After seeing star 3-year-old fillies Rhododendron and Hydrangea finish a tight 1-2 a week earlier in France, Irish trainer Aidan O'Brien sends out Roly Poly, yet another group 1 winner from his seemingly bottomless well of talent, as one of the favorites in the Kingdom of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes (G1) Oct. 7 at Newmarket.
Roly Poly, a 3-year-old War Front filly out of the Galileo (IRE) mare Misty For Me, scored back-to-back wins in the Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes (G1) at Newmarket July 14 and the Prix Rothschild (G1) at Deauville July 30—both at the one-mile distance of the Sun Chariot.
She then was a fading sixth in her last effort, the Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes (G1) at Leopardstown, the race Hydrangea won before her narrow loss to O'Brien stablemate Rhododendron in the Oct. 1 Prix de l'Opera Longines (G1) at Chantilly.
The primary competition in the Sun Chariot could be Persuasive, a Dark Angel (IRE) filly trained by John Gosden for Cheveley Park Stud. She was third in the Matron and fifth in the Rothschild in her only two starts this season, but punters are looking for a return to the form that saw her win the first five starts of her career. Frankie Dettori has the mount.
There might be a spark of Breeders' Cup World Championships interest in the Sun Chariot, which drew a field of 13.
Usherette, a Godolphin-owned 5-year-old Shamardal mare, was third behind Qemah in the Duke of Cambridge Stakes (G2) at Royal Ascot in June—a race she won the year prior. Her trainer, Andre Fabre, has still more plans for the mare, who comes off a victory in a listed race at Maisons-Laffitte.
"Usherette will run on Saturday and then hopefully she will go to Del Mar for the Breeders' Cup," Fabre said. "She has won on all types of ground. It was bottomless when she won at Ascot last year so that is not a concern. She had a nice, confidence-boosting win last time and we are looking forward to running her."