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Royal Empire out to boost Cup claims in September Stakes

The Group 3 September Stakes is the highlight of Saturday’s card at Kempton and it has attracted a top quality field. Sheikh Mohammed has won most of the world’s biggest races but the Melbourne Cup still eludes him.

Royal Empire emerged as a serious contender for the big race when he won the hotly-contested Geoffrey Freer Stakes at Newbury last month. His victory over former Cup runner-up Red Cadeaux earned him a 25-1 quote for Flemington.

A victory on Saturday would virtually guarantee the four-year-old a place in the starting line-up but he has some smart horses in opposition. Main Sequence chased home Camelot in last year’s Derby but has struggled to find that level of form this season.

Masterstroke was third in last season’s Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe but looked a pale shadow of his former self when reappearing at Goodwood. Wigmore Hall did not appear to last home in the American St Leger on his latest start whilst Prince Bishop and Tac de Boistron have good form in the book.

The blue of Godolphin will also be carried by the top weight Ehtedaam in the London Mile at 2.55 and the son of Arch won over course and distance last month. He defeated the hot favourite Seek Again by a length and a half and is only 2lbs worse off at the weights.

Clockmaker was also behind that day but has since run out an impressive winner at Chester whilst Graphic stepped up on previous form when scoring at Haydock.

The Group 3 Sirenia Stakes at 4.10 could go to Richard Hannon’s Brown Sugar who was not disgraced when fifth to No Nay Never in a Group 1 at Deauville. Rizeena finished third in that race and has since come out and won the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes in Ireland.

The unbeaten Hot Streak and eight-length Wolverhampton scorer Simple Magic will be difficult to beat whilst Godolphin are doubly represented with Figure Of Speech and Brave Boy.

Selections: 1.45 Hors de Combat, 2.20 Royal Empire (NAP), 2.55 Ehtedaam (nb), 3.35 Nimiety, 4.10 Brown Sugar, 4.45 Mallory Heights, 5.20 Canon Law, 5.50 Future Reference