Al Wukair: quickened well to win the Prix Djebel
Al Wukair, an authoritative winner of the Group 3 Prix Djebel on Monday, continues to prove popular with punters for the 2,000 Guineas and is now no bigger than 6-1 for the opening Classic of the season.
The Andre Fabre-trained Al Wukair, who showed a blistering turn of foot to mow down Group 1 winner National Defense, is now viewed as the greatest threat to long-term ante-post favourite Churchill at Newmarket.
BoyleSports offer just 5-1 about Al Wukair winning the Guineas, and spokesman Liam Glynn said: “Punters were certainly impressed by Al Wukair’s performance at Maisons-Laffitte on Monday and latched onto him quickly for the 2,000 Guineas.
“At present there is no signs of the support easing up and the current 5-1 may well dry up sooner rather than later.”
Sharp turn of foot
A winner of both his starts as a juvenile, Al Wukair was sent off an odds-on favourite to maintain his unbeaten record in the Prix Djebel, a recognised Classic trial contested over seven furlongs. He justified his lofty reputation in style by quickening sharply from last to first to collar National Defense inside the final furlong.
“I think it was a useful race and I was delighted by the style in which he won,” Fabre said after the race. “Gregory [Benoist, jockey] was niggling all the time but when he picked him up he quickened really well. I am happy and the second is a pretty good horse.
“I realise that seven furlongs is a bit sharp for him so I am happy and we will go for the Guineas.”
Fabre will be seeking a third success in the 2,000 Guineas having previously triumphed with Zafonic and Pennekamp – unlike Al Wukair both of those horses had prior experience of racing at Newmarket having won the Dewhurst.
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