Four of the Last Five Winners of the Rockfel Stakes have Started in the Breeders’ Cup
NEWMARKET, ENGLAND— Isa Salman & Abdulla Al Khalifa’s unbeaten Commissioning (GB) will line up in Friday’s Al Basti Equiworld, Dubai Rockfel Stakes (G2), run on Newmarket’s Rowley Mile course. The daughter of Kingman (GB) faces 13 rivals in the 7-furlong contest, which offers a guaranteed fees-paid berth into the US$1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) through the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In.
The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series is an international series of 82 stakes races whose winners receive automatic starting positions and fees paid into a corresponding race of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which will be held at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky, on Nov. 4-5.
The John & Thady Gosden-trained Commissioning looked a filly full of quality when running out an impressive 3 ½-length winner of the Turners British EBF Fillies’ Novice Stakes over Newmarket’s July course on July. 30. Having been slowly away and off the bridle early in the race, she soon found her stride under Frankie Dettori and powered clear of her rivals. With Dettori not available on Friday, Robert Havlin will take over in the saddle.
Another filly who has won her only start is the Richard Hannon-trained Rich (GB). The daughter of Cracksman (GB) has not been seen since taking a maiden race at Newbury in May, but Hannon believes the break has done her good.
Hannon said: “I think she could be a very good filly. Her owner, Julie Wood, decided not to take her to Royal Ascot and that was a great decision. We have given her time since. A lot of the lads that ride her all agree that she feels like she could be anything. She has done plenty and when we work her here and she looks like she knows exactly what she is doing. She is one of the nicest movers you will ever see and has a good attitude and I’m hopeful she will run very well.”
Amo Racing Limited was successful with Hello You (GB) in last year’s race and connections return with Olivia Maralda (IRE), who finished second to Meditate (IRE) in the Alpha Centauri Debutante Stakes (G2) on Aug. 20. The daughter of Kodiac (GB) is trained by Michael O’Callaghan and will be ridden by Rossa Ryan.
Dance In The Grass (GB) was sent off a 5-4 favorite but lost her unbeaten record in the Cazoo May Hill Stakes (G2) in her latest start and will bid to get back on track under Andrea Atzeni for the Charlie & Mark Johnston team, who also saddles Jewson Sweet Solera Stakes (G3) victor Lakota Sioux (IRE).
The Charlie Hills-trained Prix Six Perfections Sky Sports Racing (G3) winner Sydneyarms Chelsea (IRE) will be ridden by in-form jockey William Buick, who is over 50 winners clear in the British Flat Jockeys’ Championship.
Five of the 14 runners go into the race unbeaten with Rage Of Bamby (IRE), Leitzel (GB), and Electric Eyes (IRE) joining Commissioning and Rich by putting their unblemished records on the line.
Four of the last five winners of the Rockfel Stakes have started in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. Daahyeh (GB), the 2019 winner, finished second in the Juvenile Fillies Turf, while last year’s winner, Hello You (IRE), came in fifth in the Juvenile Fillies Turf at Del Mar.
Breeders’ Cup Press Release