Sheema Classic could be next for Berkshire Rocco

Balding encouraged by St Leger runner-up’s Qatar return.

BERKSHIRE ROCCO (Red Cap) winning the TeenTech Noel Murless Stakes at Ascot in England.
BERKSHIRE ROCCO (Red Cap) winning the TeenTech Noel Murless Stakes at Ascot in England. Picture: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Berkshire Rocco  may be bound for the Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan following a fine effort on his first start for four months in Qatar.

Andrew Balding was delighted with the four-year-old's run in the H H The Amir Trophy at Doha when beaten two and three-quarter lengths by Noor Al Hawa.

The Kingsclere trainer expects an even better performance next time from last year's St Leger runner-up.

"He ran a smashing race. It was his first run for a while, and he's entitled to come on for that," said Balding.

"All being well, he might head towards Meydan for the Sheema Classic.

"He's effective at a mile and a half and further, and is just a great horse to have in the yard."

Stablemate Spanish Mission could also head to Dubai after finishing second in the Red Sea Turf Handicap in Riyadh, for which he earned £364,000.

"He ran with great credit and he too might end up going to Dubai for the Dubai Gold Cup," said Balding.

The handler was pleased Bangkok managed to pick up excellent prize-money as well in the world's richest race, the Saudi Cup – earning £291,000 for eighth place.

"He's probably not quite as good as the others, which is obvious, but he won some really good prize-money and is back here and bouncing," said Balding.

"There were great rewards up for grabs, and that was the main reason we ran. The rewards were there as long as he could finish in the first 10, and he did that and has done us proud."

His next run will be much closer to home, in the All-Weather Championship Finals at Lingfield on April 2.

"He will more than likely head to Lingfield for Good Friday," added Balding.


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