The Group 1 Dubai Kahayla Classic – the traditional Arabian showpiece – will kickstart the nine-race card of the silver jubilee Dubai World Cup on Saturday, and jockey Tadhg O’Shea is confident of boosting his UAE jockey title hopes.
O’Shea, who is bidding for a ninth UAE jockey’s title and who won the last edition of the race with Ernst Oertel’s AF Maher, is ready to emulate his 2019 success with AF Alwajel for the same trainer.
“We believe he will do well as he had a good workout last Sunday over this distance at the dirt track,” O’Shea said. “The last time he ran it was the first time he was going over a mile and a quarter and we feel he’ll improve for it.”
Later in the meet, the Group 1 $5 million Dubai Sheema Classic – the penultimate race in the card – will be led by Saudi Cup winner Mishriff in a field that also includes a trio of Godolphin entries – Charlie Appleby’s pair Walton Street and Star Safari, and Saeed bin Suroor’s Dubai Future.
“Mishriff takes everything in his stride,” said Thady Gosden, who holds a joint licence with his father John.
“He seems to like the routine of going out onto the track and going back in. It’s a long way to go out to Saudi, go home, and then fly out here a month later but he seems to have taken the travelling well. We will find out on Saturday.”
The Group 1 $4m Dubai Turf will host a re-match between Lord Glitters, Eqtiraan and Godolphin’s Al Suhail – the three finishing in that order in their last meeting.
Wildman Jack is back to defend his Group 1 $1.5m Dubai Golden Shaheen title, while Salem bin Ghadayer’s Panadol is undefeated in two starts as he tackles 13 others in the Group 2 UAE Derby.
Godolphin’s Space Blues is bidding for a sixth straight win when he takes on 12 others in the Group 1 $1m Al Quoz Sprint, and Satish Seemar has a quartet in the Group 2 Godolphin Mile: Secret Ambition, Roman Rosso, Tuz and Rodaini.
Godolphin has four entered in the Group 2 Dubai Gold Cup. Bin Suroor has a trio – Volcanic Sky, Global Heat and Royal Marine with Appleby sending out Secret Advisor.