The highlight is the one million dirham HH The President’s Cup, a Group 1 contest over 2200m and one of the most valuable races of its type in the world.
Equally adept on turf, Gerald Avranche jets in Bahrain to ride and explained: “He is a nice, versatile horse and proven over course and distance. We are hopeful of a big run.”
Rod Simpson’s Abu Alemarat beat Avranche’s mount over course and distance in November and the youngster, winner of the UAE Triple Crown last season, is expected to go close by his trainer: “He is in good shape having had a small setback after his win. He is an unexposed, fresh horse and must go close.”
Richard Hills elects to ride Nirwan of the His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum runners, of whom Remarkable Man is officially rated the best.
The main support race is the Group 3 Al Ruwais over the minimum trip of 1000m.
Hills partners last year’s winner, Gill Duffield’s Tashreefat who may have most to fear from Ces Bon and Simpson’s Fryvolous.
Winner of The National Day Cup, Simpson’s charge, who has to concede weight to all, is taking a big drop in distance but has a touch of class.
The Emirates Breeders’ Cup is also on the card and is another race to have attracted a maximum field.
Lemartinel’s Remal will be hard to beat if coping with the drop back to 1600m.