Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Team Europe arrive to compete for Carnival riches
South Africans Mike de Kock and Herman Brown may have the largest individual teams of the international trainers, but it is Europe who will supply the most trainers throughout the Carnival.
With handlers from the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Greece, Spain and Italy among those confirmed, ‘team Europe’ looks a strong and versatile one.
Germany’s Quijano is a Carnival regular, with three wins in 2007 and he was third in last year’s Dubai Sheema Classic on Dubai World Cup night.
Ralph Beckett, fresh from winning his first Classic (Epsom Oaks) is set to bring his maiden Breeders’ Cup winner Muhannak to Dubai.
Brian Meehan’s Cat Junior was fourth in the Group 1 Prix Jean Prat and is set to spearhead a select team for the trainer who won the 2006 Dubai Duty Free with David Junior.
Group 2 winning juvenile City Leader is another for Meehan who could bounce back to his very best.
Hearthshead Maison, a Group 3 winner for Mark Johnston, runs tonight at Nad Al Sheba, Apollo Star is a Group 2 winner in his native Germany, while dual Group 3 winner Vertigineux will represent France.
Purple Moon, runner-up in the 2007 Melbourne Cup filled the same position in the Hong Kong Vase most recently and is part of a Luca Cumani team and Spanish Moon has won three times in Listed company for Sir Michael Stoute.
David Nicholls will have the largest individual string from Europe with Valery Borzov one to keep an eye on, while Andrew Balding’s Banknote will be a first UAE runner for Her Majesty The Queen.
Other first night runners from Europe include Ireland’s Miss Goricia, Red Eye Express and Varsity, while France will be represented by Lessing, Estrela Boa, Estrela Do Oriente, Gloria De Campeao and Far From Old, Clifton Dancer, representing Tom Dascombe who was formerly de Kock’s assistant here at Nad Al Sheba, is another runner from the UK.
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