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French raiders eye more Champion Stakes glory; RACING.


FRENCH trainers are eyeing more Emirates Airline Champion Stakes success with Alpine Rose and Never On Sunday bidding to land Newmarket's Group One contest.

French horses have won the 1m2f event twice in the past three seasons, with Alpine Rose's trainer Alain de Royer-Dupre scoring with Pride in 2006, while Jean-Claude Rouget, who will saddle Never On Sunday, scoring with Literato 12 months ago.

Both are hoping for big runs from their charges.

Alpine Rose beat Lady Marian in the Prix Jean Romanet at Deauville in August, but managed only fourth spot to Shalanaya in the Prix de l'Opera on Arc weekend.

Royer-Dupre said: "Alpine Rose has won a Group One this year in Deauville and she is in very good form. She was fourth in the Opera but did not get a good run. She did not have a hard race that day so I am happy for her to try the Champion Stakes.

"The distance is perfect for the filly. The only concern is the up and down nature of the track.

"I think she has shown that she is better on a flat track - at Longchamp she had a problem with the descent.

"She ran very well over a mile and a half when second to Spanish Moon in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud, so she stays further but has speed and she is a Group One filly for sure."

Alpine Rose, who is a 20-1 chance with Ladbrokes, had been partnered by Gerald Mosse on all her five starts this season but Royer-Dupre said Christophe Soumillon will ride on Saturday. He added: "I think Christophe Soumillon might be riding Alpine Rose."

Never On Sunday, who was third to another French raider Vision D'Etat in the Prince Of Wales's Stakes back in June and seventh to Goldikova at Deauville last month, is a best-priced 8-1 fourth favourite with William Hill and totesport.

Aidan O'Brien's Fame And Glory was among the 17 entries at yesterday's five-day stage and is currently the 6-4 favourite with Ladbrokes.

The Irish Derby winner was sixth to Sea The Stars in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and is one of three from the Ballydoyle stable with likely pacemakers Set Sail and Grand Ducal.

O''Brien said of Fame And Glory: "He ran a reasonable race, he came out of it very well and we are looking forward to the weekend. We haven't done much with him as he only ran last weekend. He hasn't done a lot, but what he has done we have been very happy with."

Godolphin could run Balius and Campanologist, while Sir Michael Stoute has Doctor Fremantle and filly Crystal Capella.

Michael Bell's dual Oaks heroine Sariska is among the entries but connections will hope for some rain, while as expected Marcus Tregoning's Mawatheeq was supplemented at a cost of pounds 30,000.

Saturday's Champions Day card at Newmarket the Cesarewitch with the other Group race on the card the Jumeirah Dewhurst Stakes. Jim Bolger's bid for a fourth successive win the latter contest with Chabal, who will join Godolphin after a final run in the seven-furlong juvenile contest.

Bolger has won the Dewshurst for the last three season with Teofilo, New Approach and Intense Focus.

Chabal, who won on his debut at Leopardstown before finishing a narrow second to Kingsfort in the National Stakes, is currently the 9-4 favourite with a number of firms including William Hill, Victor Chandler and Stan James.

Goldophin's racing manager Simon Crisford confirmed the purchase of the Galileo colt.

He said: "Chabal will join Godolphin after the Dewhurst and he will run for his current connections on Saturday.

"He's an interesting horse for next season and we will see how he runs on Saturday before we start making any plans for him.

"It looks to be a competitive renewal of the Dewhurst this year."

Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor also has three runners entered with the Dewhurst with Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere third Buzzword, Sunday's Gran Criterium runner-up Vale Of York and Middle Park fourth Poet's Voice.

Crisford added: "We've made no decisions yet and we will wait until later in the week."

Aidan O'Brien has six entries with Steinbeck, who won his only start at Naas in May, among them.

O'Brien said: "He had a little break after his last run. He's back in full work now and we were very happy with his last piece of work.

"Obviously we always thought he was a very nice horse, the Dewhurst is an important race for two-year-olds and we are very happy with where he is at the moment and happy to let him run."


Alain de Royer-Dupre's Pride (left) wins the Champion Stakes in 2006 and the French trainer sends Alpine Rose for the race this Saturday
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Oct 13, 2009
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