Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Barton’s Deem eyes Balanchine

Thursday's seventh meeting of the 2010 Dubai International Racing Carnival, which is an eight race all Thoroughbred affair, is kindly sponsored by Meydan and sees the Group Three Balanchine Stakes, the Listed UAE Oaks and the second running of the DRC Gold Cup.

Eight are set to go to post for the Balanchine with Godolphin's Aspectoflove appearing the one to beat in the 1800m turf race restricted to fillies and mares. She finished in front of four of her rivals when a narrow second in the Cape Verdi, over 1600m and this extra 200m looks ideal for the mount of Frankie Dettori. Trainer Saeed Bin Suroor said: "We were very pleased with that first run and she has been working well since. She should run a big race."

Mike De Kock saddles Zirconeum, a Group One winner in South Africa but only sixth in the Cape Verdi after a troubled passage. She again carries a penalty for her big race win but she too will relish the longer trip. De Kock said: "She is a quality filly and has come on a lot for her run. The trio will suit and she should go well."

Deem won the 2009 Cape Verdi for Saudi Arabia and is another who should run a big race.

The UAE Oaks, on Tapeta, has also attracted a field of eight with Godolphin's UAE 1000 Guineas winner Siyaadah certain to be hard to beat in the 1900m feature. She beat five of her rivals in this race in the Guineas and Bin Suroor is looking forward to the race: "We were very pleased with her win which was a good performance. We knew she had improved over the winter and hopefully there is more to come from her."

Ahmed Ajtebi retains the ride and De Kock may again supply the main danger in Raihana who was fourth in the Guineas having led 200m out. The South African said: "She is a nice filly and won well first time. They went quick last time and the race did not really pan out right for her so hopefully she can go close."

Bin Suroor won last year's inaugural DRC Gold Cup and the 3200m turf conditions race looks at his mercy this year with three runners all holding major chances. Dettori rides Age of Reason, with Ted Durcan on Whispering Gallery and Ajtebi on Mojave Moon. De Kock's Frozen Fire is an interesting runner stepped markedly up in trip.

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