Godolphin duo Prince Bishop and Dubai Prince go head-to-head

Godolphin trainers Saeed bin Suroor and Mahmood Al Zarooni will pit their wits against each other in the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 2 race at Meydan.

Prince Bishop won his last outing at Meydan Racecourse last month under Frankie Dettori.
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Just six days after Gamilati's stunning success in the UAE 1000 Guineas, Godolphin are again looking to dominate proceedings at Meydan Racecourse with 21 thoroughbreds gunning for a share of the US$1.17 million (Dh4.3m) up for grabs on tonight's card.

The Dubai-based operation have at least two horses carrying their royal blue silks in each race, with the second round of the Al Maktoum Challenge, the sixth race on the card, attracting five entrants from the private stables of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

And the two Emirati trainers, Saeed bin Suroor and Mahmood Al Zarooni, go head-to-head in the Group 2 race over 1,900 metres with both men believing they have a live chance of sending out the 14th winner of the contest to be trained in the UAE.

Bin Suroor has won round two of the Al Maktoum Challenge seven times, and although he also saddles Mendip and Pisco Sour it is Prince Bishop who carries the best hope.

The four year old was a recruit from Andre Fabre, the French trainer, but was disappointing last season both at Meydan, where he trailed in 10th behind Victoire Pisa in the World Cup, and in England.

The son of Dubawi was subsequently gelded, however, and after picking up a Listed race in England, bin Suroor's target of a run in tonight's Potlines Trophy handicap was shelved when he thrashed stablemate Spring Of Fame over 2,000 metres last month.

"We had high hopes for him last year but he was disappointing," said bin Suroor. "He managed to get his head back in front at Kempton, which did his confidence a lot of good."

Bin Suroor last won tonight's feature two years ago when Allybar scored to tee up a tilt at the Dubai World Cup. The horse was subsequently transferred to Al Zarooni when he was handed a training licence in the lead up to the world's richest race, and finished third to Gloria De Campeao.

Bin Suroor's best winner, though, was Moon Ballad, who used the race in 2003 as a launch pad for a successful assault on the World Cup and it is a path that Al Zarooni expects Dubai Prince to follow.

The four year old is another to be imported in to the Godolphin fold, having been trained by Dermot Weld in Ireland. After a breathing problem scotched hopes of success in the Group 1 Champion Stakes in England in October, when he finished last, Dubai Prince is on the comeback trail with Frankie Dettori on board and will race alongside stablemate Biondetti.

"We are aiming Dubai Prince at the last two rounds of the Maktoum Challenge with the hope he could be a World Cup horse," said Al Zarooni.

"I'm keen to get him on the track as he only ran twice for us after a setback ruled him out of the Classics in England. He showed at two that he was very good and we would like to think we have him back to that kind of form."