Restricted to there-year-olds, over 1600m on the dirt, the feature has attracted a field of ten with two trainers, both seeking a fourth win in the race, responsible for half the field.
He was chased home in that 1400m race by stable companion Regal Ransom who is one of six victims on that occasion back for another crack.
With exciting new recruit Vineyard Haven, a dual Grade 1 winner in his native USA on the dirt, completing his trio, Bin Suroor has a very strong hand and is hopeful: “Vineyard Haven is a nice new horse who is going to improve a lot for the run. He does not show an awful lot on our Tapeta track but is a real dirt horse we have high hopes for.
“We were very pleased with Desert Party and Regal Ransom last time and both came out of the race well. We have to be hopeful with our three runners.”
South African Mike De Kock has won the last two renewals of the race with Asiatic Boy and Honour Devil, both ridden by Johnny Murtagh in the colours of Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum.
They bid for a hat-trick with Blues And Rock but he, like stable companion Rocks Off, has a lot of ground to make up on Desert Party.
Pascal Bary’s Regionalista is an interesting newcomer to the UAE and is unbeaten in two starts in his native Brazil.
JJ The Jet Plane heads the weights in the 1100m Insideout Trophy, a conditions race on the dirt, and South Africa’s Champion Sprinter is an exciting addition to the De Kock Dubai-based string.
However, his trainer sounds a note of caution: “He is giving a lot of weight away after a long break which is not ideal but he is very quick and a serious sprinter. We hope he will be a World Cup night horse.”
Rashed Bouresly’s Star Crowned who won this last year, when the race was run over 1000 metres, breaking the track record in the process will provide a stiff test.
Australia’s Barbaricus is sure to attract a lot of interest in the concluding Xpress 2000 turf handicap.
Third in last year’s Caulfield Cup, Danny O’Brien’s four-year-old clearly has a touch of class and arrives here race fit having run in mid January.
O’Brien expects a bold show: “He will improve for the run as he thrives on racing and will not have raced for four weeks but he has settled in well and pleasing on the gallops.
“The Dubai Sheema Classic on Dubai World Cup is his main target via Super Thursday. Mick (Kinane) has not sat on him but he is a straightforward horse and drawn wide we will probably have to race up with the pace.”
Herman Brown’s Oracle West heads the weights, while Godolphin duo Kirklees and Once More Dubai, as well as Erwan Charpy’s Hello Morning and Jamie Osborne’s Docofthebay are all worthy of consideration.
Godolphin also introduce a pair of three-year-olds in the 1300m GNB Plate, a turf conditions race with Dettori on City Style and Ted Durcan partnering Jose Adan.
The first three races are all on the dirt, with Doug Watson’s Green Coast sure to go close in the opening GNADS4U 1400m handicap.
Godolphin’s Familiar Territory bids to repeat his win over 200m in the Wheels 2000 handicap, while 14 go to post in the 1600m 4Men Trophy which looks wide open.
The Pick 7 competition has a total of AED317,045 available to be won in the free to enter on course tipping competitions, including just over AED184,000 to be shared by race goers selecting all seven winners.
The breakdown for the Pick 7 and Tricast competitions are as follows:
Pick 7/7: AED184,045
Pick 6/7: AED12,000
Pick 5/7: AED8,000
Pick 4/7: AED5,000
Early Tricast: AED40,000
Middle Tricast: AED5,000
Late Tricast: AED63,000
Thursday’s meeting offers a number of hospitality options available to suit all tastes and budgets in both the Millennium Grandstand and the Maktoum Grandstand.
Entrance to the public area of the racecourse is free of charge and there are also complimentary transfers to and from Nad Al Sheba from Dubai Marina (by Spinneys), Arabian Ranches (Shopping complex), Wafi (in front of Pyramids) and Emirates Towers (Boulevard entrance by Cartier).
Buses will leave at 5.00pm from these locations, with return departures from 10pm.