The feature race of the evening is the Group 3 Al Shindagha Sprint, a 1200m dash on dirt, for which 12 have been declared.
Barton’s assistant, Stephane Chevalier, said: “Big City Man pleased when winning last time and has improved for that run. He should go well.”
De Kock, who won the race with Asiatic Boy last year, is more cautious: “She has to prove herself on the dirt and we should learn a lot about her.”
UAE Champion Trainer Doug Watson saddles both Barbecue Eddie and Force Freeze who, along with his former charge Terrific Challenge and last year’s runner-up Salaam Dubai, form a strong home challenge.
Of his duo, Watson said: “They both have a chance; Force Freeze pleased when winning here last time and Barbecue Eddie is a proven quality sprinter.”
Kuwati handler Rashed Bouresly saddles Star Crowned who also merits consideration.
The other non-handicap on the card is the Ford Flex Trophy, a 1400m conditions race, also on the dirt, in which de Kock would appear to hold all the aces.
Having won the equivalent race in each of the past two seasons with Asiatic Boy and Honour Devil in the colours of Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, the pair combine with three of the sixteen runners this year.
Stable jockey Kevin Shea partners Rocks Off.
Herman Brown seeks a third win in the Jaguar XF trophy, a 1500m turf handicap.
Having won it with Linngari and Great Rhythm in the past two years and he chooses this race to reintroduce last year’s Dubai Duty Free winner Jay Peg but warns his stable star will improve for the outing: “He is ready for a race certainly but will improve a lot for the run. He is being trained towards Dubai World Cup night and has been off since the spring but we think he will go well.”
Spain become the 26th country to be represented at the Carnival with Flying Blue set to take part in the second the Land Rover Trophy, a 1300m turf handicap.
The night concludes with a 1600m dirt handicap, the Al Tayer Motors 1600, which has a full field of 16.
The Pick Seven competition starts with race three and goes through to race nine, meaning that the night’s feature race is the penultimate race in the competition.
With almost AED230,000 available to be won in the free to enter on course tipping competitions, including AED126,000 to be shared by race goers selecting all seven winners, a large crowd can be expected.
The breakdown for the Pick 7 and Tricast competitions are as follows:
Pick 7/7: AED125,935
Pick 6/7: AED12,000
Pick 5/7: AED8,000
Pick 4/7: AED5,000
Early Tricast: AED20,000
Middle Tricast: AED15,000
Late Tricast: AED43,000
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, and return departures will be at 10pm from the racecourse.
For further information or tickets for any DRC events or hospitality, please visit http://www.dubairacingclub.com; or contact the Hospitality Department at Dubai Racing Club on +971 4 327 0077 or .