With AED500,000 on offer, the 1950m Jebel Ali Stakes feature has attracted a quality field of 12, including last year’s winner Anani, the runner-up Remaadd and the 2006 winner Singing Poet.
Anani’s success last year was a surprise and he looks up against it this year with Singing Poet arguably the one they all have to beat.
He did win over course and distance last season on his second and final start of a truncated campaign, from stable companion Mister Fasliyev who re-opposes, while Rampallion gives the trainer a strong hand.
Stable jockey Tadhg O’Shea remains loyal to Singing Poet on whom he won the race two years ago and explained: “He has had problems but is a really nice horse and the fact that he loves the course is obviously a big plus.
“The yard’s other pair have chances and my fellow will come on for the run I am sure, but I would not desert him.”
Watson’s stable jockey Fernando Jara rides course winner Dynamic Saint of the trainer’s three runners, all three of whom appear to have a chance.
Three-year-old Trust N Dustan made a very pleasing UAE debut recently, while Rohaani will bid to win the race for sponsor Sheikh Hamdan.
Watson explained: “All three have chances and it is hard to split them. Dynamic Saint is a really nice horse who we have always held in high esteem. He just needs things to go right for him.
“Rohaani has had a few problems but is working well, while Trust N Dustan delighted us with his first start and has come on a lot for the run.”
South Africa’s Mike De Kock adds international flavour to the card with four runners in the 1400m conditions race.
Keagan Latham partners Brave Tin Soldier who may hold the best chance in a race Ali Rashid Al Raihe’s Jet Express could be the one to beat.