Hamdan pair lead Sandown charge
Owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum looks to have a strong hand in the Coral Charge with leading fancies Battaash and Muthmir in Saturday's Group Three sprint at Sandown.
The six-year-old Muthmir has been a regular in these five-furlong races for some time and has to carry a 5lb penalty for winning the Group Two Prix du Gros-Chene at Chantilly last month, while Battaash is half his age and has just had the six career starts so far.
Battaash made a winning reappearance over the course and distance last month when beating Koropick, who franked the form with victory in the Group Three Chipchase Stakes at Newcastle last weekend.
His trainer Charlie Hills said: "He always had a lot of ability last year but he was never really able to perform on the track, but he is starting to do it now.
"He seems to be growing up and although he is taking on older horses again, I hope he has improved.
"He ran a great race behind Mrs Danvers in the Cornwallis last year and went straight back to Shadwell (Sheikh Hamdan's stud). He was there most of the winter and since he came back in the spring, he has not put a foot wrong.
"He is certainly going to be in races like the Nunthorpe, the Abbaye and he will be in the King George at Goodwood as well. He has only won a Listed race at the moment so we have just got to work our way up."
The owner's racing manager, Angus Gold, is hoping the son of Dark Angel can continue on an upward curve.
"He's always keen and is not the easiest horse in the world to manage, but he won well from a bad draw the last time, so we will have to see if he can maintain that progress," he said.
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Muthmir, who is trained by William Haggas, performed with great credit at the top level on his latest start when fourth to Lady Aurelia in the King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot.
"He's been doing great this year and has been running really well," said Gold.
"He won well in Chantilly, ran a lovely race at Ascot and wants fast ground.
"William says he's come out of Ascot really well and we're keen to get on with him and run."
Goldream was only 10th in the King's Stand, but his trainer Robert Cowell believes that was only a blip and is convinced his speedster has plenty going for him if he reproduces the form he showed when second to Priceless in the Temple Stakes at Haydock.
"He has got an outstanding chance and has got a great draw (five). There is plenty of pace around him," said the Newmarket handler.
"If he comes back to his second at Haydock, he should be right in the firing line in this race.
"He just melted in the heat at Ascot. He is a very dark bay and he did not enjoy it.
"He was absolutely exhausted after the race, but we think he is fine now."
Alpha Delphini was a length and a half behind Muthmir when sixth at Ascot and just a neck behind Goldream when third at Haydock.
However, the six-year-old has to overcome the disadvantage of being drawn on the outside in stall 11.
"I'm very pleased with him but we've not got the best of draws. It's terrible, I don't think we've had a decent draw for him this year," said Smart.
"He's well and obviously deserves to be there and has a good chance if things fall right, but he's draw out there on the wing.
"His form is standing up and he looks great. It's the luck of the draw and I'm just hoping for a good run."
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