Godolphin firepower on display in second week of Dubai World Cup Carnival

Bedouin Story winning the Cambridgeshire Handicap at Newmarket last September. The Godolphin galloper is a leading player in the Group 2 Al Rashidiya Presented by Riviera Beachfront by Azizi Group at the Carnival on Friday. — Godolphin
Bedouin Story winning the Cambridgeshire Handicap at Newmarket last September. The Godolphin galloper is a leading player in the Group 2 Al Rashidiya Presented by Riviera Beachfront by Azizi Group at the Carnival on Friday. — Godolphin

Dubai - Appleby and Bin Suroor well-represented in Al Rashidiya and Al Fahidi Fort as champion trainer Doug Watson looks to take out Dubawi Stakes



By Team KT

Published: Thu 20 Jan 2022, 7:45 PM

Galvanized by the news that they have been nominated for a record eight Eclipse Awards in North America, Team Godolphin will be looking to continue their formidable form in the second week of the Dubai World Cup Carnival at Meydan on Friday.

Led by its twin trainers, Saeed bin Suroor and Charlie Appleby, the Dubai-owned stable are well represented across the seven-race card where they are responsible for many of the ante-post favourites in the international markets.

The evening, which sees the return of Pilliar Partner Azizi as the overall sponsor, is highlighted by two Group 2 contests — the Al Rashidiya and the Al Fahidi Fort.

Godolphin boast a phenomenal record in the 1,800m Al Rashidiya, a early prep for the Group 1 Dubai Turf on Dubai World Cup night, having won the last five renewals with stable favourites line Promising Run, Benbatl and Barney Roy,

Gauging by the fact that they a entered five runners, it would appear that they are in no mood to relent and are determined to take home another Al Rashidiya Trophy which is named after a historic locality in Eastern Dubai.

Lord Glitters is expected to start as the favourite to win the Group 2 Al Rashidiya Presented by Riviera Beachfront by Azizi Group at the Carnival on Friday. — ERA
Lord Glitters is expected to start as the favourite to win the Group 2 Al Rashidiya Presented by Riviera Beachfront by Azizi Group at the Carnival on Friday. — ERA

The quintet is led by the Saeed bin Suroor-trained Bedouin Story (Frankie Dettori), winner of the Cambridgeshire two starts back and who was not disgraced when finishing second to Shadwell’s Mostahdaf in the Group 2 Darley Stakes at Newmarket in October.

The all-conquering Emirati handler is also represented by Desert Fire (Hector Crouch) who was third in last season’s Group 2 Dubai City of Gold on Super Saturday, the dress rehearsal for the World Cup.

Saeed bin Suroor said: “Bedouin’s Story continued to show some very strong form in the UK last year, winning the Cambridgeshire and finishing second in the G3 Darley Stakes. He has been doing well out in Dubai and this looks a good starting point for his year.

“Desert Fire always seems to run his best races as a fresh horse. He looks to be in good condition and has run well over this distance in the past.”

As formidable as the Godolphin team appear to be in the race danger lurks in the form of David O’Meara’s ‘horse of a lifetime’, Lord Glitters.

The nine-year-old who has been wintering in Dubai for the last two seasons showed the benefit of catching some sun when he travelled to Bahrain to capture the Group 3 Bahrain International Trophy in November.

Meanwhile, Godolphin stable jockey William Buick’s decision to opt for Art Du Val over two other Charlie Appleby contenders, Highland Avenue (Mickael Barzalona) and Royal Fleet (James Doyle), would hint that he is the pick of the trio.

Naval Crown carries Epsom Derby-winning handler Charlie Appleby’s hopes in the Group 2 Al Fahidi Fort Presented By Mina By Azizi. — Godolphin
Naval Crown carries Epsom Derby-winning handler Charlie Appleby’s hopes in the Group 2 Al Fahidi Fort Presented By Mina By Azizi. — Godolphin

Appleby commented: “Art Du Val proved a consistent horse in Dubai last year and we gave him the summer off with another season at the Carnival in mind. He goes into this race in good order and will be very competitive if he brings his A game.

“Highland Avenue started his three-year-old career in good form but he was disappointing on his two most recent starts. He has been gelded since and we are looking to rekindle some of his old spark. We feel that track conditions at Meydan will suit and this hopefully give us a gauge for the rest of the Carnival. “Royal Fleet has progressed through the handicap ranks and we are testing the water at this level.”

No local trainer since Ismail Mohammed won the race in 2007 with Formal Decree has won the Al Rashidiya but in-form handler will be hoping to end the wait with French recruit Part Partenit (Tadhg O’Shea) who makes a challenging UAE debut.

Appleby saddles classy Naval Crown and La Barosa in the Group 2 1400m Al Fahidi Fort with Bin Suroor represented by last year’s winner Land Of Legends and Storm Damage.

Naval Crown was an eye-catching fourth in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket last year before finishing third in the Group 3 Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Appleby said: “Naval Crown showed good, solid form as a thre-year-old and has enjoyed a nice break ahead of the Carniva, He looks great and will obviously be very competitive if he runs up to his best form.

“La Barossa enjoyed a nice break since being gelded, We were pleased with his first start of the winter earlier this month and he has definitely come forward for the outing.

Commenting on Land Of Legend’s defence in the Al Fahidi Fort, Bin Suroor said: “ Land Of Legends has been improving with every piece of work. He won this race on his first start of the year and we are hoping for another good effot,”

The Dubawi Stakes over 1200m on dirt is the third Group race on the card and champion UAE handler Doug Watson looks to have not one but two big chances with classy sprinters, Al Tariq and Canvassed. Watson commented: They’re both in really good form. Obviously Al Tariq has the run so far this year and Canvassed is having his first start since World Cup night but has gotten stronger overall. He’s had some great preparation so pretty pleased with both of them.

Friday’s action-filled card also features a match-up of UAE Derby hopefuls in trials for the UAE 2000 Guineas and Jumeirah Derby.


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