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Asfoora team eager to start British adventure with Temple of zoom

Asfoora team eager to start British adventure with Temple of zoom
Asfoora team eager to start British adventure with Temple of zoom

Australian filly Asfoora will look to launch a summer of British sprinting in the Betfred Temple Stakes at Haydock on Saturday.

The five-year-old, who is trained in Victoria, has been boarding at Amy Murphy’s Newmarket stable after jetting over nearly a month ago.

Asfoora is a multiple Group winner on her home turf, specialising at five- and five-and-a-half-furlong trips in a career that has seen her take eight of her 18 starts so far.

Now she will aim to make her presence felt on the speed scene here, with her trainer taking inspiration from the exploits of Australia’s Choisir, winner of both the King’s Stand and what was then the Golden Jubilee at Royal Ascot in 2003.

The mighty Black Caviar is another who made a successful foray to British shores, famously winning the renamed Diamond Jubilee in 2012, as Dwyer watched on from Melbourne.

“It’s had a big influence, particularly Choisir doing the Tuesday-Saturday double,” he said.

“With Black Caviar I was at Federation Square in Melbourne at the big screen, there were famous scenes of 20,000 or 30,000 people cheering her on in the middle of the night and I was one of them.”

Asfoora does not have the same profile as either horse, although Dwyer still feels the decision to fork out for the trip will be justified as the sprint division is seemingly lacking the standout performers who dominated in previous years.

“When we decided we were going to come over there was a little bit of surprise that this mare, who is possibly the ninth or 10th best sprinter in Australia, was going to chance her arm,” he said on a Jockey Club-hosted Zoom call.

“In reality she’s probably in the top three five-furlong sprinters in Australia, these races are much more suitable for her and it seems a very even year for sprinters over here – I think she can measure up.”

The Temple Stakes is the starting point, after which Dwyer is hoping to target all of the key meetings throughout the summer with Royal Ascot the next port of call ahead of the Nunthorpe, the King George at Goodwood and perhaps even a sojourn to Ireland or France.

He said: “The Betfred Temple Stakes would be a terrific race to win but it’s not our grand final, it’s a lead up run for Ascot. By the same token, we need to stamp ourselves here and say that we’re going to be highly competitive at Ascot.

“I was thinking of the quadruple crown! We’ll throw in the King George at Goodwood on the way.

“We’ve got a pretty ambitious plan but we’re not here for a haircut! We’re here to win some races and if we can kick off at Haydock, we’ll go to Ascot, then there’s six weeks to Goodwood and then you’ve got a bit of a break to the Nunthorpe.

“If we’re all still standing we can potentially go to Ireland for the Flying Five or France for the Abbaye.

“Her owner, Mr El-Fahkri, is a racing man and though he’s a breeder as well, he’s got no ambitions of retiring her anytime soon.

“He’s keen to treat her like a gelding and race her and to that end, we’ve got a pretty ambitious summer plan.”

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