Godolphin continue to chase big wins at Meydan

Friday's meeting also includes the first Classic of the season

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Some of the best horses will be in action at the Dubai World Cup Carnival at Meydan on Friday. — KT file
Some of the best horses will be in action at the Dubai World Cup Carnival at Meydan on Friday. — KT file

Leslie Wilson Jr

Published: Thu 19 Jan 2023, 7:45 PM

Godolphin continue their relentless pursuit of the top prizes on offer at the Dubai World Cup Carnival when they dispatch a battalion of five horses to contest the Group 2 Zabeel Mile Present by ARN, the feature race at Friday’s third meeting of the festival at Meydan racecourse.

Having dominated the last four runnings of the Mile, and nine overall since the race was launched in 2007, it would be safe to assume that the quintet will take all the beating in this year’s renewal of the 1,600-metre turf contest.

Saeed bin Suroor sent out Real World to win the race last year and the long-serving Godolphin handler has not surprisingly entered three from his Al Quoz Stables, while five-time Zabeel Mile-winning handler Charlie Appleby relies on two smart miles in the majestically named Mast Of The Seas and Modern News.

Pat Cosgrave, Bin Suroor’s go-to rider for the past couple of years, partners Land Of Legends, winner of the Group 2 Al Fahidi Fort in 2021. Although he has been campaigning exclusively at Meydan since 2020 the seven-year-old Iffraj horse scored a hat trick of victories in the UK in 2019.

Pat Dobb, who resides in third position on the UAE Jockey’s table, picks up the spare ride on Bin Suroor’s Desert Fire, an impressive winner of the Group 2 Al Rashidiya last season.

The third Bin Suroor runner is Laser Show, a six-year-old son of New Approach who has a lot to find on form having not seen a racecourse for 859 days.

Before that barren spell, Laser Show won on fast ground at Newmarket and on the Chelmsford all-weather track in the UK.

Assessing the chances of his trio Bin Suroor said: “Desert Fire, Land Of Legends, and Laser Show have been working well, but this looks like a tough race for the three of them.

“Desert Fire has won over this course and distance in the past, so dropping back to a mile won’t be a problem, while Land Of Legends enjoys racing around Meydan.

“Laser Show has had soundness issues, which has kept him off the track for a long time, but I was pleased with his latest piece of work and he is ready to go again.”

Commenting on his chances of winning a sixth Zabeel Mile Epsom Derby-winning Godolphin handler, Charlie Appleby said: “Master Of The Seas hasn’t been seen since the Earl of Sefton but has settled in well out in Dubai (Marmoom Stables).

“His preparation has gone well, although we are very much working back from Dubai World Cup night and Super Saturday, so there will be some natural improvement from whatever he does here. He looks to be in great order and we are very much looking forward to getting him back on track.

“Modern News is a consistent horse, who showed some decent form in Group and Listed races in the UK last year. He goes into this fit and well, and certainly won’t look out of place in the field,” added Appleby, who like his Godolphin teammate Bin Suroor, has saddled four winners at the Carnival.

The international challenge is led by dual-continent galloper I Am Superman. Now back with Irish handler Michael O’Callaghan after a spell in Australia where he scored twice at Group 2 level when trained by Peter and Paul Snowden.

“We’re delighted with I Am Superman since arriving in Dubai,” O’Callaghan told the ERA. “He’s in really good form ahead of Friday and Colin Keane is over to ride”

David O’Meara, another popular Irish handler who has been a regular visitor to the Carnival for the past five seasons, saddles Shelir, who was an excellent third on his Meydan debut in the Group 2 Al Fahidi Fort, two weeks ago.

Emirati handler Ahmad bin Harmash won the Mile back in 2017 with Championship and he is back seeking more silver with the Ray Dawson partnered Erzindjan who is yet to score in 13 UAE starts, since landing a three-year-old contest at Ireland’s Gowran Park racecourse.

Friday’s meeting also includes the first Classic of the season, the Listed UAE 1,000 Guineas Presented by ARN, which has attracted a quality field of seven fillies.

Salem Bin Ghadayer’s Mimi Kakushi beat a couple here when winning the trial here a month ago and on the strength of that evidence, he should run well again.

Doug Watson’s Asawer was runner-up on that occasion over 1,400 metres and given the fact that the Guineas is run over an extra furlong, he looks a big danger.

Racing begins with the Big Easy Arabian Sprint Championship Presented by ARN over 1,200 metres where Group 2 Bani Yas fourth Namrood should relish the shorter trip and run to his full potential.

KT Selections

(First race starts at 6:00pm)

Race 1: 1. Namrood; 2. Marmara XM

Race 2: 1. Ravy; 2. My Dubawi

Race 3: 1. Home City; 2. Boomshalaa

Race 4: 1. Asawer; 2. Mimi Kakushi

Race 5: 1. Master Of The Seas; 2. Modern News

Race 6: 1. Ardakan; 2. Get Shirty

Day’s Best: Master Of The Seas

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