Meydan winners Leshlaa and Kidmenever chase Wolferton success
Dubai World Cup Carnival scorers Leshlaa and Kidmenever kick off their European campaigns in the 10-furlong Listed Wolferton Stakes on day one of Royal Ascot, Tuesday 19 June.
Both horses captured turf handicaps over the same distance at Meydan, UAE, earlier this year, with Leshlaa (Saeed bin Suroor/Christophe Soumillon) readily beating subsequent G1 Jebel Hatta hero Blair House in February.
Four-year-old Leshlaa subsequently went down by a short-head to Folkswood in the 10-furlong G3 Dubai Millennium Stakes and the Street Cry colt makes his first start since finishing sixth behind Benbatl in the G1 Dubai Turf over nine furlongs on Dubai World Cup Night.
Kidmenever (Charlie Appleby/William Buick) took third in last season’s Wolferton Stakes, which was run as a handicap prior to this year, and the five-year-old returns from a break after running on strongly for a clear-cut success at Meydan at the start of March.
Saeed bin Suroor said: “Leshlaa ran some nice races out in Dubai earlier this year and looks to be in good form ahead of his European return.
“He ran well in the Britannia Handicap at Royal Ascot last year and I am hopeful of another good effort.”
Charlie Appleby reported: “Kidmenever is making his first start in Europe this season on the back of a good win at Meydan but has a bit to find at the weights compared to 12 months ago.
“If he can repeat his run from last year, he should be very competitive again.”
Elsewhere on Tuesday’s supporting races, lightly-raced four-year-old White Desert (Charlie Appleby/William Buick) steps up markedly in distance in the Ascot Handicap over two and a half miles.
The son of Teofilo gained a comprehensive win in a 14-furlong Tapeta handicap on his latest outing at Wolverhampton on 29 May.
Charlie Appleby added: “White Desert has a progressive profile and the step up to a mile and six furlongs last time produced a decent level of improvement.
“We hope that he can improve again over this trip. He will love the quick ground and could be an interesting runner off a nice, low weight (9st 1lb).”