The 2019 Dubai World Cup Carnival kicks off at Meydan on Thursday evening and three of Mike de Kock’s stalwarts will be in action.
His first runner comes up in Race 5, the Singspiel Stakes over 1800m with prize money of US$200,000 (R2.85 million), where he saddles seven-year-old Light The Lights.
It is 289 days since his last run and that was in a feature race in Abu Dhabi over 2200m on 17 March which he won by 0.75 lengths.
The Western Winter gelding has performed well since moving to the Emirates in 2016. He has raced nine times for three wins and has certainly paid his way. French jockey Olivier Doleuze takes the ride.
In Race 6, the Longines Master Collection Moon Phase Handicap over 1400m, De Kock saddles 2017 Gauteng Guineas winner Janoobi and Suyoof.
Both are owned by Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum but with Jim Crowley, the Sheikh’s first-choice jockey, riding Janoobi, he appears to be the first choice from the stable.
He was one De Kock’s leading lights last season and won the Group 2 Zabeel Mile where he beat Championship and Noah From Goa. He finished third in his next start over 1800m so De Kock decided to run him in the US$5-million Dubai Turf on World up night but he finished unplaced.
This 1400m should be right up his street if he is not in need of the run although he is the highest rated runner and has to give weight to the balance of the field.
Suyoof had a great start to his Dubai campaign two years back where he raced twice for a win and a second but last year he did not feature in two outings. Dane O’Neill takes the ride.