Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Iron hooves to run on Thursday

The Group 3 Al Rashidiya is the feature race at the third meeting of the 2009 Dubai International Racing Carnival on a seven race card kindly sponsored by Dubai Aluminium Company Limited.

The 1777m highlight is the first turf feature of the season and has attracted a field of ten, with five of the runners set to represent South Africa and the remainder trained locally.

South African champion trainer Mike De Kock has won the race twice and saddles three runners this year, two of whom are already 2009 Carnival winners, with stable jockey Kevin Shea electing to partner Silver Mist over Hunting Tower and Royal Vintage.

Shea partnered Silver Mist to success in a 1500m handicap a fortnight ago and the jockey said: “That felt like a good race and he won pretty well.

“That said, Hunting Tower won well last week and is a very nice horse and Royal Vintage is better than his last effort. It was a tough choice.”

Herman Brown saddles both Oracle West and Traffic Guard this year and said: “They are both in good form but will certainly improve for the run. Oracle West would prefer further certainly but it looks wide open.”

Champion jockey Frankie Dettori will not be riding at the meeting and the replacement riders are:

Race One, the Dubal Ingot - Ted Durcan on Fateh Field.

Race Four, the Dubal Billet 2000 - Richard Mullen on Irish Mayhem.

Race Six, the Al Rashidiya - Ted Durcan on Kirklees (Daragh O'Donohoe replaces Durcan on Familiar Territory).

Race Seven, the Dubal Casthouse Handicap - Mick Kinane on River Tiber.

Godolphin trainer Saeed Bin Suroor saddles both Kirklees and Familiar Territory in the night’s feature.

Bin Suroor explained: “Both are working well and we are hoping for a big effort in an open race.”

Bin Suroor has four 2009 Carnival winners as does Mubarak Bin Shafya and he, too, is doubly represented with stable jockey Ahmad Ajtebi partnering Third Set - the pair already have a course and distance victory this year.

Bin Shafya said: “We have started the Carnival well but this is a much tougher race for both our horses.”

Mashaahed, trained by Erwan Charpy, is the other runner and he would look to have a reasonable chance on his seasonal return.

The other six races are handicaps with three on dirt and three on the grass, including the concluding DUBAL Casthouse Handicap, a 1600m race which features a first UAE runner for Queen Elizabeth II, whose Banknote is one of 16 declared.

Trained by Andrew Balding, he will be ridden by Francis Norton.

The Pick 7 competition has a total of AED254,205 available to be won in the free to enter on course tipping competitions, including just over AED136,000 to be shared by race goers selecting all seven winners.

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