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Wednesday, December 03, 2008


Cracking Purebred action tops the card


Nad Al Sheba’s fifth meeting of the current campaign, kindly sponsored by BBC World is a six-race card, with two worth AED110,000 each during the evening.

The first of these is the opening 1600m Al Barsha Plate, a Purebred Arabian conditions contest which has attracted a field of 11 including Paris Gagner, representing Champion Trainer Doug Watson.

Sporting the colours of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the five-year-old proved himself a genuine Group 1 performer last season but this trip would be very much his minimum.


Watson explains: “We need to get him back on the track and this race provides an ideal chance to do that.

“Ideally he would appreciate further but this will be a stepping stone towards next year’s big races. He should go close.”

Rod Simpson’s Fryvolous chased home the mighty Mizzna on his first start for the trainer 18 days ago and satisfied his new handler: “That was a pleasing run on the turf.

“Now we need to see how good he is on the dirt and this provides a great opportunity to do that.”

Mizzna’s stable companion Baher is a third runner rated 100 or more in a quality line-up which includes Ces Bon, who caused a shock when winning the Group 2 Bani Yas last season.

That was over 1200m and on turf though jockey Robbie Burke is hopeful: “The horse is in good shape and ready for a run. He works ok on the dirt and has form on it in America so he should handle it.”

Nine are due to go to post for the equally valuable 2000m Al Safa Handicap with Watson’s Mutasallil heading the weights.

A Dubai International Racing Carnival winner last year, he looked in need of his recent comeback and should strip fitter on this occasion.

However, he faces a stiff task giving weight to his rivals who include Pearly King, a winner for Musabah Al Muhairi a fortnight ago.

Stable jockey Wayne Smith, who was suspended on that occasion, replaces Ted Durcan and said: “It will be nice to get back in the saddle as I have been off a while.

“Pearly King stays further but has the pace for this trip and has to have a chance.”

Erwan Charpy’s Mister Fasliyev and Dhruba Selvaratnam’s Remaadd are also proven Carnival performers, while Ali Rashid Al Raihe’s Marriaj chased Pearly King home last time and has to be feared.

Watson’s Gulf of Gold looks the one to beat in the 2000m Al Quoz Novice , while South African Mike de Kock saddles his first runner of the campaign when Valiance contests the concluding 1200m Al Karama Handicap.

Watson’s Lucky Ray is seeking a hat-trick in the 1800m Al Mankhool Handicap in which Bold Glance will be a massive danger judged on his run last week, while recent winners Africanus and Tri Another Cat clash in the 1600m Al Dhiyafah Handicap.

Thursday’s card is set to begin at 7pm and there are a number of hospitality options available to suit all tastes and budgets in both the Millennium Grandstand and the Maktoum Grandstand.

Entrance to the public area of the racecourse is free of charge and there are also complimentary transfers to and from Nad Al Sheba from Dubai Marina (by Spinneys), Arabian Ranches (Shopping complex), Wafi (in front of Pyramids) and Emirates Towers (Boulevard entrance by Cartier).

Buses will leave at 6.00pm from these locations, and return departures will be at 10pm from the racecourse.


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