Dress rehearsal for probable Dubai World Cup Carnival entries
DUBAI // For the first time since the Tapeta surface was replaced by dirt, the Meydan racecourse will see some potentially Dubai World Cup Carnival candidates in action on Thursday night.
The six-race card meeting is made up of three Listed prizes for the thoroughbreds and a Group 2 for Purebred Arabians.
The thoroughbred events have been upgraded from conditions events to offer Dh205,000 for each of the three races run over the distances of 1,200 metres, 1,600m and 2,000m. “The upgraded thoroughbred races make this the most interesting meeting of the season to date,” said Martin Talty, the international manager for the Dubai Racing Club.
“We will see some progressive horses in action that have the potential to earn a place in the Dubai World Cup Carnival,” he said.
“There are a number of horses who we last saw on Dubai World Cup day, while of particular interest is The Taj in the Garhoud Sprint, who is already a course and distance winner.
“Meanwhile, Surfer, a 2014 Dubai World Cup runner, will attempt to win back-to-back Dubai Creek Miles.
“It’s interesting that many horses that competed well in last year’s Dubai World Cup Carnival, are using these Listed races as stepping stones to this year’s carnival.”
The Taj, trained by Doug Watson for Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid, is the choice of the owner’s retained jockey Dane O’Neill from five that have been entered in the owner’s silks.
“We were delighted with both his starts this season,” Watson said. “He was a good second first up and built on that with a smooth win last time. He has a penalty for that which makes life harder but he is in great form and should run a big race.”
Satish Seemar has two entered with stable jockey, Richard Mullen, choosing to ride Surfer, who was third in the Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3 last season. Apprentice, Marc Monaghan partners stable companion Gold City, having his first start since a career best fourth in the Godolphin Mile on Dubai World Cup night.
Pat Dobbs, the stable jockey, is onboard Storm Belt, already a winner at Meydan this season.
“It was not an easy choice for Pat,” Watson said. “The fact Storm Belt has already won on the course was probably the crucial factor and we hope both run well.”
The six-race card kicks off with the Mazrat Al Ruwayah for the Arabians in which Areem starts as a warm favourite.
The six-year-old bay son of Mahabb, trained by Majed Al Jahouri, is a four-time UAE Group 1 winner for owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed.
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Published: December 18, 2014 04:00 AM