The Dubai World Cup Carnival's sixth meeting at Meydan is highlighted by the Blue Point Sprint with last year's winner Lazuli going for the top prize again.
Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby runs Lazuli, ridden by William Buick, and James Doyle on Man of Promise in Friday's meeting.
Lazuli made a winning reappearance over the track and trip with Man Of Promise a length and-a-quarter behind in second in the Ertijaal Dubai Dash on January 6.
Man Of Promise was runner up again in his next start over the extended 1,200m Listed Dubai Sprint, this time behind the Irish trainer Gordon Elliot’s Coachello, three weeks ago.
Challenging the Godolphin pair in the 13-runner field are Acklam Express, Ponntos, and Raasel, and Ladies Church, a filly trained in Ireland by Johnny Murtagh and making her debut at Meydan.
Another big race on the night is the 22nd running of the UAE 2000 Guineas, which has drawn nine runners in the 1,600-metre race on dirt.
Salem bin Ghadayer’s Tiger Nation, ridden by Mickael Barzalona and carrying the silks of the Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, appears to be the one to beat.
The Tamarkuz colt is undefeated in two starts, over 1,200m and 1,400m, and would appreciate stepping up to 1,600m. However, he has to overcome the widest draw from gate No 9.
Doug Watson’s Shirl’s Bee made a winning racecourse debut and hasn’t been seen since his only start over the track and trip on December 23.
Tall Boy is an interesting entry even though he arrives as a maiden after four starts. He is representing the USA and Doug O’Neill, who landed this prize in 2020 with Fore Left under William Buick and who is booked on the Lookin At Lucky colt.
“We think he will be a horse for the UAE Derby and this looks the ideal starting point towards that race,” Leandro Mora, the assistant trainer, said.
“He seems to love the Meydan dirt surface and is a really nice, big, strong horse. He should run well.”
6pm: Palm Jumeirah – Handicap (TB) $75,000 (Turf) 2,000m
6.35pm: Dubai Islands – Handicap (TB) $100,000 (Dirt) 2,000m
7.10pm: Dubai Trophy by Nakheel – Conditions (TB) $100,000 (T) 1,200m
7.45pm: Curlin Handicap by Nakheel – Handicap (TB) $100,000 (D) 2,000m
8.20pm: Blue Point Sprint by Nakheel – Group 2 (TB) $180,000 (T) 1,000m
8.55pm: UAE 2000 Guineas by Nakheel – Group 3 (TB) $150,000 (D) 1,600m
9.30pm: Business Bay Challenge by Nakheel – Listed (TB) $100,000 (T) 1,400m