Somoud and Mujeeb go head-to-head in an intriguing rematch in the Dh2.4million Group 1 President’s Cup for Purebred Arabians in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.
Somoud is chasing a hat-trick of the prestigious prizes, and comes into the race having beaten Mujeeb in the prep event four weeks ago.
Trained by Jean de Roualle for Yas Racing, the nine-year-old son of Munjiz has also won two editions of the Group 1 Emirates Championship over the 2,200-metre track and trip.
Mujeeb, who represents the Al Asayl Stables, was unlucky in the last run and this time will have to deal with a wide draw in gate No 12.
Others in contention are Abdallah Al Hammadi’s Hameem, Bahraini trainer Fawzi Nass’ Antares Del Ma, and Helal Al Alawi’s Izadi Star.
Hameem is seeking a ninth victory on the Abu Dhabi turf and 10th overall, having only ever raced in the UAE.
He never threatened in the race last year, finishing sixth, but did start his new campaign with a success over this course and distance in the Jewel Crown Prep.
He was third in the big race itself before being unplaced in the Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge Round-1 on the dirt mile at Meydan. He will be far happier returning to his favourite venue.
Antares Del Ma has won seven times and finished runner up eight times in his 22 starts.
The seven-year-old tailed off in the Arabian race at the Saudi Cup meeting in his last start just under a year ago. He has joined a stable that does particularly well with the limited number of Arabians at their disposal.
Izadi Star is another to consider. He is having just his second start of the season, well beaten in the Jewel Crown but a consistent performer at this level in Europe last summer.
The President Cup for thoroughbreds has attracted a field of 12 with John Hyde’s Haqeeqy, the choice of Dane O’Neill from the Shadwell trio, seeking to repeat his win from last year.
The main threats could well turn out to be the pair of Shadwell runners O’Neill has overlooked - Musabbeh Al Muhairi’s Raaeb, under Antonio Fresu, and Ali Al Badwawi's Taamol, a course and distance winner, under Patrick Cosgrave.
5pm: Wathba Stallions Cup – Handicap (PA) Dh70,000 (Turf) 2,200m
5.30pm: Mamsha Alkhair – Handicap (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,600m
6pm: Emirates Fillies Classic – Prestige (PA) Dh100,000 (T) 1,600m
6.30pm: Emirates Colts Classic – Prestige (PA) Dh100,000 (T) 1,600m
7pm: The President’s Cup – Group 1 (PA) Dh2,500,000 (T) 2,200m
7.30pm: The President’s Cup – Listed (TB) Dh380,000 (T) 1,400m