Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Stars for Thursday’s Al Rashidiya
Dubai Duty Free sponsor Thursday's sixth meeting of the 2012 Dubai World Cup Carnival, which is appropriate considering the featured Group 2 Al Rashidiya has twice been won by subsequent Dubai World Cup night Group 1 Dubai Duty Free winners – the first of which was Right Approach in 2004.
The second to win both 1800m turf features was Presvis, who registered the notable double for UK-based trainer Luca Cumani last year and seeks to become the first horse to win the Al Rashidiya twice.
Last season’s UAE champion trainer Ali Rashid Al Raihe will be saddling Rajsaman for the first time and the five-year-old was not beaten far when seventh in the Hong Kong Mile in December. He is penalised for a Group 2 win in France last October and stable jockey Royston Ffrench said: "I am looking forward to getting him on the track and he is a nice new horse in the yard obviously. Presvis and Musir are top class horses and it looks a strong race as you would expect."
Mike de Kock, one of only two trainers to have won this race more than once, relies on 2010 UAE Derby winner Musir who could not have been more impressive when winning the opening round of the Al Maktoum Challenge on his return to action a fortnight ago.
Both of those wins were on the all-weather but he is penalised for an impressive win in Turkey last September when proving turf holds no fears for him. De Kock, who is in South Africa, explained: "The Dubai Duty Free is the race we want to target him at so this is the obvious next step. If the [Dubai] Duty Free is a realistic target he needs to run well against the likes of Presvis and Rajsaman so this is the ideal opportunity. He has been working well and we are going to find out how good he is on turf which, I personally, think is his best surface."
De Kock has saddled the winner of the race three times, one less than Godolphin handler Saeed bin Suroor who relies on new recruit Sandagiyr. Bin Suroor said: "He is going nicely at home but will improve for the outing. It looks the best race of the Carnival so far and Rajsaman, Musir and Presvis are going to be hard to beat."
Fellow Godolphin trainer Mahmoud Al Zarooni saddles City Style but echoes Bin Suroor's sentiments and said: "It looks a very hot race with Musir and Presvis going to be hard to beat. City Style deserves a chance in this company and won well last time. Hopefully he can run a good race."
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