Thursday, January 19, 2012
Girls battle over Cape
One of Meydan’s pillar partners, The Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group, is the generous sponsor of both Friday and Saturday’s racemeetings, the fourth and fifth of the 2012 Dubai World Cup Carnival.
The highlight is the Group Two Cape Verdi, a 1600m turf race, restricted to fillies and mares.
Last year's UAE 1000 Guineas winner on the Meydan all-weather, she made a winning return to Dubai in the 1800m Al Rashidiya Trial a fortnight ago and de Kock, who also saddles Reem, sounds hopeful.
He said: "The drop in trip is the query but she won over 1600m last year and should cope. She won well last time and has come out of that in great shape and should be very competitive. Reem has been a bit disappointing since the 2011 Carnival but she would have needed her run last week and hopefully the extra distance and return to grass will help her. First City looks the one we have to beat with her English form looking very solid."
Formerly with British trainer David Simcock, First City will be having her first start for last season’s UAE champion trainer Ali Rashid Al Raihe and will be ridden by stable jockey Royston Ffrench who said: "She seems to have settled in well and is working nicely. Her best form in England would give her a big chance but Mahbooba looks the one we all have to beat; that was a very impressive performance on the first night."
Al Sharood is another with a Meydan win to her name this season having won a 1400m all-weather conditions race on her first local start for Doug Watson. She steps up in trip and switches surface but has won under similar conditions in France and Watson said: "This was always her first main target and we were delighted with her debut win. She shows so much speed that the 1400m on that occasion looked the ideal race for her first start but she has good turf form at 1600m so the trip should be fine. She has a bit to find on ratings but is in great form and we should find out a lot about her."
The remaining four runners represent England and Ireland with two from each country. Of the quartet, British trainer Tom Dascombe has Rhythm Of Light who appears to have the strongest credentials.
Dascombe, who used to work in the UAE for de Kock, said: "She seems in great form but we will only find out if that is the case when she runs so this is the ideal place to start. It looks a good race and Mahbooba was impressive two weeks ago and will be hard to beat."
Unusually, Godolphin are not represented in the feature but they do have plenty of runners in the ultra-valuable handicaps on the card. Saeed bin Suroor trains Emerald Commander, Prince Bishop and Start Right who look to hold leading chances in the 1800m Swaidan Trading Company Peugeot, the 2000m Al Naboodah Travel & Tourism and 1600m SMKA - MK By Honeywell respectively.
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