George Boughey has confirmed Asadna firmly on course for the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot next month following his sensational debut victory at Ripon last weekend.

A 160,000 guineas purchase from the Tattersalls Craven Breeze-Up Sale, the Mehmas colt put his rivals to the sword in North Yorkshire to record a remarkable 12-length success.

While trainer George Boughey was hoping his youngster would run with credit on his introduction, the Newmarket handler admits even he was taken aback by the nature of his performance.

He said: “Asadna was great on Sunday. It was a little bit unexpected, but his work’s been good since he came from the Tattersalls Craven Breeze Up. We hoped that he might go close, but to go and put his head down and stride away like that was impressive.

“Even watching him, I felt he got a little bit lost as they started to quicken and he’s a six-furlong horse. Ascot is tailor-made for him. I think the way he does quicken on fast ground and is able to relax, you can put him anywhere in the race.

“He is right towards the top end of the market in the Coventry and we’ll obviously now head to Royal Ascot in search of a £125,000 Tattersalls Craven Royal Ascot Breeze Up Bonus.

“He’s got a very good mind – he just eats, sleeps and trains. I’m slightly worried half the time because he’s lying down, he’s a very relaxed horse.”

Another Tattersalls purchase for whom Boughey holds Royal Ascot aspirations is Soprano, who impressed on her racecourse bow at Newmarket and is being targeted at the Group Two Albany Stakes.

The daughter of Starspangledbanner was bought for 100,000 guineas on behalf of owners Highclere Thoroughbred Racing, for whom Boughey trained Cachet to win last year’s 1000 Guineas.

Boughey added: “Soprano was very impressive on debut, and it didn’t really come as a huge surprise. She’d been showing up well at home and she’d done plenty of work through the dip at Newmarket.

“We wanted to start over five furlongs because it gave us a bit more time to let her have a bit of downtime before bringing her back up to try to have a tilt at the Albany Stakes.

“She’s a very straightforward filly and one we’ve got high hopes for through the summer and into the backend of the year.”

Roger Varian has warned The Platinum Queen will likely improve for the run on her eagerly-anticipated reappearance and stable debut in the Betfred Temple Stakes at Haydock on Saturday.

The Cotai Glory filly’s quality is not in question, following a fantastic juvenile campaign last season for trainer Richard Fahey and owners Middleham Park Racing.

During a busy first year The Platinum Queen won four of eight starts, including a Group One victory against her elders in the Prix de l’Abbaye, while she also finished second in the Nunthorpe at York.

Having since changed hands for 1.2million guineas, the three-year-old will carry the colours of Katsumi Yoshida on her first start for Varian, who while happy with the filly, is expecting the run to “put her right” for a likely appearance at Royal Ascot next month.

“She’s ready to start and looks a picture, (but) she will likely need a run,” he said.

“She’s obviously new to us, but Richard Fahey has been very helpful I have to say.

“She’s quite a highly-strung filly, so we’ve had to feel our way with her through the spring and a lot of the horses are just coming forward from their first outing.

“I think she’ll run a nice race, the track and the speed test should suit her and I think the run will put her right.”

Varian has a second string to his bow in the five-furlong Group Two in the form of Mitbaahy.

The son of Profitable won at Listed and Group Three level last term before finishing down the field behind The Platinum Queen on Arc weekend in Paris.

Varian added: “He’s a really nice horse and he should improve again as a four-year-old. I think he could be a really exciting sprinter for the season.

“Again, he’s likely to come on for the run and he’d probably prefer a bit more give in the ground, but we’re trapping on, it’s nearly June and these horses have got to get their season started.

“He’s a nice horse we like for the months ahead, it’s a good starting point and the run will probably straighten him up.”

Another key runner making her seasonal debut is the Karl Burke-trained Dramatised.

The three-year-old was brilliant in winning the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot and was last seen being beaten just a length into second place in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint, a race in which The Platinum Queen failed to fire.

Burke said: “She looks in great shape and she’s ready to run. Obviously it’s a prep run for Royal Ascot, but I expect her to run a nice race.

“I’ve been very happy with her at home. It’s her first time taking on older horses and it won’t be an easy race, but hopefully she can acquit herself well.”

One horse for whom there are no fitness fears is Live In The Dream, who proved he is capable of mixing it at Pattern level when narrowly beaten by Vadream in the Palace House Stakes at Newmarket last month.

Trainer Adam West said: “I’m very pleased with him, he had a nice, easy time after Newmarket, he bounced back last week and is now back to the same sort of level he was going to the Palace House.

“Newmarket wouldn’t have suited him as well with that dip and the stiff finish, but we’re now we’re on an even keel, fast track and hopefully we’re going to be there or thereabouts.

“We weren’t originally going to go to the Palace House, but his confidence was so high after his two wins at Lingfield and Pontefract we thought we’d give it a crack and this has been the plan since.”

Player of the Match Kevin Sinclair’s five-wicket haul and Brandon King’s half-century, his first useful score on tour so far, steered West Indies ‘A’ to a narrow three-wicket victory over Bangladesh ‘A’ at Syhlet International Stadium on Friday.

Resuming from their overnight score of 274-6, a lead of 166, the hosts only managed to add an additional 23 runs and were bowled out for 297 for a lead of 189. Chasing victory, The West Indies were in trouble at 70-5 before King scored a stabilizing 54 as the West Indies reached 191-7 in 49.5 overs.

Irfan Sukkur, 64 not out and Nayeem Hasan on 14 overnight extended their 65-run partnership to 78 which was broken when Jair McAllister had Hasan caught behind for 17. Sinclair then dismissed Tanzim Hasan Hakib and Sukkur in quick succession for four and 72, respectively, before McAllister ended the innings with the wicket of Khaled Ahmed for 0 with the score at 297.

Sinclair finished with the impressive figures of 5-79 to go with his first innings take of 2-44. McAllister, the Player of the Match in the first drawn unofficial Test, finished with 2-42 while Akeem Jordan took 2-38.

Chasing a target of 190 for victory, the West Indies were in danger of relinquishing their grip on the match, losing their first five wickets for just 70 runs. Tagenarine Chanderpaul and Raymon Reifer each scoring 22 before losing their wickets to Saif Hasan. Kirk McKenzie made 12 and Keacy Carty and Alick Athanaze, four each, as the tourists’ run chase faltered.

However, Brandon King, who has had a terrible time of it so far with two consecutive ducks, found some form to help stage a West Indies recovery with a well-played 54 as he and Captain Joshua da Silva added a crucial 76 runs for the sixth wicket.

That stand was ended when King was dismissed by Tanvir Islam with the West Indies’ still 44 runs shy of their target. Things got worse when the bowler also had Sinclair caught behind for four. Da Silva and Akeem Jordan then combined to score the remaining runs. The captain scored an unbeaten 47 for the second time in the match and Akeem Jordan 22 from 20 balls as the West Indies ‘A’ secured victory at 191-7.

Tanvir Islam took 4-52 and Saif Hasan 2-24 in the losing cause.





While breaking into the final squad for the FIFA Women's World Cup remains her main ambition, young striker Solai Washington is simply happy for the opportunity to learn from the more experienced members of the senior Reggae Girlz team.

At 17 years old, Washington earned her senior Reggae Girlz debut at the Cup of Nations tournament in Australia earlier this year, not merely for the sake of a trial but because she possesses great ability and gives high-quality effort — both on and off the ball — that bely her age and inexperience.

Simply put, Washington, the sister of Jamaica's accomplished midfielder Giselle, demonstrated to Head Coach Lorne Donaldson and his assistants Xavier Gilbert and Ak Lakhani, that she was ready for a step up from youth football and they duly obliged.

Since the Cup of Nations outing in Australia, where she rubbed shoulders with some of the women's game top players from the host nation, as well as Spain and the Czech Republic, Washington has been a staple at Reggae Girlz camps, the last of which was in England where they did battle against Sheffield United.

The US-born player, who like her sister, earns the Jamaican colours through her mother, is relishing time in the senior environment and even credits team captain and Manchester City striker Khadija "Bunny" Shaw for her guidance along the way.

"It has been a great experience so far; being the youngest member of both the Australia and England camps was an amazing honour as well as a great learning experience for me," said Washington.

"I used these camps to grow and learn from both the coaches and my older and more experienced teammates. In fact, Bunny has acted as a great mentor to me, sharing advice as well as her own experience representing Jamaica and that has helped with my transition as a young player coming into a professional international environment," she added.

Playing at the highest level has also lifted her confidence to the point where Washington is now motivated to become a potent performer in the Reggae Girlz setup, as her appetite for success is clear for all to see.

She recently assisted Chamblee High School to a State Championship, becoming the first DeKalb County School District girls football team to achieve the feat.

Washington was also named Georgia High School Soccer Player of the Year for her 42 goals complemented by nine assists. She was also instrumental in guiding her Concorde Fire team to the ECNL Under-19 National Championship last year.

"Being coached by Lorne Donaldson has been amazing. He has helped improve my game through individual and team instruction and has been nothing but encouraging," Washington shared.

"I have grown so much and I know as I continue my time with the Jamaican national team and develop more chemistry with my teammates, my confidence will continue to grow.

"I have gotten more comfortable with the team and I think that is portrayed both on an off the field. Since the camps, I have been training and developing to best prepare myself for anything in the future, doing my part to put my best foot forward for the Reggae Girlz," she continued.

With Donaldson expected to name 23-player squad for the World Cup next month, Washington is optimistic that she will make the cut for the July 20 to August 20 showpiece in Australia and New Zealand.

"Yeah, I do hope to make it but I leave it up to the coaches to determine my chances," Washington, who has committed to continuing her career at Duke University, declared.

For now, the tall but nippy player is focused on improving her craft should she be called upon.

The Girlz are expected to contest a two-match send off series on home soul against an opponent to be named next month.

"All I can do is give my best effort. So moving forward I am looking to continue growing as a player. Mentally, I am preparing by studying game film with my coaches and looking for areas to improve strategically so I can adjust to playing at an international level," Washington revealed.

"Physically, I am continuing to strengthen my body through weightlifting, cardio training and improving my technical abilities," she ended.

Hukum overcame his own lengthy absence to deny last year’s Derby winner Desert Crown in the Racehorse Lotto Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Sandown.

Trained by Owen Burrows, Hukum is now six and his career looked over after he picked up what looked a career-ending injury in winning the Coronation Cup 12 months ago.

The decision was taken to keep him in training and that now looks inspired, as Jim Crowley – who briefly looked boxed in – got Hukum flying late on to win by half a length in an enthralling battle up the Sandown hill.

Desert Crown had been kept off the track by his own injury – for 355 days to Hukum’s 356 – after his famous Epsom success on what was just his third ever outing.

Following his tried and tested route with his top-class older horses, Sir Michael Stoute was looking for a 12th win in the race and connections were happy going into the Group Three feature.

Settled in fifth by Richard Kingscote as stablemate and pacemaker Solid Stone led at a steady gallop, he was set something of a test but breezed into the lead a furlong out only to be reeled in late on by the 5-1 winner.

While Stoute will no doubt be left scratching his head his former assistant Burrows will be dreaming of a big summer.

Betfair cut Hukum to 14-1 from 25s for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe with Desert Crown now the same price from 8s.

Roberto Escobarr gained his first success since June 2021 when making all the running to win the Racehorse Lotto Henry II Stakes at Sandown.

Trained by William Haggas, the son of Galileo is now six but in his younger days looked destined to be winning races like this Group Two event when taking a Listed contest at York on just his fifth ever outing.

He only made it to the track once in 2022 and was returning from 399 days off when third at Wolverhampton in March.

Fitter for that, he was sent off the 7-5 favourite and Richard Kingscote sent him into an early lead and was never headed.

Nate The Great pestered him all the way to the line, but the winner was always holding him and prevailed by a neck.

Haggas’ charge was cut to 10-1 from 14s for the Northumberland Plate by Betfair.

Elite Status turned what looked a competitive renewal of the Racehorse Lotto National Stakes at Sandown into a procession.

Trained by Karl Burke, the son of Havana Grey – who himself won this race in 2017 – cost 325,000 guineas at Tattersalls Book 2 in October and already looks like living up to his purchase price.

A winner at Doncaster on soft ground on debut, he faced quicker conditions on this occasion but that proved no barrier to success.

Blue Storm grabbed the favoured rail early and made sure the field was quickly stretched, with Charlie Appleby’s On Point very slowly away and losing all chance.

Dapper Valley then had the misfortune of malfunctioning tack which cost him any chance and with Son Of Corballis another outpaced the contenders began to thin out.

With well over a furlong to run Clifford Lee moved Elite Status (5-2 favourite) up to join Blue Storm and the response was electric.

Burke’s colt lengthened smartly and just went further clear with every stride, eventually winning by five lengths with stablemate World Of Darcy running on into second and Hackman third.

Paddy Power make the winner their 2-1 favourite for the Norfolk at Royal Ascot.

The Randox Grand National is to remain at its current start time of 5.15pm, despite the British Horseracing Authority launching a new ‘premier tier’ of racing between 2-4pm on Saturday afternoons.

The period between 2pm and 4pm will be restricted to three meetings, including up to two ‘premier’ cards, with other Saturday fixtures scheduled to start after the window ends or, on occasions, before it opens.

But racing’s “crown jewels” will take place outside the allotted ‘shop window’, with the Betfred Derby another due to be later than 4pm in 2024.

BHA chief executive Julie Harrington and Richard Wayman, chief operating officer, took questions from the press via Zoom following the announcement of the new strategy.

Wayman said of the National: “There will be certain Saturdays of the year, exceptional Saturdays, when the key race is not in the 2-4pm slot.

“In 48 or 49 Saturdays of the year that will be how it works, but there will be two or three others when we’ll have to be flexible and do something different, like for the Grand National and the Derby. We won’t stick rigidly to 2-4pm if the big race of the day is off at 5.15pm, so there will be some flexibility.”

Harington added: “Around the crown jewel fixtures we need to make sure we use our core fixtures to best advantage. So if we know there are people in betting shops on the morning of the Grand National there could be a live fixture for people to be betting on, so they are some of the innovations we are looking to do with the core fixtures.”

One afternoon in July that has caused much wringing of hands in the past is the so-called ‘Super Saturday’ which sees the July Cup at Newmarket, John Smith’s Cup at York, the Summer Mile at Ascot and a fixture at Chester, the latter now looking a prime candidate to be moved to either an earlier or later slot.

When asked if that day would now be a thing of the past Wayman said: “That would be a typical Group One Saturday when there would be three fixtures in the premier window. What would differ compared with currently is that the fourth fixture would not race between 2-4pm, it would have to move outside that window.

“There are financial incentives for some of those racecourses to stage a premier fixture on a different day, a Sunday for example, and that might be attractive and it might not, but if it isn’t it will still be different to what it is at the moment.”

He went on: “Premierisation will happen every Saturday, but most Saturdays there will just be a two-hour window when there will only be three fixtures, up to two will be premier fixtures. On a smaller number of Saturdays we will allow four fixtures in the two-hour window. Premierisation will exist 52 weeks of the year. Roughly two-thirds of Saturdays will have three fixtures in the protected window, we’ll look to do that on the bigger Saturdays.”

The key question among all this, though, is where is the extra money coming from?

Harrington replied: “Anybody who has been around this process for a lot of years realises the next phase is around funding proposals that are normally approved by September time. Underpinning this is higher minimum values for those premier races, we think it’s going to be around 10 per cent of the fixture list.

“We know that our funding is a blending of executive contribution and central funding and those new higher minimum values, I should anticipate, will be in the same way but we now need to work through with our colleagues at the racecourses and the Levy Board about how that is going to work.”

And will courses who lose Saturday afternoon slots be offered compensation?

“It is too early to say,” said Harrington. “The funding process every year is a really complex jigsaw to put together, but rest assured the discussions have already begun but it is underpinned that the premier tier will have enhanced levels of prize-money.”

The lack of quality on a Sunday has long been cristicised, and Harrington said a key aim of the BHA is to improve it.

“In the past racing has tried to get a quality product going on a Sunday before, but we need the whole sport to take a more strategic view. Potentially there will be incentives put in place to fill those slots,” she said.

Wayman added: “There has been a general reluctance for commercial reasons to move to Sundays, but one of the things we see changing in 2024 is the opportunity to stage premier fixtures and all that comes with that, which could involve different funding which may provide greater incentive to move to a Sunday than they have had in the past.

“It might not be sufficient for all courses to race on a Sunday as their business model is just not going to work. However, there are a number of courses who stage some decent fixtures on a Sunday that with further investment could be even better, Pontefract for example.”

Crucially, can the BHA give any guarantees that premierisation will work?

“Like most industry strategies it is based on a set of assumptions, but they have not been plucked out of the air,” said Harrington.

“It has been helpful having open relationships with media rights companies, racecourses and bookmakers around the hard facts of the revenues coming in at the moment. What is absolutely important is that we don’t take a one-year view of this because if you did you wouldn’t do anything. We’ve got to remember the aim is to produce a more attractive product.

“While we may lose some attendance revenue on a Saturday afternoon it is more than offset by growing off-course revenues because we know that we cannibalise our own revenue within that Saturday afternoon slot. We need a multi-year approach and to be brave.”

The Elvis Star Browne Women’s league commenced on Saturday with wins for Queen City and NAGICO Cayon Rockets.

Queen City crushed Garden Hotspurs 7-1 on Sunday at the SKNFA Technical Center in St. Peters. 

Kerisha Powell was the star of the day for Queen City as she bagged four goals. She found the net in the 5th, 19th, 33rd and 66th minutes. The other goals came from Azyka Morton (27’), Kymoyan Grant (39’) and Devel Griese (63’).

Lakisha Davis scored a 78th minute penalty for Garden Hotspurs. 

In Sunday’s second match, it took a last-minute stoppage time strike from Niclaire Sharry of the NAGICO Cayon Rockets to give the team a 3-2 win over Rams Village Lady Superstars.

Shekola Wilson gave Cayon the lead in the 16th minute before Olujede Bridgewater equalized for Village Ladies eight minutes before halftime. Five minutes later, Wilson struck again to give Cayon a 2-1 lead going into the interval.

The 53rd minute saw Bridgewater grab her second to make it 2-2 before Sharry struck Cayon’s winner in stoppage time.

On Saturday, MCFR United Old Road Lady Jets and Newtown United played out a 2-2 draw.

The side entered halftime locked at 1-1 after goals from Katelyn Forbes (15’) for Newtown and Leranja Wilkinson (31’) for the Jets.

With just under a quarter-of-an-hour to go, Zonia Marshall gave Newtown United the lead before Shinella McCalla equalized for the Jets in stoppage time.

The League continues on Thursday with Bath United playing Queen City at the Nevis Athletics Stadium at 7 pm. Then, on Saturday at 6 pm, Garden Hotspurs will play MFC Old Road United Lady Jets at the SKNFA Technical Center. On Sunday at 6 pm, Newtown United will play Rams Village Lady Superstars.


Bangladesh ‘A’ staged a fight back against West Indies ‘A’ on the third day of their four-day unofficial Test at Syhlet International Stadium on Thursday.

After bowling the West Indies out for 345, Bangladesh ‘A’, trailing by 108 runs on first innings, reached 274-6 at stumps, for a lead of 166 runs heading into the final day of play on Friday.

The hosts owe their position to half-centuries from opener Shadlam Islam, Shahadat Hossain and Irfan Sukkur, the latter being unbeaten on 64 and who along with Nayeem Hasan have so far added 65 runs for the seventh wicket.

The West Indies ‘A’, resuming from their overnight score of 268-6 with Joshua da Silva on nine and Kevin Sinclair on one, took the score to 329, a stand of 63 for the seventh wicket that was broken when Sinclair was dismissed for 32 by Hasan Sakib, who would eventually take all four West Indies wickets.

Akeem Jordan, Anderson Phillip and Jair McAllister all fell cheaply leaving da Silva high and dry on 47. The West Indies ‘A’ captain was visibly irritated when McAllister went for an ill-advised pull shot and was out caught for a duck first ball of the 97th over, to be last man out thus denying his captain a chance to achieve another 50.

Hasan Sakib's four wickets came at a cost of 59 runs.

Trailing by 108 on first innings, opener Shadlam Islam made 74 while helping lay the foundation for the Bangladesh ‘A’ fightback. At 51-2 after losing the wickets of Zakir Hasan for 13 and Saif Hasan for 16, Islam featured in a 56-run third wicket partnership with Mohammad Naim, who was eventually dismissed by Sinclair for 28.

The loss of Naim’s wicket brought Shahadat Hossain to the crease and he and Islam further frustrated the West Indies bowlers while putting on 68 for the fourth wicket.

Sinclair eventually broke through trapping Islam for 74 before dismissing Afif Hossain for four as Bangladesh ‘A’ slipped to 180-5. Sinclair picked up his third wicket when he dismissed Shahadat Hossain 50 with the lead at 101.

That would be the last success for the West Indies bowlers for the day as Sukkur and Nayeem Hasan kept the tourists’ attack at bay until the close.

Sinclair’s three wickets cost 76 runs while Akeem Jordan has so far picked up 2-38.

The 2024 fixture list is set for a shake up after the British Horseracing Authority board approved a number of changes, with a ‘premier’ racing tier to be introduced, along with restricted action at a peak period on most Saturday afternoons and a trial of Sunday evening meetings.

Several “core principles” established as part of British racing’s cross industry strategy are at the heart of the planned reforms, with the aim to grow “the sport’s reach, appeal to new fanbases and better engage existing customers”, with the changes representing the “vital first step in longer-term improvements to the structure, funding and promotion of the racing product”.

Adjustments will be implemented and assessed over an initial two-year period.

A new ‘premier’ tier will be introduced, boasting higher prize-money and top-quality racing, with a two-hour “shop window” period – usually 2-4pm – established on most Saturday afternoons. That period will be restricted to three meetings, including up to two ‘premier’ cards, with other Saturday fixtures scheduled to start after the window ends or, on occasions, before it opens.

Sunday racing has also come under the microscope, with plans to create new ‘premier’ fixtures on Sunday afternoons as well as trialling six evening floodlit fixtures between January and March next year, during a time of the week where “betting activity tends to be strong”.

Those six fixtures will be spread between Kempton, Southwell, Chelmsford, Newcastle and Wolverhampton – the five floodlit UK tracks – with meetings moved from midweek slots.

The BHA is also keen to boost the “core racing” product, which involves moving fixtures to later in the day and “making the most of our core fixtures during major festivals and supporting summer jumping”.

A total of 300 jumps races – equating to around 20 meetings – will be removed across the year, with the summer jumping break increased from 12 to 19 days. There will be no reduction in Flat races, but around 200 races will be moved into the autumn and early winter period from other points of the year.

Joe Saumarez Smith, chair of the BHA, said: “The BHA board endorsed and approved these recommendations because it was clear to us that they were necessary and in the best interests of the sport.

“The information that was presented by the sport’s commercial committee included detailed consideration of both the upside and downside of all proposals. This allowed the board to make its decisions based on the complete picture.

“It is inevitable that not all parties agree with all proposals. But it was for this reason that the new governance structure was agreed by the industry, so that difficult decisions can be made and there can be progress in the best interests of the whole sport.

“The changes will be tested over an initial two-year period and will be closely evaluated to see how well they work, with the aim of permanently adopting the things that have been a success.

“I would like to thank the commercial committee, and everyone who has been involved in this process, for their work to date. It has been a truly collaborative, cross-industry effort.”

Julie Harrington, chief executive of the BHA, added: “When the industry’s leaders came together in autumn last year, we agreed unanimously that innovation in the way the sport is presented is an absolute necessity.

“The core principles approved by the BHA Board were identified as the most time sensitive area and the foundation of our wider approach.

“There is still a huge amount to do as we seek to grow and future-proof British racing, but the development of a fixture list that seeks to attract new fans and grow the appeal of our sport to existing customers represents an important first step.”

Frankie Dettori will link up with Aidan O’Brien at Haydock on Saturday when Little Big Bear heads the eight declared for the Betfred Nifty Fifty Sandy Lane Stakes.

A top-class two-year-old last season, the son of No Nay Never followed up a narrow defeat on debut with four straight victories.

Amongst his winning run was a triumph at Royal Ascot, while he completed his juvenile campaign with a wide-margin success in the Group One Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh.

Things did not go to plan when upped to a mile for the 2000 Guineas on reappearance, but he is now returned to six furlongs on Merseyside.

Whereas Little Big Bear competed in the colts’ Classic at Newmarket, Matilda Picotte gave a fine account in the fillies’ equivalent and Kieran Cotter now drops his speedy daughter of Sioux Nation back in trip following her 1000 Guineas third.

Karl Burke won this race last year and relies on Cold Case this time around having accounted for the reopposing 2022 Coventry Stakes winner Bradsell at Ascot earlier this month.

George Boughey’s Al Dasim returns to UK soil following a prolific spring at Meydan, with Royal Ascot winner The Ridler, Richard Hannon’s Shouldvebeenaring and the returning Mill Stream also involved.

A field of 14 has assembled for the Betfred Temple Stakes which is the other Group Two on the card.

Henry Candy’s Twilight Calls was beaten a head in this contest 12 months ago and will be partnered by Connor Beasley for the first time, but has to improve on his Newmarket reappearance in the Palace House Stakes.

Adam West’s Live In The Dream and Mick Appleby’s Raasel finished second and fourth respectively on that occasion, with the latter bringing track and trip form to the table.

However, most of the excitement for this race is generated by the return of The Platinum Queen following her exploits at two.

The Prix de l’Abbaye champion will make her first start for new handler Roger Varian, with usual pilot Hollie Doyle once again in the saddle.

Dramatised is another Group-level winning two-year-old reappearing in the five-furlong event, with James Tate’s Royal Aclaim and recent Bath scorer Happy Romance others to note in a contest possessing plenty of depth.

Roger Varian is counting down the days until the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot with Eldar Eldarov following his hugely encouraging return at York last week.

The Dubawi colt was a nose winner of the Queen’s Vase at the Royal meeting last season and went on to claim Classic glory in the St Leger at Doncaster in September.

He had to concede weight all round on his his four-year-old debut in the Group Two Yorkshire Cup and powered home to be beaten just half a length in second place by St Leger third Giavellotto.

Varian is confident his charge will improve for the run and also views the step up from a mile and three-quarters to two and a half miles in next month’s Ascot showpiece as a positive.

“He’s great, he couldn’t have taken it (the run) better and I’ve been delighted with him this week,” said the Newmarket handler.

“His profile looks good for the Gold Cup and the St Leger form is starting to show its worth now.

“His run at York would excite anyone, whoever’s camp he was in. It was just a good run, he hit the line strong, he gave weight to the field and looks like he’ll improve over a bit further.

“We’re looking forward to it.”

Eldar Eldarov is a 4-1 shot with Paddy Power for the Gold Cup, making him their clear second-favourite behind Andrew Balding’s 3-1 market leader Coltrane.

Jamaica's young Reggae Girlz will have to wait to get their Concacaf Women’s Under-20 Championship campaign under way, as their opening Group A contest against Canada was postponed due to adverse weather conditions in the Dominican Republic on Wednesday.

The other Group A fixture featuring reigning seven-time champions United States and Panama was also called off with a new schedule expected to be announced in short order.

Coached by US-based Hugh Bradford, the 20-member squad is hunting an historic spot at the FIFA Women’s Under-20 World Cup next year after they defeated Anguilla 6-0, Bermuda 2-0 and Honduras by a similar scoreline on their way to the final leg of qualifiers.

They are scheduled to next face United States on Friday at 5:00pm, before closing against Panama on Sunday at 2:00pm.

Meanwhile, Mexico, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, and host nation Dominican Republic, will do battle in Group B.

After round-robin play, the two best teams from each group will advance to the competition’s knockout stage. The two finalists and the third-placed team will qualify for next year’s World Cup.

Jamaica's best placing in 12 appearance at these Concacaf Women’s Championship was a fourth place finish in 2006, when they lost a third-place playoff to Canada.

Squad: Andrene Smith, Shaneil Buckley, Una Moy Lue, Davia Richards, Liha Williams, Taijah Fraser, Tiny Seaton, Kaitlyn Ennis, Natoya Atkinson, Destiny Powell, Akeila Johnson, Janiel Mignott, Amelia Zanten, Liya Brooks, Avery Johnson, Maya Raghunandanan, Anaiyah Robinson, Njeri Butts, NjerI Lewis, Katie Oakley.

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