Mystic Guide faces old foe on US return in G2 Suburban Stakes - GulfToday

Mystic Guide faces old foe on US return in G2 Suburban Stakes

Horse Racing

Luis Saez, on board for two wins this season, partners Mystic Guide again. File

Mystic Guide takes on Happy Saver for a second time at Belmont Park, US, as he makes his first appearance since winning the G1 Dubai World Cup Sponsored By Emirates Airline in the G2 Suburban Stakes on Saturday.

The four-year-olds met over the same mile and a quarter trip in the G1 Jockey Club Gold Cup last October, when Happy Saver came out on top when beating Mystic Guide by three-quarters of a length.

Mystic Guide has gone on to establish himself as one of the best dirt horses in the world with two imposing victories for Michael Stidham this year, including a six-length verdict in Oaklawn Park’s Razorback Handicap in February.

The Ghostzapper homebred posted a breakthrough first G1 success at Meydan, UAE, in March as he powered to glory in the Dubai World Cup Sponsored By Emirates Airline.

Luis Saez, on board for both wins this season, partners Mystic Guide again.

Godolphin US President Jimmy Bell said: “We are going into this race with no excuses for Mystic Guide, who has been training very well. Mike wanted to give the horse plenty of time after the Dubai World Cup but Mystic Guide wanted to get back into work quicker, which was a good sign.

“Happy Saver is undefeated and all eyes will be on the rematch between him and Mystic Guide. We don’t know how much Happy Saver has improved since the Jockey Club Gold Cup but Mystic Guide has come on significantly.

“He was a slow-maturing physical individual and there is no comparison between his run at Belmont last season and his two wins this year.

“We are looking to see if he can keep the level of form going that he established in his first two runs this year and the feeling is one of optimism.”

Michael Stidham said: “Mystic Guide has really bounced back well from his trip to Dubai and we have got seven good works into him at Fair Hill. His weight, his coat and his attitude are all back to where there were before the Dubai World Cup.

“He is going into this the right way mentally and physically, and I would be shocked if he didn’t run his race.”

Lazuli bid for G3 sprint: Lazuli could bid for a third G3 success over five furlongs in the Sprint Stakes at Sandown Park, UK, on Saturday, providing ground conditions suit.

The son of Dubawi made all for a decisive course and distance win in the Listed Scurry Stakes last June, in which he beat subsequent G1 runner-up Keep Busy by three and a half lengths.

Lazuli went on to break the course record at Newbury when taking the G3 World Trophy and secured another G3 success on his latest outing with a game display in Newmarket’s Palace House Stakes at the start of May.

James Doyle comes in for the ride on the Charlie Appleby-trained four-year-old.

Appleby said: “We declared Lazuli on soft ground in the hope that it will dry out, but if there is any more rain, it’s unlikely that he will run. He’s fit and ready to go but we have missed engagements at Haydock and in France because of soft ground.

“He is in great nick and has good course form. He is crying out to run and we want to get him out before looking at the G2 King George Stakes at Goodwood.”

Elsewhere, Gershwin looks set to bid for further Group-race honours this weekend, with the G3 Kent Stakes at Delaware Park on Saturday, 3 July and the G3 Dwyer Stakes 48 hours later at Belmont Park under consideration for the improving three-year-old.

The Distorted Humor colt, a half-brother to this season’s G1 Dubai World Cup Sponsored By Emirates Airline winner Mystic Guide, posted an impressive victory on his Stakes debut in the G2 Penn Mile, which was switched to dirt at Penn National at the end of May.

Michael Stidham explained: “We are supposed to get quite a bit of rain in Delaware over the next couple of days. If the Kent Stakes came off the turf, we would probably run Gershwin there, but we wouldn’t want to run him on a soft or yielding turf course.

“We have cross-entered him for the Dwyer Stakes over a mile on the dirt at Belmont, which would give us an option if the Kent Stakes remained on the grass.

“He came out of the Penn Mile in good shape and is doing well. He is almost going on the same path at Mystic Guide went on, in that he is starting to get better in the middle of his three-year-old season. Hopefully, he can continue improving.”

Related articles