before winning for the first time this year in the King George at Goodwood in early August.

From there she was was second when defending her Nunthorpe title at York before a luckless run saw her come home fifth in the Flying Five on the Curragh.

Trainer John Quinn reports she has been in good form since the Ireland trip as she looks to put that run behind her on Parisian turf.

He said: “She’s doing fine and has been well since the Curragh.

“I’ve been happy with her the last 10 days. She did a little bit of work on Tuesday morning and moved well and Jason (Hart, jockey) was happy with her.

“She looks well, it didn’t work out at the Curragh but Sunday is a different day.

“We’re looking forward to it and let’s hope she bounces back.”

Of Highfield Princess’s draw in stall 14, Quinn added: “She’s got a bit of room out there…

“She missed the break at the Curragh and slipped coming out and at least in 14 she has a bit of space where she can manoeuvre. I was hoping to get somewhere in the middle, like 10 or 12, so I’m not going to cry over 14.

“This is a nice flat track, she has good form on flat tracks and we’re looking forward to Sunday.”

Ken Condon’s Moss Tucker took the Flying Five by half a length and returns to action to try and put the seal on a consistent and progressive campaign.

“He’s come out of the win at the Curragh in really good form. He left pretty early because of the weather potentially making it tricky, but he seems to have landed there well and everything is good,” Condon said.

“He’s drawn in the middle and we can’t do anything about that, but the horse is well and we just have to see how we get on.

“It will be a very competitive race, but he has form on all types of ground. He’s obviously better with some cut in the ground and he won’t have that Sunday, but he always turns up and tries. He’s in good form and we hope he runs a big race.

“Prior to his Group One he was impressive in the Group Three and I do think he’s a horse at the peak of his powers. He’s a horse on the upgrade and improving and he was really tough when he needed to be last time, he really battled and was always getting there.

“He’s a tough, solid horse who you can always rely on to do his best. He’s taken his form to a different level this year and won a Group One his 30th start.”

Clive Cox has a pair of runners in the five-furlong event in Get Ahead, second to Moss Tucker in the Flying Five, and Kerdos, winner of the Beverley Bullet.

Of the former, he said: “She ran an absolute blinder at the Curragh and I really felt she confirmed the belief we had in her that she could compete at the highest level.

“I’m really happy she has a nice draw in nine, which is pleasing, and hopefully she can back up that wonderful Irish performance.”

Kerdos is drawn in stall four and Cox said of the colt: “He was very polished in his Beverley Bullet success and has come out of the race really well.

“We have a low draw in four with him and I couldn’t be more pleased. He’s a horse with a lot to look forward to and I just hope we get a bit of luck in running.”

Charlie Hills is another trainer set to saddle two runners in Equilateral and Equality, ridden by Jamie Spencer and Daniel Muscutt respectively.

Equilateral won a good sprint handicap at York last time and has prior Group form from earlier in the season when he was second in the Temple Stakes and fifth in the King’s Stand.

Hills said of the gelding: “Equilateral did well to win last time and I hope that will give him confidence going into this race.”

Equality finished third in the Flying Five when last seen and is drawn competitively in stall eight.

“He ran a cracker last time to finish third in the Flying Five at the Curragh, which proved he’s up to this level,” said Hills.

“With it being a dry forecast in Paris, the ground should be ideal for him. He’s shown he can run well on anything, but drying conditions certainly wouldn’t worry him like it might some of the others.

“There’s probably not a lot between these sprinters and they seem to take their turn.”

Rogue Lightning is drawn widest of all as he looks to extend the three-race winning streak he has enjoyed since being gelded in May.

“Rogue Lightning has been drawn in (stall) 19, which is a bit of a graveyard draw but he’s in really good form,” said trainer Tom Clover.

“I appreciate they’re calling it soft, but that could equate to our good to soft ground and I feel like with no rain for the last few weeks we should have some decent ground which hopefully might level it up a bit.

“We’re not drawn too far from Highfield Princess so hopefully that gives us some pace and he can run a really nice race.

Elsewhere in the race is Tim Easterby’s Art Power, a likeable grey who is regular in major sprint events, and the Karl Burke-trained duo of Dramatised and White Lavender.

Native American has the chance to emulate some illustrious names when he steps up in class for the Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at ParisLongchamp on Sunday.

Richard Fahey’s unbeaten youngster has only been seen twice so far, but has barely put a foot wrong when striding out onto the racecourse, winning with supreme ease on debut before landing a valuable Curragh prize in taking style 21 days ago.

He will now be tested at the highest level for the first time, 13 years after Fahey saddled Wootton Bassett to surge to victory in the seven-furlong Group One.

“It’s a good race and he needs to step up, but we’re pleased with him,” said Fahey.

“He’s a horse I could see improving a lot for his win the other day, but he will need to. I think he’s the lowest-rated horse in the race, but we’re very happy with him, we’re looking forward to it.”

Wootton Bassett headed to the French capital with four runs under his belt, whereas Native American is still at the formative stages of his career.

However, Malton-based Fahey does see similarities between the pair and believes the son of Sioux Nation will be an even better prospect next season.

He added: “They would be similar horses and both undefeated going there. I think Wootton Bassett had won four before going there. He was slightly more experienced, but this horse will have improved a lot now.

“He’s going to be a better three-year-old than two-year-old, but we’ve been really pleased with him since the Curragh.”

Native American is owned by the Qatar-based Wathnan racing who are also represented in the race by Adrian Keatley’s Ballymount Boy.

Second in both the Richmond Stakes and Acomb Stakes since opening his account at Hamilton, his handler believes he is fully primed to make his presence felt in Paris.

“He deserves to take his place in the field and we’ve been happy with him at home,” said Keatley.

“He’s had a nice bit of time between this and his last run, he is in great form and we’re happy with him.

“We feel this could be his turn to get his head in front. Hopefully it will be on Sunday and these are the places you want to be.”

Richard Hannon’s Rosallion saw his bubble burst in the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster, but Richard Hannon is hoping the prospect of better ground on the Bois de Boulogne can see his charge return to the form of his destructive earlier outings.

“It looks like it’s going to be fast ground out there which will be much more to his liking,” said Hannon.

“We were very disappointed at Doncaster and we hope he is going to show what he can really do.

“They went very slow at Doncaster and he just didn’t look like the horse we saw at Ascot or we’ve seen at home, so hopefully we will see him in a much better light.”

Another hoping to show off his star potential is Brian Meehan’s Jayarebe who looked to possess a real touch of class when scoring at Newmarket on debut and is now thrown straight in at the deep end by trainer Brian Meehan.

He said: “I think he’s really smart and he’s came out of his last race really well.

“His work has been good and he does things really easily. I thought it was a good performance at Newmarket and he beat some really nice horses.

“He could have gone to the Royal Lodge, but I figured we would go straight to a Group One.”

With Meehan’s go-to pilot Sean Levey needed to partner Rosallion, the Manton handler has called upon an old ally and weighing-room great in Frankie Dettori to do the steering aboard Jayarebe.

“We’re good friends and he’s ridden a lot of good winners for me over the years,” added the trainer.

“We’re always really selective over what Frankie rides. Sean wasn’t free so it was ideal to have Frankie.”

French hopes are carried by Yann Barberot’s unbeaten Beauvatier who brought up a four-timer when downing Andre Fabre’s reopposing Evade in the Prix la Rochette, while Francis-Henri Graffard’s Zabiari is another with smart course form to his name.

Aidan O’Brien is no stranger to success in this and saddles both Henry Adams and Unquestionable, who is the choice of Ryan Moore.

The latter has solely campaigned at six furlongs, but after brave performances in defeat, is now upped in trip.

“He ran at the Curragh last time over six furlongs, he hasn’t stepped up to seven yet,” said O’Brien.

“We think it’s going to suit him, stepping up to seven, and he’s been in good form since then.”

O’Brien also has a strong hand in the other two-year-old contest on the card, the Qatar Prix Marcel Boussac, where he saddles Opera Singer.

The Ballydoyle handler has won this event four times in the past and could become the joint-most successful trainer in the race if his talented daughter of Justify backs up her ruthless display on the Curragh recently when winning a Group Three by six and a half lengths.

O’Brien said: “She won a Group race at the Curragh last time over a mile, we think this race will really suit her. She’s a Justify filly and we’re really happy with her since.”

Karl Burke’s Darnation arrives with a growing reputation having claimed both the Prestige Stakes and May Hill Stakes in the manner of a top-class operator, while Frankie Dettori will don famous silks when he gets the leg-up aboard Meehan’s recent Sandown scorer Extraordinaire.

“She will appreciate the mile at Longchamp on Sunday and the ground should be nice for as well,” said her trainer.

“She’s a really nice filly who did well at Sandown last time and the form is working out well.”

Frankie Dettori will have trusted ally Kinross for company in what could be his final ride on French soil when he partners the defending champion in the Qatar Prix de la Foret on Sunday.

The retiring Italian has enjoyed plenty of success at ParisLongchamp throughout his distinguished career and little under two hours after John and Thady Gosden’s Free Wind will be his last ride in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, it is Ralph Beckett’s evergreen six-year-old that will provide his swansong on the Arc-day card.

Dettori has formed a formidable partnership with Kinross over the last few seasons with the duo counting victory in this contest amongst four big-race victories last term.

The horse the 52-year-old has affectionately referred to as a “ATM machine” in the past now returns to the French capital looking as good as ever following victories at Goodwood and York this summer, and owner Marc Chan’s 10-time scorer sets the standard in this Group One event as the pair search for one final triumph together in Europe.

“Knowing Frankie as long as I’ve known Frankie, he’s not really one to become emotionally attached to horses, but one thing is for sure, he really does like this horse and is fond of him,” said Jamie McCalmont, racing manager for the owner.

“I remember last year by the time that race was run, the English crowd had got a fair few drinks in them and when they went back into the winner’s enclosure the crowd were chanting ‘oh Frankie Dettori’. It was pretty cool.

“Let’s hope they are all singing again.”

Further British interest in the race is provided by Charlie Hills’ Pogo and Richard Hannon’s pair of Happy Romance and Shouldvebeenaring – with the latter hoping to provide owners Middleham Park with back-to-back Arc day Group One triumphs having struck in the Prix de l’Abbaye with The Platinum Queen 12 months ago.

Another taking on a raiding mission from the UK is George Boughey’s Cachet, who came ever so close to Classic success in her sole appearance on the continent at this track last season.

Last year’s 1000 Guineas winner blew away the cobwebs following 457 days on the sidelines when fourth in the Sceptre Stakes at Doncaster’s St Leger meeting and the prospect of favourable ground in Paris has persuaded connections to make a quick return to the track following that comeback in what could be her final outing in the blue silks of owners Highclere.

“We’ve decided we’re going to run Cachet on Sunday in the Foret,” said Highclere’s Harry Herbert.

“George is delighted with her since her comeback run at Doncaster and she worked well on the Rowley Mile earlier in the week.

“The key to her is getting good or fast ground, so hopefully she’ll get that in Paris this weekend and if she does we hope she’ll be competitive.

“This could be her last run for Highclere before she is sold at the mares’ sale in December.”

Patrice Cottier’s Prix du Moulin scorer Sauterne leads the French charge dropping back in trip by a furlong, while Prix Maurice De Gheest champion King Gold is another from the home team bringing Group One-winning form to the table.

Outgoing senior Reggae Girlz Head coach Lorne Donaldson stopped just short of saying he is the victim of a personal vendetta waged against him by Jamaica Football Federation’s (JFF) General Secretary Dennis Chung, as he refuted claims about how discussions to cut ties, transpired.

Donaldson in response to a widely circulated release by the JFF, pointed out that the decision not to renew his contract was by no means mutual, as the meeting with Chung and JFF’s Human Resource Manager Suzie George-Gayle, lasted a mere five minutes.

The JFF in its statement said, “after an extended discussion, both parties came to an agreement that the contract would not be renewed.”

But Donaldson in an interview with, rubbished the claims.

 “He [Chung] said they are terminating me. There was no discussion. In a five-minute meeting, he just said congrats on everything and the next thing was, ‘we will not renew your contract.’ There was no reason why, or anything, he just said, we will not renew your contract,” he shared.

Donaldson, along with former Head coach Hue Menzies, was first introduced to the Reggae Girlz programme by women’s football ambassador Cedella Marley in 2015 and led the country to an historic first FIFA Women’s World Cup appearance in France in 2019.

However, after departing the programme in 2020, following the steps of Menzies, who left earlier in 2019, Donaldson was reappointed in June 2022, to replace Vinimore “Vin” Blaine, who was forced to resign a few months into his tenure, after the Girlz expressed their displeasure with his leadership in a scathing letter.

Like he did in 2019, Donaldson again led the Reggae Girlz to the World Cup, jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand, where they had an historic run to the round of 16, after drawing with France and Brazil and defeating Panama in the group stage.

The Reggae Girlz eventually bowed out following a 0-1 loss to Colombia.

In their most recent fixtures, the Reggae Girlz suffered back-to-back losses to Canada in a failed bid to qualify for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, but the progress the team has made under Donaldson’s leadership is without question.

The tactician doesn’t believe he was judged on that basis.

“Another thing he said is that if they had done well with the Olympic qualifiers, we (the coaching staff) would have carried on. You don’t want to work in a condition where you are being judged based on one game and not your body of work. So, I guess what happened at the World Cup didn’t matter and it never really had anything to do with football,” Donaldson opined.

“It’s because I disagreed with the way they want to treat players and coaches, and I defended the Girlz. They have been waiting for the opportunity to do this (get rid of me) because they have been trying to do this from June,” he added.

The outspoken coach recalled a conversation in which he and Chung didn’t see eye-to-eye and he believes it was from that point that their relationship spiralled.

“From day one when he said women’s football will never catch on in Jamaica and people will never support women’s football, and I told him he is wrong, I realised the relationship has been topsy-turvy since then,” Donaldson revealed.

He continued: “He said nobody cares about women’s football in Jamaica and it doesn’t matter how bad the men’s team is, the men will get more support than the women. That was when we were trying to go to Australia for the (Cup of Nations) tournament and from that day I knew we are always going to be fighting for these Girlz because it revealed to me that they really don’t care about the Girlz.

“He was trying to justify why we shouldn’t have gone to the tournament in Australia, all because they were spending a little money, even though Australia was spending some money as well. And then he came up with these ridiculous flight prices and I said no, it is way less than that. And from February on, he was total against everything that we were doing.”

Despite sensing Chung’s perceived dislike, Donaldson explained that it was his duty as Head coach to remain resolute in his fight for the players, who sometimes felt disheartened by the show of support, or lack thereof, from the country’s governing football body in particular.

“We had to stand up for the Girlz and I stick to that. When they are right, we fought for them and when they were wrong, I told them. And then we had to make sure they had the resources that we can have them perform,” Donaldson said.

“It showed the other day when we didn’t have the proper equipment for them to train. There was no equipment on the first day of camp and stuff like that affected the Girlz because they didn’t feel the love. They kept saying people didn’t care.

“They just went to a World Cup and see all around the world how everybody (other countries) is speaking glowingly of their team, and they come to Jamaica and can’t even get the proper equipment,” he reasoned.

That said, Donaldson wished the JFF and Reggae Girlz well on their future endeavours, starting with the upcoming Concacaf Women's Gold Cup qualifying matches against Panama and Guatemala, next month.

“The JFF, whatever they have planned for the Girlz, I hope they are successful with it, and I wish them all the best from the bottom of my heart. They made a decision, and I am fine with that,” he declared.

“We have a great group of players that are going to come in, and what we have achieved is basically a scratch on the surface because the sky is the limit with this group of Girlz,” Donaldson ended.

Meanwhile, Chung when contacted about the allegations, was reluctant to address what transpired during the meeting.

“I don’t want to comment on those decisions (made during the meeting), I don’t know where those comments are coming from, but from an ethical point of view, I’m just not going to comment on it. We issued a release, and the release speaks for itself,” Chung told

However, he admitted to an extent that the February conversation in Montego Bay did happen, but not exactly how it was stated by Donaldson.

“I never said that people don’t care about women’s football, I don’t know where that is coming from. What I have said in the past is that no matter how well the women do, it seems like people tend to support the men more in terms of attendance at matches and that is something that has been said internationally. So, I was just echoing it because someone said it on a sports programme I was listening to,” Chung explained.

 “It is an unfortunate comment that he made, but I didn’t listen to it, because the fact is that the JFF has spent a lot more money on the women’s programme than the men’s programme and in terms of resourcing it, has given it equal footing, if not more.

“So, it’s a very unfortunate comment if that was said because when you talk about sponsorship, most of the sponsors have come in for the women’s programme, so that was very unfortunate,” he argued.

When asked about the possible timeline for Donaldson’s replacement given the significance of the upcoming fixtures, Chung said information should be forthcoming by Monday.

 “We are working to ensure that a team is in place so I’m sure that by Monday we will have that sorted in terms of what we are doing. So, something is being worked on and the JFF will communicate that,” Chung noted.

Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz 2-1 loss to Canada on Tuesday, was Head Coach Lorne Donaldson’s last match in charge of the Jamaica Senior Women’s Football squad as according to the Jamaica Football Federation, his contract will not be renewed.

Donaldson was appointed Reggae Girlz head coach in June 2022 and led the national women’s team to their second consecutive qualification for the FIFA Women’s World Cup. At the World Cup, he took Jamaica to a historic round of 16 after drawing with France and Brazil and defeating Panama in the group stage.

The Reggae Girlz eventually bowed out following a 1-0 loss to Colombia.

The Reggae Girlz suffered back-to-back losses to Canada in a failed bid to qualify for the 2024 Olympics in Paris but the progress the team has made under his leadership is without question. However, according to the JFF, following a meet with the coach, whose contract comes to an end on September 30, they will be looking for a new head coach.

“The Jamaica Football Federation and Coach Lorne Donaldson had a meeting to discuss his contract as the Senior Women's Team coach. After an extended discussion, both parties came to an agreement that the contract would not be renewed,” the JFF said in a statement Friday.

“The JFF wishes to place on record, our thanks to Lorne for his services to Jamaica's football over the years, and specially making us proud at the recent Women’s World Cup, held in Australia and New Zealand, and we are confident that he will have unlimited success in his future endeavors and wish him the very best.”

The development means the Reggae Girlz will be without a head coach for the upcoming CONCACAF Women's Gold Cup qualifying matches in less than a month. However, the JFF states, “We will immediately put the machinery in place to have competent staff in place for this important competition.”

Relief Rally will miss the Juddmonte Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday due to a bad scope.

The William Haggas-trained two-year-old has proven a real money spinner for owners Simon Munir and Isaac Souede, better known for their National Hunt acquisitions.

After scoring at Windsor and Salisbury, Relief Rally went down by just a nose to Crimson Advocate in the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot before landing a valuable sales race at Newbury in a convincing manner.

Last time out, she took a step up in trip to six furlongs in her stride when beating Aidan O’Brien’s reopposing Cherry Blossom in the Group Two Lowther Stakes at York.

A crack at Group One glory was next up, but will now have to wait. Munir wrote on X (formerly Twitter): “Needless to say we are all very disappointed that Relief Rally scoped badly and is now a non-runner for the Cheveley Park Stakes tomorrow.”

Cherry Blossom has since done the value of the Lowther form no harm by picking up over €240,000 for finishing second of 23 in the Goffs Million at the Curragh, albeit beaten six lengths by One Look.

Soprano has performed consistently well in good company without quite adding to a debut success at this course.

George Boughey’s filly has been placed three times at Group Three level, in the Albany at Royal Ascot, the Sweet Solera on the July course here and the Dick Poole at Salisbury, when having to recover from fluffing her start and getting detached early on.

On the decision to run in this contest rather than Friday’s Rockfel Stakes, Boughey said: “I think staying at six furlongs is right. She is a strong stayer over that trip and she loves the track.

“There can be a speed influence in the Rockfel, but it looked like there are some stouter pedigrees in the Rockfel this year and I didn’t want her getting outstayed over seven furlongs by taking on horses that will stay a mile. We wanted to use her stamina over shorter.

“It was a massive effort for her to finish third at Salisbury given how she started the race. I think if the race was 50 yards longer, she would have nearly been in front. She certainly deserves her place in the line-up on Saturday.”

Jasna’s Secret bids to follow in the footsteps of some illustrious past French victors such as Ma Biche, Ravinella, Special Duty, Natagora and most recently Vorda in 2013.

She was snapped up by the shrewd Wathnan Racing recruitment team after completing a Deauville double in a valuable sales race for Carlos and Yann Lerner last month, when comfortably accounting for two-time winner Zorken.

Albany winner Porta Fortuna returns to the UK for Donnacha O’Brien, having since been placed twice in Group One company at the Curragh.

The daughter of Caravaggio was second to Bucanero Fuerte in the Phoenix Stakes and dead-heated for third behind Fallen Angel in the Moyglare on Irish Champions Festival weekend.

The stage is set, and Olivia “Storm” Kelly is raring to go with hopes that she will produce something special, on this her second appearance at the FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships.

It is a moment the Barbadian gymnast has worked hard for all season, and as the September 30 to October 8 championships fast approaches, an Olympic Games berth which is among the spoils, is very much weighing on her mind.

Simply put, Kelly has her sight set on becoming the first gymnast to represent the Eastern Caribbean Island at the global multi-sport showpiece, and achieving such a feat would not only be a dream come true but would most certainly propel her budding career to higher heights.

While the expectations may be lofty, they are by no means impossible and given the experience gained from last year's championships, Kelly believes she is well positioned to prove more competitive on this occasion.

But for now, the 17-year-old is basking in the culture and scenery of Antwerp, a port city on Belgium's River Scheldt, almost like a calm before the proverbial storm.

"Belgium is so beautiful. So far, I’ve been able to walk around Antwerp a little to enjoy the scenery and there is just so much to do. The lifestyle here is very admirable and the food and people are incredible.

"I’ve adjusted pretty well to the six-hour time difference and have also been in training which has been going well since I arrived. So I am just making the most of the time before I jump into competition which I am really looking forward to," Kelly told from her base in Belgium.

One key component for the American-based Kelly is the fact that she will have compatriot Anya Pilgrim competing alongside her on this occasion, and that has not only added to her excitement, but more importantly, offers a slight boost in confidence.

The American-born Pilgrim, another talented gymnast, was a late call-up for the Championships after a qualified athlete opted not to take up their spot.

"Having Anya here has definitely made me more excited. It’s great to have another athlete/friend with me who is going through the exact same situation I am, as we are both seeking to be the first to gymnast to qualify and, by extension represent Barbados the Olympic Games," Kelly shared.

That said, Kelly pointed out that they have not only fed off each other’s energy building back up strength and endurance, while adding elements to increase their difficulty scores, but most importantly, ensuring they are both mentally and physically ready to rise to the occasion.

"Both of us are doing pretty well mentally and physically and are extremely excited to compete. Since it’s my second time at Worlds, I feel like I really know what I’m doing this time and I’m excited to explore this gorgeous place and compete for Barbados," she noted.

Beyond the excitement –which is understandable for any athlete returning on what is the biggest stage of her career at present –there is a serious side to Kelly, and she is focused on ensuring her performance quality and the details of her routine are on point.

"Making it to the Olympics would mean so much to me. Ever since I started competing in Gymnastics it’s been my long-term goal. For a while I gave up on that dream thinking it was impossible. But now, I’m just so grateful to have even made it this far and have the opportunity to live out my dream," the bubbly athlete ended.


Mutasaabeq continued his love affair with Newmarket and provided trainer Charlie Hills with a nice birthday present by winning the Al Basti Equiworld, Dubai Joel Stakes for the second straight season.

He put in a brave front-running performance to land the Group Two contest over a mile, which made it five wins from six outings at this course.

Jim Crowley made all on the son of Invincible Spirit to prevail by three-quarters of a length last year, but connections had to endure a tighter finish this term.

Regal Reality threw down a fierce challenge throughout the final furlong but 11-4 favourite Mutasaabeq kept on well enough to oblige by a head, with Chindit half a length further back in third.

“He seems to love it here. It is horses for courses, and he has got a tremendous record at the Rowley Mile and Jim has given him a good ride there,” said Hills.

“I thought he toughed it out well in the end. He has been a good horse over the years, and he has won three Group Twos now. Birthday winners are good, but I’ve not really had many.

“He is not frustrating, but I think when he wins he puts a lot into it and he can’t put too many races together, although he is a little bit older now, and a bit stronger.

“When he won here as a three-year-old he looked unbeatable and he went off not far off favourite for the 2000 Guineas just off winning a conditions race.

“He has been pretty sound through his career, but he has not had too many chances at Group One level. However, I’ve always felt he is up to it.”

A trip to Santa Anita for the Breeders’ Cup could be on the agenda.

Hills added: “He has been a pleasure to train and we will see where we go next. I will speak to Angus (Gold, racing manager) and Sheikha Hissa.

“Whether we have a look at America for the mile there that could be an option. We will certainly think about it. What do you do with a horse that has won three Group Twos. He is a good miler, and he likes fast ground. I’m sure he will handle the trip.

“He only needs to improve a couple of lengths with the travel and the conditions and you never quite know. A track like this the mile tests his stamina, but a two-turn mile (like the one at Santa Anita) will suit him ideally.”

Bay Bridge has connections dreaming of Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe glory as he heads to ParisLongchamp for a blockbuster renewal of the European middle-distance championship.

Bay Bridge lowered the colours of the all-conquering Baaeed when scooping Champion Stakes gold at Ascot last year, but the proven Group One performer will be making just his second start over a mile and a half in the French capital on Sunday.

Course experience was banked when third in the Prix Ganay earlier in the season and the final piece of the Bay Bridge jigsaw was completed when proving his suitability over the 12-furlong trip with an emphatic success in the September Stakes earlier this month.

That Kempton event has been used as a timely stepping stone to Paris in the past and the Sir Michael Stoute-trained five-year-old fared best of the British challengers during Thursday’s draw in stall six – the spot that has provided the most Arc success this century.

“We’re heading there and hoping for a good result,” said John O’Connor of Ballylinch Stud, who own the horse in conjunction with breeder James Wigan.

“We think based on his last run that he gets a mile and a half. He’s well proven over a mile and a quarter, but he appears to get a mile and a half well enough judged on the September Stakes, which has been used as a Prix de l’Arc prep previously by Enable. So it’s a proven path if you like.”

Remarkably Stoute has just one Arc victory on his illustrious CV, but few in the training ranks possess a wealth of experience as great as the master of Freemason Lodge.

And it is the 77-year-old’s desire to run in the race which has given his owners the belief their charge could make his mark in one of the year’s most fiercely competitive contests.

“He’s a very good horse, but obviously the Arc is a very difficult race to win,” added O’Connor.

“It’s regularly the highest-rated race in the world and we’re under no illusions that it is a competitive race and hard to win.

“But we think he is in there with a good chance and he’s trained by a maestro who has already won the race, so he knows what it takes to win it. He’s keen to run him and we’re happy to go along with that.

“Everyone knows how hard it is to win the race, but we’re going to give it a shot.”

Stoute’s sole Arc victory came curtesy of Workforce who carried the famous Juddmonte silks to victory in 2010 and the Abdullah family’s racing operation – who have enjoyed Arc glory with Enable in the last 10 years – will be optimistic of celebrating another triumph with the Ralph Beckett-trained Westover.

“We’re looking forward to it and he’s in good form at home,” said Barry Mahon, European racing manager for the owners.

“His preparations have gone really well, both Ralph and Rob (Hornby, jockey) are really happy with him and as I say, he’s had a smooth run into it.”

A winner of the Irish Derby at three, he has taken his form skywards this term, finishing no worse than second in four starts, all at Group One level.

The son of Frankel has already tasted success in France at Saint-Cloud earlier in the season and having got bogged down in deep ground when sixth in this race last season, conditions should suit this time ahead of his second bite of the Arc cherry.

“He’s a better horse now at four, both physically and mentally, and is in a good place,” continued Mahon.

“He’s been to France and Dubai this year and travelling doesn’t seem to bother him and hopefully that is a plus.

“He’s obviously had two hard runs his last two races and we probably won’t see the full effect of them, if there is any, until he runs on Sunday.

“But the ground looks like it will be better than last year which will suit and he has had his few days away (racecourse gallops) and a break since the King George. There have been no blips along the way and hopefully that will equate to a good run on Sunday.”

Westover was last seen going down valiantly in defeat as Owen Burrows’ Hukum prevailed in a thrilling finish to the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot.

Both horses have not been seen since as their respective trainers elected to send their candidates across the Channel with a full petrol tank and despite a tough draw in stall 14 to overcome, connections of Hukum are keen to see how the thriving five-year-old fares against a talented cast of rivals.

“It’s very exciting, Owen decided to keep him fresh (after Ascot) hoping to get him there in good shape,” explained Angus Gold, racing manager for owners Shadwell.

“There’s a reason it is one of the best races in the world, it is very hard to win.

“It will be fascinating this year to see if the two really good French three-year-olds and the likes of Continuous and Fantastic Moon are good enough to take on the older horses. That is the interesting puzzle this year and obviously we won’t know until Sunday.

“It’s very exciting to go out there with a chance, it’s a shame about the draw but there is nothing we can do about that so we are just going to have to work our way around it, hope for a little bit of luck, and see how we get on.”

Aidan O’Brien has won Europe’s richest middle-distance contest twice in the past and his St Leger hero Continuous is the sole Ballydoyle contender this time around, dropping back in trip following his Doncaster Classic triumph.

Only two weeks have passed since his victory on Town Moor, but O’Brien is confident the son of Heart’s Cry will justify connections decision to supplement the colt into the contest at a cost of £120,000.

O’Brien said: “Every horse is different and every year is different, but it is two weeks and it is quick enough for going back. You’d prefer three or four weeks really, but I suppose he has been busy and he’s a hardy type of horse now. Obviously we’re hoping, he seems to be in good form.

“You’re obviously never sure when you turn around that quick and he is only a three-year-old, but he’s a hardy, mature horse. He’s done plenty of racing and he has had breaks in between his runs.

“We’re very hopeful, he’s a good, strong traveller, he’s relaxed and he’s got form in all types of ground and he is tactically quick enough, but you never know until you do it, really.

“He’s not dislike (2016 winner) Found, he’s a good, strong traveller. He handles fast ground and he does quicken and gets the trip very well. He probably gets the trip better, Found just got a mile and a half but this horse won a Leger so obviously gets further. But class might have helped him do that and not stamina.”

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