South Africa’s 2016 Gr1 J&B Met winner, Smart Call is scheduled to open her European campaign in the Gr2 Middleton Stakes at York on Thursday, 18 May 2017.
Smart Call qualified for the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Championships on their ‘Win And You’re In’ initiative with her victory in the 2016 Gr1 Paddock Stakes and left South Africa shortly after her Met victory early last year. She was due to have a prep run in the Gr1 Kingdom of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes on 1 October, but a last minute injury scuppered the outing as well as putting paid to her Breeders’ Cup hopes.
Smart Call, who races in the interests of her breeder Jessica Slack, subsequently transferred into the care of Sir Michael Stoute and makes her much anticipated return to the track in the Gr2 Betfred Middleton Stakes at York on Thursday, 18 May. She faces a small, but high quality field including stablemate Queen’s Trust, who won the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf and current favourite, So Mi Dar from the John Gosden yard. Jockey Jim Crowley has been engaged for the ride and the field will be off at 15:55 local time.