After an excellent double followed by a four-timer in the first two meetings of this season's Dubai World Cup Carnival, Godolphin again headline the challenge in Thursday's racing at Meydan.
The highlight of the six-race all-thoroughbred card is the Group 2 Cape Verdi for fillies and mares in which Godolphin are triple handed with the Charlie Appleby-trained pair Beyond Reason and Magic Lily, and Saeed bin Suroor’s Dubai Blue.
William Buick takes the reins on Beyond Reason while James Doyle is on board Magic Lily.
Australian filly Beyond Reason has three victories under her belt, including a Group 2 and a Group 3 race, in nine starts.
“Beyond Reason ran a creditable race at Goodwood and has also done well out in Dubai,” Appleby told the Godolphin website.
“This looks a nice opportunity for her to get some more Black Type [a horse that has won or placed in a Group or Listed race] in what looks an open race.”
Magic Lily began her career with an impressive eight-length win on September 2017 followed by a close third behind Laurens in the Group 1 Fillies’ Mile, both at Newmarket.
She suffered an injury and wasn’t seen for more than two years as she recuperated. The five-year-old mare finished a runner-up in her first start in the Listed Saint-Cloud’s Prix Dahlia in France last October and was sixth of 14 in another Listed race on the All-Weather track at Lingfield Park in November.
“We were very happy to get her back on track for her reappearance in France, where she put up a respectable effort there,” Appleby said.
“I was a bit disappointed, but we sort of potentially knew our fate there in her last start because she was drawn wide at Lingfield. She didn’t do it the right way around; therefore we knew it was always the plan to come here.”
Dubai Blue disappointed in the Group 3 Musidora Stakes at York in May but is unbeaten in two starts at Lingfield, including an easy handicap success over a mile in August.
“Dubai Blue has been going well at home, but we are expecting her to improve for her first run of the year,” Bin Suroor said.
Christophe Soumillon, who has ridden three Carnival winners so far for the Emirati trainer, is atop the More Than Ready filly.
Simon Crisford’s Maamora, Michael Halford’s Surrounding and Nisreen for the Japanese trainer Hiroo Shimizu. Jim Boyle’s Hateya and Turkish raider Peri Lina complete the lineup.
Godolphin represent six of the 11 runners in the Listed Zabeel Turf. Bin Suroor has three with Dream Castle the choice of Soumillon. Loxley under Buick heads Appleby’s trio.
“Dream Castle ran some very good races at the Carnival last year but was subsequently a little disappointing in Europe and Australia,” Bin Suroor said of the six-year-old Frankel gelding.
“I have been pleased with his work going into this and he should be fine over a mile-and-a-quarter. I am looking forward to getting his season started.”
The National's selections:
6.30pm: Pocket Dynamo
7.05pm: Tribal Quest
7.40pm: Dream Castle
8.15pm: Beyond Reason
8.50pm: Yulong Warrior
9.25pm: Royal Marine